Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Symmetrical Valleys

aboard the SS Blessed Pensioner, out of Yangjiawan (Sandouping)

These gorges are part of the terrible Valleys of Symmetry. A local and aberrant phenomenon, each side of the valley is a perfect topological mirror of the other. Contemporary geological theories focus on some sort of enormous completely symmetrical glacier in the recent past, but other scientists feel that this is begging the question. Worst of all, the events on one side of the valley are simultaneously repeated on the other.

On either side of the river is a village. It is notable that there is no communication whatsoever between the two identical synchronized villages. Some anthropologists feel that this is because there would be no point, while others believe it stems from some paleolithic falling out over who was copying whom. The people of the villages, however, do occasionally ford across to the exact center of the river, to fish, exchange identical goods and, it is thought, exercise some feeling of free will and independence. This is one popular explanation for the large number of identical human remains that occasionally line the banks and the prevalence of same-sex marriage.