Back home (A little late)

I might not come across as a superstitious person, but let me assure you that I am.  Mostly in the form of odd rituals and beliefs I hear and pick up.  Things that I think sound cool or nice and don’t cost me much energy to follow. Eye contact when toasting, never walking on manholes (Chinese culture) etc.  a new one I’ve learned today: in Russian culture rain on a day of travel is a good sign (despite its ability to cause delays).  Nice in that it was pouring the day I came to Beijing, and today as I leave it a sprinkle accompanies me.

It’s been nice, but I miss friends in Xi’an, and my time in that city is also coming to a close. I’ve got some things on my list to take care of, so going back to get that started is important. Mostly logistical stuff, but also biking the city wall, getting my prayer beads restrung etc. And an internship I don’t know much about.  Although is four weeks really an internship? Who knows, we’ll find out.

So regrets I’m not participating in the individual competition.  The validation I got from the news reporter on my Chinese level was enough, and the boost of confidence on my Russian was great to get, plan to start working on that more regularly. I also plan to start working on memorizing the poems I’ve been studying.  It’s one thing to be able to read and appreciate them, it’s another to whip them out recite them in public.  You get a better appreciation and understanding for them that way too.  It’s said that a persons level of culture in China is measured in the number of Tang poems they’ve memorized.

Speaking of which, I don’t often post the little quatrains I compose, but here’s the rough draft of one I wrote this morning on a walk through the park.


Emerald strands drape the pond in a thousand verdant leaves
A faint rain only visible by the ripples it leaves
Who will know I once sat in this place?
I’ll be like rain on the lake, gone without trace


Be it the friendships I’ve made, the old friends I got to see, the food, the progress on my Chinese, or just the chance to continue being a lazy slob, I can’t choose a best takeaway from this experience.  As always, I’ve just got to make sure the impact sticks.

This should have gone up on Thursday, but that means I have a backlog and I can post a lot in the next day or two.


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