|In some ways this was the
epitome of China in 1990 and a fearsome omen of China in the future.
A coal mine on the edge of the world, Inner Mongolia. A remnant of the
ancient civilisation, the Great Wall here a mere heap of mud bricks leaving
a rather weak trace on close inspection although still a landmark in the
greater scheme of things.
I had to wade
across the river to reach the village, clamber over the ruined wall...to be
greeted by children who seemed never to have seen a foreigner before.
Water carried in buckets from the river to irrigate the fields, now twenty
years later apparently a victim of desertification, maybe covered in sand