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I met this older woman on my first trip to Xian.  She touched my heart — then and later.  I suppose everyone, at some time, meets complete strangers who are somehow familiar.  In this case, she reminded me of my mother.  Not in her circumstances, which were difficult, but in her warmth, and in her smile.

I don’t know her story.  It’s not something you really ask, though I would love to know why she has to sell things on the street.  I saw her on my second trip to Xian and she was just as sweet as I remembered.  It was during the bitter cold of winter, and she was bundled up as you can see below, but her smile was still warm and real.   I worry about her sometimes.

What happened to the weekend?

Beautiful weekend.  Played golf, and took a nice long walk around the neighborhood — which consists of a long, winding path through a beautiful garden.  There’s a pond, and in that pond are immense water lilies (as seen below).

On the road…

These two pictures were taken some years ago, north of Beijing. I’ll share the details in a later post, but we went out for a drive and ended up in a very special place that not many foreigners had visited.  I recently went back with my daughter, and found the town changed — not for the better.  So these old photos are very special to me, because that place will never be like that again.

Dog days in Beijing.

I took a walk through a neighborhood near East Gate Plaza (close to the 2nd Ring).  If you want evidence that people in Beijing love their dogs, then all you need to do is stroll through this heart of the city.