Across Continents

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Finding your way

“Can I help” she asked. “Actually, yes, there is one thing” I replied, explaining my map showed the Chinese characters for just the cities. Perhaps she could translate a few of my smaller proposed nightly stops. That way I’d avoid inadvertently missing a turning.

Navigating in China - web version

I’d met Mao at a petrol station. She’d majored in English at University, worked as an interpreter for some years, but was now a traffic police officer. Off duty, she was travelling with her young son. She thought the road dangerous, but sought to assure her I thought drivers very considerate, the road surface of a standard I’d rarely seen since Turkey.

What did I think of China, she enquired? Early days of course, I explained, but I was already impressed. The neat, clean streets of Khorgas, the huge investment in infrastructure, road building in the mountains, the sheer beauty of Lake Sayram Hu. And the friendliness of people. Passers-by giving me breads, fruit and water.

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