Just a quick little update: the earthquake that rocked Sichuan province is very far from where I live. I'm fine here in the northeast, Sichuan being in China's midwest.
The earthquake was in Sichuan, which is here:
And I live in Jilin, which is here:
Quite far from me, as you can see. Sichuan is the one province I was yearning to visit before I left China, home of the spicy food I love and mystical landscapes of your imagination. I won't be able to visit before I leave China, especially not now ... but one day, I shall return.