May 17th #chinadiary

Still in the Philippines and Carl is distressed as the "amount of starvation and malnutrition is frightful ... I have seen lots of sights, but this was honestly the worse I have ever seen."

There is much visiting of the previous colonial masters' churches and monasteries, and Carl isn't much inclined towards what he sees as "the decadence of Catholicism."

A visit to Fort McKinley, where 4500 troops are stationed (the new masters), and Carl has interesting discussions with colonels and generals about war and strategy, as well as with a Filipino judge. In fact, it was while reading this entry that I was taken with just how phenomenally varied has been Carl's experiences on this trip - it is clear that he has seen and engaged with a fantastic variety of countries and cultures and histories and persons, which he himself recognises, too, in a beautiful passage which ends today's entry and reminds me very strongly of his own conception of the fully functioning person:
I wish I knew why I am always so lucky. It seems as if I were always on the inside, by some hook or crook or accident, wherever there is anything of real interest going on. I am having opportunities that competent men would give a years pay to have. Yet they just fall into my hands. It means a big responsibility. 

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