Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Post Vacation Oddness

Anyone who has been worried about the lack of updates here over the past, oh, say, 3 weeks: worry not! I am safe and in good health. But i suppose there's a pitfall with traveling to faraway lands and embarking on epic adventures... returning to work and routine lacks luster. I find myself unimpressed by the normal Chinese going-ons around me. I'm not unhappy, mind you, i'm just aloof and daydreamy, slightly on autopilot. I feel no desire to blog about shopping, or interactions with locals, or what the weather was like today. Even though the weather is awesome because it's fall. We get unreal skies like these:

One interesting emotion i'm dealing with now is my reinvigorated desire to study Chinese. Maybe after traveling Indonesia and being at the mercy of those who spoke English, i'm excited to once again commiserate in the local dialect. I'm still taking classes twice a week, 3 hours total, and this is certainly maintaining my ability, if not improving it steadily. Many of my friends study 10-15 hours a week and have improved far quicker, but i'm satisfied with my current level of progress.

I've been a bit preoccupied planning for fall travels as well. I've recently bought tickets to Singapore, Dalian, Pingyao, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, all trips planned in the next three months. After that, therese and i have to think about planning our trip home for the holidays. It's all a little overwhelming, but the bulk is already set in motion.

I'll leave you with the answer to a question no one asked: What's the easiest way to buy plants in Beijing? Answer: From a dude on a bike.

Just flag them down, negotiate a price, and he'll pedal it right to your door.


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