I am writing this while standing on the Great Wall of China. What an amazing place. How ironic, this mix of old and new. You can stand on one of the most historic and wondrous spots on earth and write about it from a device in the palm of your hand. I’m guessing those who built this would have benefited from a Blackberry, just to call ahead and tell someone to have lunch ready or to zip on over with more bricks.

It is raining lightly now. I am at the Badaling area of the Wall and surrounded by others taking pictures and slowly ascending the stone path toward more points of incredible scenery. You walk this place and wonder: What in the world were they thinking? It’s that steep in places, so many dropoffs in others. A few hours of walking this, and there will be no need for a treadmill run for a week.

I am looking out now into a land that seemingly stretches forever. But just when I think I have passed into another time of ancient ways and ideals, I remember what greeted me at the beginning of my climb: a Starbucks.

I guess what they say is correct: Location is everything.

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