Harvest Moon & Moon Cakes


Tonight is the harvest moon. It’s also the first of two full moons that will we have this month. We will have 13 full moons this year rather than the 12 we usually have. I love the moon, it’s part of my horoscope and I have always felt very connected to it. also the season of the moon cake, a Chinese delicacy that I have tasted in the past. I didn’t love the taste but I remember the kindness of the man who gave it to me, a taxi driver in San Francisco.

He had dropped me at my hotel and promised to come back the next day at 530 am to take me to get the red eye. I was nervous that he wouldn’t show. He showed up and gave me a moon cake and we discussed his life on the way to the airport. I had forgotten all about this experience but was reminded today. In addition to wondering when I’ll be back in California, I also wonder when I’ll enjoy a conversation with someone I don’t know without fear. When living in Europe, I used to love traveling by train and the random encounters of life on a train, the conversations, the shared experiences. I always found that one is at their most open and honest on a train speaking in front of strangers.

Trains always created a sense of camaraderie especially in Italy where they used to always be late. Now I can’t imagine that at all. I wonder are people still going to hostels any more? Will they in the future. I’ve stayed in hostels for many years at different points in my life and in many countries. In 2008, on a trip to Chile I stayed in a hostel while hiking in Torres del Paine, the amazing park in Patagonia and on Easter Island where I met a British Archaeologist and spent time traveling around the island and discussing the Moai. I also stayed in bunk beds on a tanker going down the Fjords in Patagonia. I doubt I would do that today. Not because I am older but because of Covid, even when we have some better control of the disease. One of the worst parts of this experience is loss of spontaneity and chance.

Torres del Paine

Mustang horse looking into my hostel window on Easter Island

Looking at these pictures makes me want to travel widely. I barely go to the local pumpkin patch so for the moment, Easter Island does seem evermore remote.

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