We met outside the Forbidden City, under the large portrait of Mao. I was en route to see the great leader’s embalmed body, which lies in a mausoleum across the street in Tiananmen Square. She was heading that way too.
“Travel alone?” she asked, after bumping into me by accident.
“Yes,” I replied.
It was mid-April, a couple weeks ago. The sun shined brightly. Not the polluted Beijing air you read so much about. It was a good day to be a tourist.
She told me her name was Xin and that she hailed from Shaanxi, near Xi’an, home of the terracotta warriors. She’d flown into town that week for a wedding and had the day to herself. Read More