We Interrupt this Broadcast with a Few Brief Messages From our Homeland

So my week back home was exhausting and wonderful.  In Bellingham I saw my aunt and two cousins.  The older one, Bella was unfortunately incredibly busy with her final orchestra concert (they were really good), taking the SAT, and her junior prom.  So that left me to hang with my aunt and younger cousin, who’s as spastic and bombastic as any 10 year old boy.  We went paddleboarding on the lake, talked about video games, hiked and generally had a ball.  Also had some great beer and amazing food.  Home fries, falafel (meh), and something called a meurette which I’ve learned refers to the cooking method of poaching in red wine.  The whole dish was duck eggs poached in red wine served on toast with a salad, balsamic vinegar and mushrooms in a demi glace.  One of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten I think.  Same night had a great cocktail called the american beauty which is made from rosebud infused cocchi americano, death’s door gin, yellow chartreuse, and orange bitters apparently.

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Next day went to the farmers’ market which was a huge moment of reverse culture shock.  All this artisinal food I haven’t seen in months, non-Asian people decked out in the finest hipster couteure (don’t know how to spell that).  Beautiful weather, great food, good times.

I had originally planned to spend the first half of the week there, but my mom flew me down to LA for my best friend’s graduation present which ended up not being terribly surprising when my sister let it slip, but it was still an amazing time.  Got to drop of a big bag of stuff I don’t have to take home in August now,got to eat Mexican, In ‘n Out, Italian, deli sandwiches etc., played video games, actually slept (not enough) and zoned out for a bit.  Had an amazing birthday dinner at an Italian place in Westwood with an amazing salad and spinach-pasta lasagna which is not normally my cup of tea, but ended up being delicious.  Ended with a passionfruit creme brulee (which I felt was overkill) and a glass of port (delicious, for you Ian) before returning home to pass out.

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Flew back to Seattle all to soon to catch my original flight to DC for my original objective, the Fulbright orientation!  I oddly didn’t run into anyone I knew unexpectedly, but saw some friends including Jefferey who’s fresh back from China himself.  The orientation was rather helpful, learned tips about renting an apartment (not sure if I will), met my cohort who are all quite impressive and interesting, and got to revisit DC, a city I missed immensely.

I’m really looking forward to the grant now, I may need to develop some strategies to not burn out, but hopefully that can be accomplished with a lot of time to focus on my project and side things like poetry, other writing, exercise etc.  We were also told to expect a lot to go not according to plan though so that should be interesting.  Flew back to Seattle and crashed at my friend Luke’s place before my flight back to China.  About ready to go back, but I did immensely enjoy my time in the states.

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