I too will remember and know when and where and how I knew, I was in Charleston! Love, suzanna XOPS I love the symmetry too, I have these on my New Orleans patio!
A book I've suggested to friends as a way to help understand the context and history is "The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian heartland", by Karl Meyer. Specific enough to provide information but not overwhelming to the general reader. It helps you understand that events of the last several decades did not come out of nowhere but are the end result of a couple of centuries of American and, earlier, British, efforts in the region. Well recommended.
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, each of them mean so much to me. After all, the interaction is the reason we blog. xx's