Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ahh, that China smell

You always forget that certain places have smells, until you go away and come back to it. Beijing smells like smoke, steaminess, and mothballs, with the occasional whiff of super-fruity shampoo. (When we first arrived at LAX, it smelled like the ocean. No joke!)

Rolling back into Beijing was surreal. I think I still have to come to terms with the reality that this foreign place is our life for now. This is where we work, eat, play, sleep. And, as Yale would say the Tick would say, this is where we keep all our stuff. (Ok, that's not entirely true. The bulk of our stuff is in Josh's parents' attic.)

Point being, I'm a bit of a sad bear for traveling over 6,000 miles -- away from beloved family and friends -- to arrive at the place we call home.

Then again, Josh and I are really excited to play out this next season of our lives. New jobs, new projects, new friends... there's a lot to look forward to.

And, is it just me, or do things move extra fast here? In the two hours that we've been back, it started sprinkling, alarms are going off downstairs leaving a bewildered and somewhat embarrassed security guard standing outside his wailing booth, my office shifted its schedule on me, and I might visit a migrant community center later this afternoon, then meet some friends for dinner. Hopefully that will force us to fend off our jet lag.

Wish Josh luck this next week as he comforts me through inevitable homesickness. He is a patient man.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

This (6 week) American Life

Yikes, it's been a while. I guess we've been too busy eating and playing (and working) to update.

Just about every day, Marilyn looks up at the sky and exclaims, "It's so blue!" I'm pretty sure that's how it's supposed to look, we just forget that while living in Beijing.

Living in Beijing, it's odd that one of the things we crave most (other than nacho cheese flavor doritos and sour patch kids) is Chinese food. Beijing's style of food just isn't how we grew up. I'm used to southern Cantonese food and M's used to the Taiwan style. Anyway, it's sadly ironic.

Another odd thing is seeing friends we met in Beijing who live in California now. It's a total trip. But awesome, since we have a secret plot to move all our non-California friends out here so that we can have everybody in one place when we're ready to come back. Muhahaha.

My immediate family has grown to 17 people, what with significant others and kids. I can't believe we all fit into my parents house for a family reunion. It was definitely sensory overload having 7 nieces and nephews running around the house, but I do miss those kids a lot. When asked what we miss most about America while we're in China, watching our nieces and nephews grow up is usually the first answer out of my mouth. Then Berkeley Bowl.

During the family reunion, my mom had one of her friends come by to take some family photos. I wouldn't normally post the link, but this kids are just so darn cute.

Well, we're up in the Bay Area now, that mysterious land of wonder and delight. We've got about a week and a half left, and then it's back to Beijing.