I have all my pictures up at my scrapbook
. Looking at the pictures of Hangzhou and Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai made me want to go back. Once the maglev from Hangzhou to Shanghai is finished, I think I will. All the heat and the dust and the illness were worth it--all the sights and sounds of this place on the other side of the world. It's only beginning to really sink in: I was on the other side of the world
. I was in China
. And if I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have met people like my new friend Peter, who writes to me from Beijing, or seen Tea Master Ming practicing his craft.
Tea Master Ming is 79 years old, and he once showed Chairman Mao the technique for drying tea by hand, which is the only way they do it at Meijawa Tea Farm. He is one of those people who seems very joyful about his skill and his life. He showed us how he could, with a quick brush of his hand, make all the tea leaves line up perfectly in the drying wok. His hands are very smooth but very hard from many years of exposure to heat.
The tea is delicious
, by the way.