Flying out of St Paul airport, you could see for miles and the whole country seemed perfectly flat and white with snow as far as the eye could see. I don't think I've ever seen so much snow covering such an expanse of land. Today in New York the sun was shining and the sky was a perfect blue, though it was bitterly cold (as I walked along Broadway I thought of "You promised me Broadway was waiting for me" and "The wind blows right through you, it's no place for the old" from Fairytale of New York). I met an old friend from Hong Kong in an Asian cafe called Rice, on the corner of Lexington and 28th Street. She's been in New York for two years and says it's a tough, and toughening, place to work, and people will step on each other to get ahead; but much better than Hong Kong for a single woman looking for a relationship (in Hong Kong, this attractive, intelligent woman had begun to wonder if there was something wrong with her).
In the afternoon I had a facial and a massage at a spa called Eden. Both therapists were Chinese, one from Hunan and one from Fuzhou; the latter, Sandra, was about the same age as me, had an 11 year old daughter (it's amazing what you can find out from someone who's wrapping a hot towel around your chin) spoke Cantonese as well as Mandarin and was delighted with my few hamfisted phrases. I lay on the massage table listening to, apparently, the music which wafts from the speakers of every spa I've ever been to worldwide (the CD is, I think, Now That's What I Call Inoffensive Tinkling 55) and thinking about the circumstances which led a Scottish-born Hong Kong resident and two Chinese born New York residents to a spa on Broadway on a sunny Sunday afternoon.