Baqên, the district’s headquarters, was even more garrison-like than other towns, surrounded not only around its perimeter, but around every unit, by high walls. Walking between these high walls down narrow streets, compared to having spent the better part of several months in wide valleys and open grasslands, was disconcerting. The closed-in feeling was accentuated by the steep mountain walls rising sharply so near to us. The narrow valley, in turn, was capped by a low layer of dense rain clouds. Moving through these gloomy confines made us feel like we were walking into a pressure cooker. Only some rain puddles gleaming quicksilver out of the black mud countered the claustrophobic oppressiveness; their slick surfaces reflected the grey clouds, transformed them into shimmering mercury there in the viscous ooze.
KeywordsMotion Sickness Steamed Bread Science City Public Security Bureau Slick Surface
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