I’ve seen them before. I’ve seen them on a bus in Thailand, talking about Kho Pipi. I’ve seen them at Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh city, ordering a banana pancake. I’ve heard they’d reached up to Laos, then Yunnan. But I thought northern China was safe. Not a good place for them. Hostile, even.
They found a microclimate in Beijing, around HouHai.
That’s where I saw the first signs of them.
And then, I spotted them.
They’re on the street, perplexing locals.
Soon, their temples will be everywhere.
And their particular custom become the new norm.
And I have a terrible question in my head. I was there to see them. With them. Was I, then – ever – one of them? Are they my secret, hidden, shameful brothers and sisters?