As already mentioned, this particular attire was especially prepared for a professional visit to Xi'an, China, eastern terminus of the Silk Road. I have the fondest memories of that place. The towered city wall, the Drum Tower, the Bell Tower, the Da Yan pagoda, the artisan's district. But the best memories are of the people themselves. Smiling, friendly, open-minded. On my long walks through the town and its outskirts (the best way to get to know a city), and without any knowledge of Chinese or the services of an interpreter (I had decided to do without during the bigger part of that stay) or a magic periapt, I always managed to find my way without any particular problems (which is not self-evident in other Chinese towns), and not one sullen face when I tried to convey my wishes in what must have seemed to the locals a bizarre way of communicating. And eating the delicious dim sum with chop sticks was a relief after the slippery shrimps at the seaside. That my view of youth (and of the rest of the world, for that matter) became somewhat jaundiced after a prolonged stay in China shouldn't surprise anybody.


Ambulo, ergo sum!