Dan Dot Blog

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Milford Part II (Dictated)

So I’ve been staying in Milford for several days now, and one of the things that I’ve forgotten is how lucky I was to grow up in such a natural and beautiful piece of Michigan. Right now as I record this (I’m dictating right now for transcription later), I’m looking out the window, listening to a soft rain, and watching fireflies light up in my backyard, making for an almost comically perfect image of tranquility and peace. The weather has been so perfect and I’ve been so docile. For some reason, when in ANn Arbor, there’s something depressing about slouching around the house all day. If I sleep in in my bed, the only other place to lounge is the couch, and once that’s done, it’s back to bed. But in Milford, I can somehow go an entire day not doing anything and still feel like I’ve accomplished something just through locomotion. I might start the day sleeping in in bed, then move to the couch, then out to the hammock to read, then poolside to catch some sun, then floating in the water for some time, then back to the hammock, etc. Somehow just by cycling through these different points I actually feel like I’ve made some accomplishment, at least enough to keep existential ennui and sense of dread and stagnation from keeping in.

Normally I wouldn’t relish something that takes away the prongs of motivation that stab when I begin to dawdle, but when recovering from (supposedly) mono, I suppose it’s a good thing to rest up 🙂

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June 28, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

Milford

I’ve been back in Milford for five days or so now. I forgot what a cute and cool town it is. As exciting as it is to be in a big city, there’s also something neat about a place where you feel like maybe you have some chance of wrapping your arms around a more complete narrative. Any place that I go here, chances are that at some point in my life I’ve been here before, and that many houses are occupied by former classmates, teachers, or other people that I’d recognize. It definitely has a small-town lure that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I suppose I get something similar in Ann Arbor. I think that’s why I enjoy the Ann Arbor centered blogs so much; they give me some feel of community that seems to happen automatically in a town as small as Milford. I’ve always though of Ann Arbor as a “city,” but I think that’s mostly a relative feeling; it’s bigger than Milford, which I think of as a “town,” so it automatically gets moved up a class. I think English lacks a good term for these intermediate sized municipal units, or maybe it’s just my own vernacular that lacks a good term. Any suggestions?

Since my return from China I’ve been camped out mainly at home, for several reasons. First, I returned right around Father’s Day, so I wanted to spend time with my parents, and especially with my dad. I got kind of used to that and it’s been nice spending time with my family. It’s weird how life ebbs and flows. It seems like not that long ago I was eschewing my family’s company for friends, and yet as my friends evaporate in the post-college haze, family once again becomes important. From talking to friends, that does not seem like I’m the only one having such an experience.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , | Leave a comment

Going home

I’m on the plane headed back for the US now. It’s about 7 AM in Detroit, so I’ll be landing in just a few more hours. I’m still feeling pretty healthy: although my throat is feeling dry, I’m sure it’s just from general airplane dryness. The flight has flown by so far thanks to some crappy in-flight movies and less crappy DVDs lent to me by my seatmate, a nice guy headed home to Milwuakee. The plane is much less full going this way, or perhaps it’s just the regular load now that the inaugural hubub has died down. Of the five exit row seats in my area, only two were occuppied, but a guy swooped in to take one. it’s very comfortable with so few people, and the few who are here have been very friendly and amiable. it is nice to speak English with native speakers again, but a little strange. I’ve found my communications with flght attendants on the plane terser and more simple. I rephrase my requests to be simple, but instead they are awkward and ambiguous as I point at my finished breakfast tray and say, “trash?” Maybe I’m just not such a great communicator, at least when I’m trying to be polite.

the hotel was ok. not nearly as nice or aesthetically pleasing as my boutique hotel in Hangzhou, but for an 8 hour stay, it suited me. I just wish it hadn’t been so expensive. I knew I wanted to book some place decent and quickly, but usually I’m more of a bargain hunter than that.

i could and perhaps will write more about my morning later, but it isn’t spectacularly interesting. I’m getting tired now and will try sleeping again. More once I’m back in Michigan.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , | Leave a comment

