I had to make the journey back into Bangkok for the night to stay once more at Suk 11, albeit a short visit. Of course the stay yielded another China contact, this time an Irishman named Mark who lives in Beijing.At the airport my flight was overbooked and I had to make a two-legged flight to Kunming via Chengdu. This made my day since they bumped me up to first class. I enjoyed a 3-course meal, 5 beers, and was called “sir” 22 times (I counted). Vain, I know.
I touched down in Kunming at 5:30. I was finally in China, this vast land of compounded expectations ready to be shattered and fulfilled. I have wanted to come on this personal discovery of China for some time now, especially as China seems to be rediscovering itself in a global context.
Kunming is modern and big. It has Japanese flair and building design, but on an American scale. The air is even clean, a point I was surprised to encounter given China’s reputation for pollution. I have settled in comfortably.