Datong Map

The line-ends were shouted with a gusto that echoed Datong Map across the hills and was lost in the breeze. This really is the roof of the Datong Map world, and on my walks I could appreciate the lofty air, icy brooks and the silence of wild majestic solitude, in this land which is the nearest place on earth to heaven. My walks were also the only opportunities I got for washing my face and hands, a custom that my hosts didn’t seem to use. I could see why Wang had said that Tibetans are dirty people. The cold is not the only reason why they seldom wash. Some believe that not washing saves them from being turned into fishes after their death, or that spring water contains evil spirits because it comes from inside the earth where the female principle rules.

Datong Map Photo Gallery

At the centre of thinking about the processes and qualities of mobility is a collection of metaphors, which include the nomad, the vagabond, the tourist, the ship, the hotel, the motel and the transit lounge. For Urry, these embody alternative presumptions of homogenization/ heterogenization, of simplicity/complexity, of movement/stasis, of inclusion/exclusion’ (Urry 2000: 26). This collection maintains discursive weight and aligns comfortably with other familiar mobility metaphors of regions, networks and fluids that define contemporary global studies.

In recent years a new mobilities paradigm’ or mobility turn’ has emerged (Hannam, et al. 2006; Sheller and Urry 2006; Cresswell 2010), gaining considerable theoretical traction within the social sciences. This nascent field of mobilities research explores increased levels and new forms of mobility, and considers ways of thinking and theorizing that foreground the mobility of people, ideas and things as a geographical fact that lies at the centre of constellations of power, the creation of identities and the microgeographies of everyday life (Cresswell 2010).

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