In Search of Chiang

Posted by Pat on September 25, 2013 in Travel |

If you don’t know where you are, any road will do.

Tibetan proverb

SAN FRANCISCO, 12:30 pm, 24 Sept: I have left the Dark Ages of San Luis Obispo via United. For the first time in years I had to do a face-to-face checkin for boarding passes. New Passport? On some alert list? Used to be my greatest concern was the food. Now it is “Do I have enough battery life to get me to my destination?” Maybe that, and not age, is the real reason for breaking up my flights into shorter legs.

I am off in search of the living Goddess Kumari who lives near Durbar Square in Kathmandu.

But first, my new travel tip is never spend more than 12 hours locked in a little metal tube, so my first stop will be Taipei, via Tokyo as few planes fly direct any longer, and most certainly not for a price I wish to pay.

My visit to history will include Chiang Kai-shek and the priceless artifacts he removed from the Forbidden City when he fled to Formosa in 1949. Chiang’s government and army imposed martial law and persecuted people critical of his rule in a period known as the “White Terror.” He ruled, with the favor of US interests (the alternative was to support Mao), until his death in 1975. Throughout the day there occurs a very serious Changing of the Guard at Chiang’s Memorial Hall and I’m interested to find how local Taiwanese honor his memory.

Taiwan never was reunited with mainland China, but today its interests, mostly economic, are closely linked. And of course, anyone who shops in a US store knows how closely linked America is to Taiwan. If I need anything, I can go to the mall and buy at the source while here.

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