8.12.06 Last morning in Beijing.
What do you want to do today?
I don't know... let's go to Mongolia.
We woke up bright and early--actually Matt hadn't gone to sleep yet--to really begin the Big Train Ride. I had my first real case of a "funny tummy." Like laying with a new lover, it's that feeling I get before leaving for a destination that is far, unknown, and a bit scary. This discomfort spread throughout my body, and the pain in my hip, knee, and ankle were all too familiar. Every ache told me that something important in my back (or my soul) was out of place and that I should stay right where I was, or just go right back to Seoul. My fear told me that I had enough vacation, that I didn't really need to go on this trip... Alas, the adventurer in me won over the neurotic, so I strapped on my massive bag and hobbled along after Matt as if I was his elderly grandmother.
Despite the early hour, the heat and unmerciful humidity of the city clung to us, and continued to make me feel like I shouldn't move. We climbed into a taxi that three European travelers were just getting out of, and Matt sold his China guidebook to one of the women for ten bucks US. Strangely, this short encounter was just the thing I needed. She relayed that Mongolia is great, because there's, "Nothing, just nothing" there. She had survived and even enjoyed my next destination. This calmed me.