Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, April 01, 2013

This the picture I took three years ago the first night I was here in my small nook at Fragrant Hills. Hard to believe I have already lived here for three years. That's half as long as the entire time I spent at Beihang University. Moving here was really awkward, because I had been delaying moving out of my old apartment at the University as long as I could, but I really had to get out of there, because I was no longer employed as of the end of January (2010). I convinced them to let me stay until after the Spring Festival holiday, which helped me a lot, but the holiday came and went, and I was still there. I didn't really blame them for asking questions, but I didn't have anything arranged yet. On of my friends from Fragrant Hills walked around the villages for me one day and helped me look at a few places. I really liked this place, but the landlady told me she didn't have anything open until the first of April, so I was looking for other alternatives. I finally decided to rent this apartment, this village is closer to the bus yard than the other villages. I had to store my stuff temporarily at various friends' places. James was kind enough to let me stay with him in Jinsong for a few weeks, so I was able to manage it, but it was quite inconvenient. I finally moved out here on April 1st three years ago with whatever I could carry with two hands. Little by little I managed to get everything out here. Took me several weeks, but my friends were patient.

Before I moved out here, I would come out a few times a year. But for me, going to Fragrant Hills was an event. It's much easier to climb the mountain when you live right here, especially if you want to have some solitude. In the fall of the year, thousands of people come to the Hills, and there are almost that many in the spring. But if you can be up at the park by six in the morning, you pretty much have the place to yourself. The security guards know me, so they always let me in if the main gate hasn't opened yet. It's nice to get up on the trail in the early morning and watch the sun come up. Definitely the best time of the day. But I also hike the trail in late evening when there is a full moon and you can see where you're going. Really quiet and peaceful.

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