Far too full, far too cold

I have eaten so much food the past four days that the mere motion of opening my mouth, even for half a slice of grapefruit, makes me want to gag slightly. Eating during Chinese New Year is not only about the fish balls, the duck eggs, the crabs, the turtle soup, the swan meat, the snake soup, the snake gallbladder mixed with rice wine, it is also the endless, endless oranges, strawberries, cherries, watermelon seeds, peanuts, and candies that accompany every conversation and every bad Spring Festival tv program. True, I'm afraid I've had everything listed above in the past four days, served in large porcelain bowls, and in the case of the turtle, a gold plated ware that looks like a Tibetan singing bowl. I'm not one to feel guilty about eating rare and unusual species or indulging in extravagant affairs. Every bone in my body is hedonistic, but after a lunch banquet, hot spring, then dinner banquet, I was ready to die.

It's not that easy being an emperor after all. Can you imagine a life full of banquets, servants waiting on your every need, AND a harem of 3000 beauties?

How they must have had such self-control, I have no idea. All I know is, I'm having trouble with eating half a slice of grapefruit. I want to be a Japanese monk eating tofu and white rice for seven days to purge gluttony.

When the body dies a little, then will you feel its strength, its attachment to life. It's the feeling that consumes you after scaling a mountain in the south, careful to curse Beijing and its pollutants and unlivableness with every step you take. When you finally make it to the top, heart pounding, soles sore, dying just a little as monks waft on by in silence, then do you feel life bursting from your heart, your every vein.

Ah, what the hell. In short, we climbed two mountains in addition to eating a helluva a lot, and I'd take mountains over swan soup any day.

Hedonism is over. We head to Xiamen to break out the running shoes, to die a little more in a sprint to the ocean.

Onwards, lusty babes.