The End

Yet again, I’m writing from the backseat of a cab on my iPhone. I wish I had kept the blog going this past week, or had some way to capture my thoughts directly, because i think this recent experience has been, for me, rather singularly intense. Though I’ve underplayed it in the blog for fear of negative governmental consequences, however paranoid that may be, I have been quite sick this entire time I have been in China. it began on Thursday, June 4, when for some reason I elected not to eat until very late in the day. I believe I alluded to some feelings of fever on that day. It got progressively worse until Friday night I was too sick to sleep and gobbling acetaminophen and ibuprofen. After thinking for a bit, I started myself on a course of tamiflu in case I had flu. I was pretty sure I did not have H1N1 as the only place I couldve gotten it was the plane, and there had been no cases from my flight, so I wanted to quietly fight it.

I spent all day Saturday skipping the conference and skulking in my hotel room, reading ebooks on my iPhone. One big accomplishment of this trip has been my reading increase. I think I’ve polished off at least 4 books for pleasure, all old classics as they’re not under copyright and thus free. After my day of rest I felt decidedly better, and the next few days were the very well photo-documented jaunt through shanghai with Xiaobei. I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about her, but she was so much fun. I’m so glad we spent a lot of time together in Shanghai. Her language skills were invaluable and her companionship extraordinarily pleasant 🙂

As I’m looking at my prose, I’m realizing I’m a bit influenced by the Sherlock Holmes book I’ve been reading, so please bear with me as i struggle to cast off Watsons voice and regain my own.

Although the time with Xiaobei was a blast, it was also very energetically taxing, and by midweek I was feeling run down.

I spent Saturday in Hangzhou with my father, his friend Kathy, and Lin, who was a wonderful guide.

Quick diversion: I am getting close to the airport and a glowing light is rising scarily into the sky in a Mt. Doom-esque way. I sure hope it’s the airport and not some impending disaster. the rapid flashes from the traffic cameras don’t help either. Also, woohoo, it seems my driver does not know where my hotel now and is stopping to ask policemen for directions.

I’m arriving at the hotel and need to focus on travel now, so I suppose that’s all for today.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

Going to Hangzhou

I’m in a cab stuck in traffic now. I’m headed for a nearby metro station and am now wishing I had chosen a different one not blocked by congestion as the starting point for my adventures today. I’m taking a bullet train to Hangzhou today. The public transit systems so far have seemed beautifully interwoven, and the idea that I could travel several hundred km in just a few hours and for the equivalent of $9 US just blows my mind as a native of Southeastern Michigan. For me to travel even to Detroit is very difficult via public transit. I think we could really learn a lot from the public transit here, but perhaps it is the population density here that makes this possible.

I feel guilty about this, but I’m excited to be traveling somewhere that I expect to see fewer Westerners. I enjoy meeting people, and that seems much easier when people are curious about me. In Shanghai, there are so many westerners that I rarely got a second look, let alone a smile for long enough for me to strike up a conversation. I hope my fortunes are better in Hangzhou and Suzhou.

I’m curious to see the interior of the train. I read a few reviews online and they were all very positive. The economy here is just bustling. I’m looking for a downside, I know there must be one, but so far I’m just seeing prosperity and growth. Maybe I’m just looking through rose-colored glasses, or Shanghai is some unique exception to the Chinese rule, but so far my overall impression is far more positive than the feeling I’ve gotten from any accounts I’ve heard. Maybe I’m just excited to be in a city—I felt similarly while in the Bay Area last week—and that’s what I’m actually enjoying.

June 13, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , | Leave a comment

Updates: Fudan U and Other Stuff

Today it is rainy. After checking out of my hotel in Yangpu, PuXi, I headed back to PuDong to the Ramada to drop my stuff at my dads place. The taxi ride was long and the Dramamine I had forgotten to take was unfortunately locked in the trunk, inaccessible.

