in the mountains

don’ worry i will add pics in a bit.

i arrived from amsterdam sunday afternoon and went to my man tenzin’s house and eased back with him and his woman aliya. i booked a flight the next day for jiu zhai gou, as there was an ecotourism forum going on and my friend andrew is in charge of some scientific and other consulting. including bringing foreigners to any forum that may be organized. about ten of us arrived. the flight from chengdu to jiu zhai gou is one of the hairiest flights i know of. jiu zhai gou is in the sichuan himalayas, the plane hovers 100 or so meters above jagged peaks and is jolted by the winds careening off off valleys. the sky is absolutely clear, so you can see imminent death as it reaches up for you. the turbulence is amazing. our flight was the only one that was able to land on monday, six other flights returned to chengdu to wait for the winds to subside.

the forum itself was a joke, as these things tend to be. its the informal back hallway sessions that truly hold meaning for the development of sustainable ecotourism here. we went on several hikes and i am about to go on one now.

one note: miss russia was in attendance. a beautiful brunette with cold russian features warmed only by her eyes, the only thing about her that cannot be painted or covered in perfume. the first morning, her minders knocked a thousand times on her door, pounding and calling her name — elena — until she finally rose and told them to go away. she had arrived at 4am after taking a bus. her flight was delayed indefinitely. i saw her several times, including at the opening ceremonies in front of an ice waterfall. as with many such beautiful women, followed by cameras and attendants, her face held a firm closed off smile. while her eyes searched anxiously and almost desperately for a someone to talk to. whenever i saw her walking down the hall, trailing perfume and scuttling underlings, i smiled and said hello as warmly and as nonchalantly as possible. i wanted her to know that she was a person first, gorgeous sex symbol distant second. she appreciated it. it was an amazing piece of acting on my part. i am after all a man and russian beauty is extremely difficult to ignore. when she left, i took a picture with her and she took my email address and told me she would send it. we shall see.

mountains can only be fathomed when you hike them.

Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

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