04 April 2009


The elevator in our Xi’an hotel makes four notes from this chorus: “Glory to God on high. Let heaven and earth reply. Praise ye his name.” It’s been in my head all day. Tanner took us down some alleyways where we ate cow’s stomach, roasted on a barbeque of coals.

If I were in Germany, I could at least pronounce the words I see on buildings and signs. I can’t here. I just see these symbols that mean nothing. I say ni hao to people when they do something nice. But they just look at me like, “That’s all you know? It’s too little. Doesn’t count.” I feel ignorant.

I realize the only thing I can do is smile. But at least it’s a strong word.

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— J