I have plans to meet with Liwen, a student from our lab, around 4, so now I’m on the subway headed back into the city. It’s amazing how much cheaper public transit is. Of my long jaunt across the city today, far and away the most expensive portion was the taxi fare, 11 RMB, from the Ramada to the metro station.

Realizing I can’t stay underground or in cabs all day, I picked up an umbrella at the hotels shop. It is possibly the girliest umbrella I have ever owned, but armed with my pinkish-green, butterfly-decorated umbrella tucked neatly into my significantly more masculine backpack, I’m heading into the city.

The subways here are awesome. They see way higher number of people than anything I’ve seen in the states, but they are fast, modern, clean, and exceedingly cheap. They’re definitely better overall than any public transit i’ve used anywhere in the West.

Had to stop writing due to a transfer and then increasing traffic density as I approached people’s square. I met some nice students on the last leg of my subway trip. I think I’ve stumbled on to a good method for meeting people: I just smile, good-naturedly and stupidly, at everybody until someone smiles back and talks to me. I wonder if it will work back home. The students I met were from someplace far away in China and visiting Shanghai to go to some sort of amusement park. They asked what I was doing in China and my answer involved something about psychology, the next several questions I received were about mind-reading and being psychic.

I met Liwen at Xujiahui station where she was waiting for me. She bought me this really fragrant flower from a woman selling them on the street. I have no idea what it is, but it smells great and is presently affixed to one of the buttons of my shirt. Liwen and I went into the basement food court of a shopping mall near the station. It’s really cool; there are small food vendors selling things from different regions of China. You pay to preload a card with money at the entrance then go around the food court spending it. It certainly makes things efficient. I had some sort of meaty spicy soup from Sichuan that was just awesome. After only half of that I was pretty full and moved on to fruit and dessert. Food is so cheap here and readily available. I think I will definitely miss that when I go to Japan, a much more expensive place to live.

The food vendors are very noisy as they hawk what they’re selling. I’ll try taking a walking video around. Having dinner with Liwen was great. I’m really super lucky to have so many terrific friends, and doubly lucky that several of them are in China.

I’m a little frustrated that my Putonghua is not developing at all. I think the cupboard is just too bare to begin with. Soon I’ll be venturing out of Shanghai, so perhaps I will lose my English crutch then.

Tonight I’m taking the subway again to visit Du Yu, the son of a friend of Kathy, my dads Chinese friend. I’m meeting him at his University, Fudan. It’s supposed to be a very famous university in Shanghai, and I’m eager to see how Chinese university students live.

I’m back on the Metro, taking line 3 a looong way towards Fudan University via ChiFeng road. I’m hoping the rain stops before then. It’s not so much that the rain bothers me, but I know it will be much harder to find a taxi if it’s raining, and I hear it’s a hike from the metro station to Fudan U.

I’m getting a lot of silent time, which is good for reflection. It’s odd; it’s far from silent, but with the language barrier I feel like it’s much quieter than it is. I’ve been thinking about what it would be like if I had committed to being in China a long time. Would this be lonely? I don’t think so. In fact, I think being at home can be more lonely. It’s a very isolating feeling when you’re around people you can relate to, share a language and culture with, and still, you’re either too shy to talk to them or just don’t have anything to say. To me that’s real loneliness. Here, I feel like if I could just find the words and understand the language, I’d have a lot to say, but even more questions to ask. Maybe I just like having excuses, but I find it so much easier to socialize as a traveler than when at home.

I want to ask these people what they think of where the world is headed, if they worry about the gradual re-valuing of their currency, or if they’re just focused on getting by. Everything really seems to just work here, so I can’t imagine people are too unhappy. Still, I don’t know how long I could take the dirty air and water. It’s easy enough to imagine away and ignore, but reality sometimes rears its head; I had to keep my contacts out for a few days because so much crud accumulated beneath them.

