The four tables are now covered with one large cloth. The university girl brings masks, perhaps Venetian in style but more practical, in plastic, and these masks, they’ve got dark straps of cloth across them, like eye patches. Something is happening! Is it a game? Is it a religious ceremony?
On the Trans-Sib, once you enter the carriage, you slip into a time warp. It’s like stepping into a boat that sails off into the sea, far away from reality.
My interest in contemporary Asia went against the current. Most of the people who were interested in Asia believed that everything of importance happened centuries, if not millennia ago. The Asian boom was largely about classical Asian culture.