Paradise Lost

June 6. No car yet so we are doing the tourist thing and getting over jet-lag. Yesterday we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City-so named  by the Chinese people when it was built by the third Ming Emperor, since common Chinese people were forbidden to go there.

Tiananmen Square and Mao's Memorial Hall

It is a Chinese holiday and now both the Square and Forbidden City were packed with orderly crowds of Chinese and a minority of Oxidentals.  But what impacted on me the most were the maimed and mutilated beggars outside the Forbidden City.  A girl on a stretcher brought out by her family to collect alms, motionless and lying on her back. No feet and terrible sores on her carefully displayed skin. Leprosy?  It has burned into my brain forever. I will never forget it. Maybe I should never forget it.


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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3 Responses to Paradise Lost

  1. Laurie Horn says:

    Oh my! I don’t even know what to say. Please please tell Doug to err on the side of caution. Those who know and love you don’t want a book written about your disappearance or any such thing.
    Your final observation was most impactful!!
    Be careful always. Love keeping up with you.

  2. TBC says:

    I have heard about the beggars. The terrible part is that in some places, the families maim the children to collect money. It’s beyond comprehension.

    Meanwhile, I’m sure Doug will make sure you travel safely.


    TBC and Arnie

  3. rdsieber says:

    Aha! The plot: it thickens! Let’s hope that the Russians and Chinese don’t do battle over your trusty ride, as in the novel.

    Good luck on the trip as it develops. Remember that each bullet hole is something you will have to declare at customs. Hope you don’t have to collect any…

    ronald sieber

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