I feel a lot less personally valuable and important here. In some ways it’s kind of liberating and fun, but it seems like it fosters an individually survalist mentality. I now find myself pushing through crowds and racing people to seats on crowded subway cars. It’s definitely different and understandable, but I’m not sure yet if I like it or not.

As I write this I occasionally find myself self-censoring, thinking that maybe Twila or a Chinese friend will read this and disagree, but hopefully it’s obvious from the format of these travelogues that they are just that, my anecdotal experiences and attempts to wildly extrapolate and divine some deeper cultural essence.

The train ride is long and I’m getting bored and suffering from the same existential enui that is frighteningly familiar stateside. I am cheered by the wafting fragrance of the flower from Liwen, still wrapped around the button of my shirt. Maybe it’s better if I stop writing for a while and indulge in some ebooks like a true super-commuter.

Reading got quickly old. I’m sitting across from a young couple, probably my age, who are engaged in shameless self and mutual grooming. The girl is working and popping pimples on the boys face while alternately swabbing her ears with a-tips. Now she’s very closely inspecting and cleaning his ear lobes. To me it’s really strange, but nobody else on the train seems to be paying them any attention. Maybe they’re in their own worlds while I’m the only one really paying any attention to the inside of this subway.

It gets dark early here. I suppose we must be to the East of the time zone, but that doesn’t fully make sense as Japan is also in that zone…I guess I should prepare for even earlier nights in Tokyo. Before I came I was worried about the heat, and while I know i’ve been relatively fortunate and shanghai has had moderate weather, I’m surprised at how quickly I adapt to the constant mugginess and heat.

I’m in a cab now headed back to PuDong after my visit to Fudan University. I’m pleased with myself for writing so much today (at least it looks like a lot on the iPhones text editor).

Fudan U was really interesting. Conditions in the dorms were pretty eye opening. They definitely don’t live in squalor, but it reminds me more of camping than University, but I hear it’s super cheap (like <800 RMB/yr) so I guess you get what you pay for. Still, I can’t help but feel they get nickel and dimed for everything; they even have to swipe a card that records and bills water usage when they take showers. The heat and overall mugginess would be mighty distracting in an American U, but maybe it’s that kind of toughening that allows Chinese students to compete so ferociously on the world stage.

Skipping sleep sleems to have an immediate effect on me, which Is actually petty cool. No more operating at a perpetually growing deficit, so at the end of each night when I don’t get enough sleep, I feel tired early, like tonight.

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Starving, but Intellectually Nourished

Just finished an extensive tour of the Shanghai museum. Due to some bureaucratic mistakes on my part, changing money required me to walk back and forth between my hotel and the bank of China twice. That coupled with time spent completing my poster in the morning and catching up with a few friends led to a later start to the day than I had hoped. I did get to talk to Twila in the AM and I gave her my brief and likely soon-to-change impression of Shanghai. I also called Cynthia, and we had a nice chat about China, wine, academic ambition, and NIH grants.

I took a very long, and painfully silent, cab ride from the Ramada in PuDong to the Shanghai museum in PuXi. I really need to get less shy and at least TRY my Mandarin. I’m always so laudatory to those who are brave while learning English, and it’s only fair that I hold myself to that standard.

For the most part Shanghai kist seems like a really cool city. There seem to be far fewer Westerners in PuXi as compared to PuDong, which is fine with me. I’m definitely not here to conduct business, and it seems like many of the amenities in PuDong are priced for business travelers.

I’m not really sure where I am right now, but it’s a big marble plaza immediately outside the Shanghai museum. I’m really missing Google Maps. I’m not dependent on it for navigation, but it’s such a great tool for discreetly orienting yourself.

I again made the mistake of not eating any lunch and my body temperature rebelled by fluctuating wildly. I fell into this trap in Spain where I just stopped eating, and although the ultimate outcome (being thinner) was desirable, there was a period of hospitalization that was kind of scary. I’m having a hard time staying hydrated; I haven’t found much water, and I can only guzzle hot tea so fast.

