We're back in the USA and super, super happy about it. Being home is always a comforting feeling and we're especially enjoying things like the clean, blue sky and how polite everyone is.
We had a fantastic trip through Southern China, but had something happen that put a big damper on our spirits which still feels sort of devastating:
I got careless and our camera was taken out of my purse by a pickpocket. We'd just finished 3 days in Yunnan province, doing the absolute most incredible thing to do in China (hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge) and had not copied/backed-up any of the photos yet...losing the photos was SO SO much worse than just losing our camera.
We've plagued ourselves with what we could have done differently. It all boils down to the fact that I got caught up being a tourist and I was comfortable when I shouldn't have been. Even though I realized within seconds what had happened and we confronted the man who took it, he'd already passed it off to his co-worker and in that moment we didn't know what else we could do. We sat for an hour, feeling sick and half hoping someone would come back with an offer to resell it to us, then filed a police report (using my limited Chinese & their limited English and a lot of charades - very interesting), then went to a walmart-type store and bought a very "pianyi" (=cheap) camera. Sigh. Not what we'd hoped for from our last trip in China.
We did go back to the scene of the crime for a photo of course ...
This incident has made me think a lot about being careless. Especially, the quick consequences of carelessness. I was careless for a moment and lost photos of a priceless experience with my husband. Even though we both tried not to let the incident affect us too much, it wasn't easy to move on and enjoy the last days of our vacation to their fullest. Even now, I feel sad and defeated about the whole thing. And that was just a camera. I've been thinking about the consequences of careless words ... how easy it is to toss a careless word out without thinking about the consequences to whoever may hear it. And knowing the devastating effects words can have on a person. I know that I have no control over getting back my photos of our trip, but maybe I can try to keep my tongue from using careless words.