Veracity

During our ten day China trip, we had three different guides in three different cities. Olivia was the first. You’ve met Oliva. Of all the guides, Olivia was the most fervent at finding western toilets. “Here!” she would say. “This one!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her the squat toilets are cleaner than …

Olivia

  Oliva collected us promptly on the morning of our first day. She bustled us down the alley and loaded us into our emperor’s van. This time she wore a long dark wool coat with a felted shapes on the back, mostly a rather menacing and undernourished Santa Claus-like figure holding a scroll that said …

Arrive

We landed in Beijing at 7:00 on Friday night, and even though I had sent the budget tour company the wrong arrival time, our guide met us anyway, a tiny young woman in the shouting airport throng, wearing a bright red hat and scarf and smiling a smile that took up most of her face. She …