Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Maybe it's because I'm sick-sick, but I feel homesick. My only outing for the day was to the American embassy for a meeting with various economic and security staff. Recognizing from a distance the seal ("The Great Seal of the United States") on the side of the building, the glimmer of familiarity of that bald eagle felt good. When I walked up to the equivalent of the ticket window, the guy behind it said, "Hey, how's it going?" in an informal way and with such a good American accent that provided a rush of comfort. (I'm sure that's a staged thing, but it felt good anyway.) Not that it was any different from Chinese soil, but it felt good to be back on American soil, in a place where rules are unambigious. (At least, to me. At the corner near the American embassy, two busy streets intersect -- and there are no traffic controls. And yet you wouldn't know unless you tried to cross the street and started looking for a stoplight: the traffic looks like that in every other intersection here.)

I don't even bother carrying a camera or a notepad any more. Beijing is a beautiful city, but I'm done and hope to come back to truly experience it as a tourist.

No need for a pig humidifier (which was really an ox, for year of the ox, but it was round and had a nose like a pig): apparently the hotel provides humidifiers, and I could have had one all this time. Perhaps it would have saved my lungs.

1 comment:

MVL said...

We miss you too!

Homecoming/game night 1/24/09?