It's been almost a year since I began this blog, and I found myself, in the last week, right back where it began, madly shopping, trying to get everything packed and cleaned before heading out. It was a strange month home...I worked, and worked out. I ate very little junk food until right at the end (which didn't really help me lose any weight, but whatever) and made it 30 days without pop. I went to the Duncan family reunion, hiked up Deer Leap Trail, went to the Henry Doorly Zoo for the first time in Ages...
...Three thoughts from that here:
1. The cave exhibit in their "Kingdoms of the Night" makes me want to go spelunking.
2. The swamp part of it makes me want to go down to Bon Temps and do Bad Things to you.
3. I've finally figured out how to explain my lifestyle. If you've ever wondered what it's like, buying a ticket and landing in a strange land, relying on your wits and the kindness of strangers to get by, basically think about being in a zoo...then take away all the cages and - in the case of the HDZ - the air conditioning, in other words, the safety and the comfort, and it's kind of like that.
Anyways, I made it through my version of exile (pretty posh exile, surrounded by family and free housing, I admit), and made it to Shanghai. I'm writing this in the hotel room my school has kindly provided me with for the next two weeks (in which time I can hopefully find an apartment), after being out to dinner with Socrates and Shermeen. It's been a long day, and I didn't nap, but I will probably wake up at 3 again, anyways. Jet lag's like that, even for a professional bonne vivante of my caliber. I hate to be hasty, and tell you that life is swell, because honestly, I've been in the country for less than 36 hours, but here's the deal - I'm working in a school wedged into a bunch of Korean businesses in a city with fantastic public transportation and - for once - I actually KNOW people (plural, even!!!) here, so, really, life could be much, MUCH worse. And that's not my typical brand of cheerful pessimism, my friends: what you are experiencing is the rare Great One careful optimism. Crazy, I know.