SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME
A WHILE BEFORE THE ADVENT OF GPS
phones, I hired a bicycle in Lĳiang and set off jauntily from the mazy waterways of the centre, up a big hill into the countryside of Yunnan, following my nose. Sunset came swiftly, but I had the wherewithal for an overnight stay out of town. The joy of unrestricted cycling with no pressures and no plan peaked around 9pm when I realised I wasn’t going to find a guesthouse, and should head back to Lĳiang. My inner GPS let me down, to the extent that I knocked on a few doors to ask for directions. In useless English. Finally, one household produced a boy on a bike who led me miles and miles in the dark. Desperation was replaced by out-and-out gratitude when he deposited me at a Tibetan-owned guesthouse where a family group were in the middle of a celebratory dinner. I have never forgotten how quickly they made room for me at their table, nor how immensely soft and puffy the white quilt was on my bed.
‘ The joy of cycling with no plan peaked around 9pm when I realised I wasn’t going to find a guesthouse’