The museum was really cool. I was blown away by the intersection of complexity and serious antiquity. Jade pieces that looked like new were listed as surviving from around 3000 BC (!!!!). I did note the impressive degree of stability. Foe a culture that has existed for so long, it seems like there’s an enduring and permeating aesthetic virtue that runs throughout.

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Breakfast Blog

I’m downstairs at my hotel gorging myself on the Western breakfast. Everything is really tasty, and coupled with my lack of eating yesterday, I think I’ve tried everything a few times over. There’s some really interesting fruit that I really like. It looks almost like a giant acorn that you seemingly have to cut open, but once inside you’re rewarded with a tender, almost prawn-like fruit that’s very sweet and very delicate.

The breakfast area is on the second floor and is surrounded by windows, so I’ve had a bit of a chance to look out at our neighborhood. It’s surprisingly green with lots of vegetation. It’s pretty different than the downtown Shanghai that I saw yesterday night. And yet, even Pudong is flush with what I would call sky scrapers, if not at least very tall buildings. However, there’s no “downtown” feel out here, just seemingly randomly placed buildings, usually with irregular spaces, as if they just dropped out of the sky. The only analogue I have to compare it to is something like Troy or Auburn Hills back in Michigan, but with way more, and much bigger, buildings. It’s strange to see sky scrapers without any sort of pedestrian downtown area. I think I’m going to head back to my room now and try to finish the poster before heading out for some adventures. I know that today is the 20th anniversary of something I should perhaps not mention explicitly, so I’m curious to see if that will have any implications in Puxi.

Gum drops, candy canes, and floating palaces,
-Daniel

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Vegetarian Food and Foot Massages

First off, apologies for the failure of the word press blog. Despite my best efforts it seems that I’m not going to be able to access my WordPress blog in any shape or form while I’m behind the Chinese firewall. I’m actually writing these journals in Evernote and don’t really have a publication destination in mind, but I’ve got to keep them somewhere until I do. That’s especially a bummer since I had written a fairly long post in my iPhone which is now trapped in my WordPress app. Oh well. I guess you’ll learn about the beginning of my flight after I return to the US.
Last night was pretty fun. A driver for my dad’s company met me, my dad, and a coworker to take us to Pudong where our hotel is located. Although I was pretty much ready to crash, my dad talked me into going out to meet some other coworkers who were going to an American style bar in the restaurant. I was initially really creeped out by the very friendly girls in the bar who I thought were soliciting me pretty hard, I quickly realized they were just waitresses who were working a pretty hard sell. I met some nice people but was so spaced out that I wasn’t pretty social, downed a few beers and pizza, then came home and crashed.
Most of today was spent, sadly, in the hotel room feverishly working on my conference poster that needs to get presented on Friday. Fortunately, some of the organizers have offered to print it for me, but I think I need to get it to them very soon if I want that to happen. I was going to work on it tonight but just have no energy and am hoping I get a jetlag energy bump at about 5 AM somehow.
After remaining my own prisoner in my room and sadly not eating anything but a pizza breakfast all day, I was starving by five. Along the way I got a lot of work done on my poster, though it still needs some more, but also made contact with a number of friends and colleagues in China via cell phone. For those that don’t have it, my China cell number is +86 15921993342. Don’t call that from the US unless you want a big fee.
Around 6 my dad got back from work and his friend and former coworker came to meet us and take us out. We went shopping at an ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL department store in Puxi and then to a vegetarian restaurant for dinner. Knowing that nothing I would eat would have real meat, I tried to get the wackiest stuff I could on the menu, like “two kinds of jellyfish” and “deep fried sparrows.” It was a lot of fun. The conversation with Kathy got really interesting when we started talking about inter-cultural understanding, democracy, and education. It’s realy nice to have one insider’s view. I get lots of views of China from Chinese friends in Ann Arbor, but the opinion seems a little different when people are actually in China.
After dinner we went for a foot massage which was super cool. We had our feet soaked in big barrels of herbed-water while we got very intense back-massages. It featured a lot of lymph node manipulation in the neck, which made me feel a little nauseous, but was otherwise very pleasant. The massage came with tea which was nice and also a cool green bean dessert soup. We continued interesting conversations during the foot massage, which was intense, but not too much. I’m realizing my Putonghua really blows, but I’m determined to work on it.
When we finished the foot massage, we took a cab back to our hotel and Kathy helped me to look over some maps and preprinted some “Please take me to…” cards in Chinese. I think tomorrow (after finishing my poster!) I will go to see some museums in downtown Shanghai and just sort of wander-around and shop. This morning was boring and like many I’ve had in Ann Arbor, but things got interesting once I went into town. The cabs (and everybody) drives SO crazy here, it’s a wonder there aren’t more accidents. The lack of seatbelts is also somewhat concerning when coupled with the first observation, so I’ve just been hanging on to the handles and hoping for the best.
The city is actually very pretty and cleaner than I expected, and I’m excited to explore it on my own. I’m exhausted now though so I’m going to head for bed, but I hope I can keep up with this kind of updating for the rest of the trip.
Half-moons, sunshine, and puppies,
Daniel

