The living room was dimly lit, the furniture was from a forgotten era, and the room smelled of age. Sitting on the bygone era sofas were six travelers, from different countries. Their presence, youthful excitements, and lively chatters injected life to a room that had seen its glory days.
As the bus, carrying only a dozen passengers, left BTS Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur, my thought had already covered the 250km to my destination; an oasis of calm in the middle of an oil palm plantation near the town of Kuantan on Malaysia’s east coast.
The autumn of 2005 I did something that changed my life – I walked the Camino de Santiago. For 37 days I traversed over 800km from Roncesvalles, in the Pyrenees, to Finisterre, at the Atlantic coast of northwestern Spain.
Why China? Unlike many places in the world, China had never really pricked my interest. The easy answer was that Chinese were infamous for their lack of civility. But digging deeper, I began to wonder if that was the only reason.