It seems like there has been an almost Pynchonian conspiracy trying to prevent me from getting my story out. My journal got completely waterlogged on my hike up Emei Shan, but thankfully was still vaguely legible. When I got back to Beijing, I typed up a large part of it (about 10 pages single-spaced in Word) and uploaded it to the student server. The computer at home wouldn't boot up, so I used a friend's computer, downloaded it from the server and continued typing it up. I got it up to about 18 pages single-spaced. However his parents were gone for a week and apparently the computer was supposed to be off-limits, so in a fit of panic, he claims to have stuck my documents in the Recycle Bin to hide them from his parents. When I went to his computer, the Recycle Bin was empty. I wasn't that pissed off since I still had 10 pages on the server.
A week later, the server crashed. Everything posted on the server after July 20th, including that page, was gone forever.
I think that the most appropriate way to preface the magnum opus before you would be to summarize the lessons that I learned along the Qinghai-Tibetan grasslands, the lack of oxygen at 5,000+ m serving as an inspirational aid.
General lessons that I can apply to my daily life:
Without further adieu, go on into the first chapter…