I had put off my trip to India twice. The first time, I blamed it on my job at NYU. The second time, I blamed it on a dying relative who did not exist. On both occasions I lied. When my boss asked me to go, I was out of excuses. As a freelancer for an online Hindu magazine who had written dozens of profiles of prestigious yogis, Swamis, and the nuances of Indian culture, it was my professional duty. Still, I was terrified.
Somehow, perhaps alchemically, my Taoist persuasion connected me to a unique subset of Chinese culture, opened secrets of the city and beguiled me with the charms of surrounding Guangdong, a province that most tourists, drawn to the more frequently-visited tourist areas in China's northern throw, never see.