Take a Breather

Happy and sad to be returning to China today, this time off in the States has come to an end.  The time here has been too short and passed too quickly as always, but I’m so happy to have had it.  It’s been filled with nothing but good times, good people, good food, and good memories I’ll take with me to China.

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I wish I had something insightful to share with you, but I’ve kind of been on autopilot these two weeks.  Just been cooking, eating, hiking a bit, and watching funny youtube videos.  On the other hand most of you reading this are people I’ve seen this week.  I also considered not posting, but it felt odd not putting anything up for two weeks, besides that other post I had done.

Come to think if it, here’s the theme for this post: slowing down. These two weeks have helped me do a lot to slow down my pace of life and not be so intense about everything.  I find myself more present at dinner, caring less about where I could be and more focusing on just enjoying the present.

This has of course made me slightly less productive and I haven’t been able to muster much desire to workout, but I think it’s a better state of mind to go into China with. I have a lot I want to get accomplished there: my research, translating a novel, getting a planche, swimming, renting my own apartment and cooking for myself, reading, writing, traveling, seeing people etc., I’ll keep you in the loop.  I also want to start learning the devil sticks my uncle got me about a decade ago that I’ve never really used before.  A talent that will require this newfound patience and give me something to occupy my hands with.

So while I’ll be busy I hope to keep a good balance and chill mindset. And now some thoughts on my time back.

The first bit of reverse culture shock I had was seeing the beautiful diversity here, especially that special brand of Bay Area diversity.  I just wanted to hug everyone I met and tell them how beautiful they were.  As much as I love China it can be a bit monotone at times.

One particular meal I had also illustrated this.  There’s a burger place a few blocks from my house called Al’s that’s been around just a little longer than I have, and I feel it’s an amazing slice of America. The owners are of Asian descent, and seem to have at some point married into a Spanish-speaking family (which is the language they use in the kitchen) and everyone who works there seems to be related.  It looks like a retro burger joint. The grill is open to the seating area, and the food is delicious. I felt is couldn’t go back to China without eating there at least once.

I also got to practice making some of the dishes I learned in China, cooked for the fam and was given great reviews!

Also got to do some fun bike riding, went to my old college roommate’s kettlebell gym (which is this odd form of Russian weightlifting) and got to spend time with the fam.

Might take a while to get internet access in China, so might not post for a while, but see you there!

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