There has been so much going on around here that I never seem to have time to sit, decompress, and ruminate on my existence. But a friend has a doctor’s appointment today and I’m here in the waiting room, which is the perfect opportunity to catch family and friends up on life a bit.
After my last post, friends and I journeyed to Lijiang. I took videos instead of photos with the idea of cobbling them into a short video diary of the trip. But, as I can’t seem to find the time to edit them down, I currently have close to 3 hours worth of video of this amazing trip to this cute city. Someday I’ll finish. But probably not until Christmas break.
After that, I came back and worked for a few weeks then headed out again for Chinese National Week. This time, I journeyed to Amsterdam and Nottingham and London to see canals, Meghan, Robin Hood, “Pemberley,” Jamie, Big Ben, and Kensington. When I left Chengdu on October 1, temperatures were stretching up into the 90s. Europe was very autumnal by comparison. I spent 24 hours in Amsterdam, taking a canal tour, downing pumpkin spiced lattes, and enjoying the diversity of the city and its tourists.
The next day, I headed to Nottingham to see my sister. I won’t write too much about this as you can read pretty much the entire adventure here. There was one day she didn’t write about though as she was in class whilst I wandered the city. Nottingham is full of the kindest individuals who were so interested in talking about US politics, China, the history of Nottingham, the “must-see” attractions, and the journeys life has had in store for them. I would love to go back to central England and preferred it in so many ways to London, the only English city I had been to up until that point.
But I was flying back to Chengdu from London. So after days of enjoying the small city feel of Nottingham, the trip south was a necessity. Meghan and I took a train to London where, again, Meghan wrote about the journey, so I won’t.
After Meghan left to return to north, I waited at St. Pancras train station for the amazing Jamie, whom I had also had the pleasure of seeing in NYC this summer. Between that night and the next afternoon, when I hopped on a plane, we went for drinks, had coffee (…I think that was just me), saw The Globe Theatre, explored the grounds of Kensington, and meandered through a Whole Foods. Then it was back to China, where jetlag killed me for the better part of a week.
I only worked for 4 days, however, when I flew to Zhuhai. There I met up with Natalie to learn the ins and outs of a testing system we use. Over the course of the weekend, I also had the chance to meet new people, see a few old friends who used to live in Chengdu, and still work on ordering items for our Fall Festival. The weekend flew by and soon I was headed back, again, to Chengdu.
I’ve been back for a crazy week now…a week that has been full of viruses and conferences, of communicating and networking. There have definitely been a few highlights to this week though, despite how busy it has been. I met Alexia, a friend of Alicia’s, who sat with us for a few hours telling us about her recent trip to North Korea. I saw teachers work their wonders in their meetings with parents. And finally, I met a few American guys in Tongzilin, exchanged contact information, and now have new friends with whom I have been chatting about life in Asia and the current political climate of the US.
I have a crazy amount of work—all computer based—to do today, so I’m going to go put on a movie and start knocking everything out! Hope your autumn is treating you as wonderfully as mine is!