The Final Stretch


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June 29th 2010
Published: June 29th 2010
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I have fewer than 9 hours before my flight leaves for Shanghai and I begin my 24-hour journey homeward. I am hopped-up on caffeine and adrenaline. At 10:30 I took Meimei to my friend’s apartment for her summer-long slumber party. We sat and talked, and then were invited to Adam's. Adam lives in a palatial estate (by Guilin expat standards)...by most of China's standards for that matter. He has a big apartment over-looking the river. It has heated tile floors, an oven, a dishwasher, a laundry drier, ten computers and even a hot tub on the roof...all of which are luxuries we are not accustomed to here in Guilin. We sat around eating and watching pirated U.S. television programs until 2:30, when I decided to make the ride back to my apartment on e other side of town. I popped my ear-buds in, and blasted M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" (which makes me reminisce back to summer before senior year of college), and bobbed my helmeted head to the music. I even managed to dance a little bit, which can be difficult when driving a scooter. It was a great note to leave Guilin on. The neon lights painted the streets in shades of yellows, reds, greens and blues. Bats fluttered between the trees like flocks of starlings. The street lights flashed a constant yellow (reminding me of the laxity of the road laws) but I was one of the only drivers on the road, so I scooted quickly, allowing the breeze to blow against my face.

It is weird to think that after a year of being in China, I will be home in fewer than 30 hours. I get to spend 56 days of uninterrupted time with my friends, family and familiar cultures before heading back for another year of teaching.

Zai jian Guilin. See you in August.


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