This summer I visited Changan,* then drifted home again after more than a month. Friends who knew this asked me:
"What did you think of it?"
Taken aback, I tried to recall Changan, and remembered seeing a good many poplars and huge pomegranate trees there, and drinking a good deal of Yellow River water on the way. But these hardly seemed worth mentioning. So I answered:
"Oh, nothing much."
Then they left me, looking blank, while I stayed there looking blank, ashamed to have disappointed friends who "deigned to question me."
Today I was reading after drinking tea when a drop stained my book, and I realized that my moustache needed cutting again. If you look up the Kang Hsi Dictionary,** no doubt the different categories of beard, whisker and moustache on the upper and lower lips, the cheeks and the jaws all have their special names and posthumous titles; but I had no time to go into this. The thing was that my moustache needed cutting again, and I should have to clip it once more, to stop it getting into my soup or tea. So I found the mirror and scissors, and started clipping, my aim being to make it level with my upper lip.____________________