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

Flying to Shanghai

I’m on the plane to Shanghai now, writing an offline draft on my iPhone (which will hopefully explain any brevity and the occasional typo). I’m on a 747; definitely the biggest plane I’ve ever been on. The idea that it has two decks is pretty amazing! I’m traveling with my father, which was hugely fortunate, I think (hope) for both of us.

The passengers seem to be made up of a very strong majority of Chinese which kind of surprised me. I’m not sure if business is slow or it’s just not a heavy travel day, but I’m seeing very few business travelers (or maybe they’re all up in first class). We are towards the back of the plane and around a TON of kids. They’re all really pleasant, well-behaved, and outrageously CUTE! I know Cynthia agrees with me, but white babies just don’t hold a candle to Asians in cuteness.

The time on board has been passing pretty quickly. We got good seats so we’ve been able to intermittently sleep and I’m actually very comfortable. For now the plane feels a bit like home and I’m oddly a little nervous about leaving it. I’m really not sure what kind of world
I’m going to step into when I deplane, and though I’m tremendously excited, can’t help but be a little nervous and apprehensive.

There’s a lot that I still have to do to prepare for the conference, but the more I look at the program, the more excited I am to attend. It realy looks right up my alley in so many ways and looks like it’ll offer some fresh perspectives on more quantitative and computational approaches to psychology which will probably be helpful if we continue moving forward with our collaboration with Chen Yu and colleagues at Indiana.

I’m also really excited that I know a handful of people in Shanghai. Once I’m established I’ll be checking in with Liwen and Chen Jie to learn of their plans and hopefully make some of our own. Also, my father’s Chinese friend Kathy has introduced me to some students from Fudan University via email. This will be especially helpful and interesting as Fudan is the host institution for my conference, which is incidentally named ICDL (more info at ICDL Website).

I feel the plane pitching a bit, so perrhaps we’re getting close. We had a really interesting flight path. We flew almost due North over the upper peninsula and Thunder Bay in Canada before going through Alaska and cutting through (I think) a bit of the arctic circle. Living on a sphere makes life interesting :-).

I’m just listening to my iPhone, trying to stay awake. Right now I feel great! Though I should be really tired right now by home time, I actually feel like it’s maybe only 6 or 7 in the evening, which isn’t too far from the time in China. I hope that I can adapt quickly. My sleep patterns are so screwy anyway they’re pretty malleable.

Something about this trip is making me miss Milford for some reasons. I don’t know if I just anticipate sprawling urbanization and am already reaching back for a reassuring, semi-pastoral, small-town memory, or perhaps I’m just hungry, but I really am in the mood for some Milford House breadsticks and cake from the Milford Baking Co.

I’m nervous about the prospect of getting quarantined, especially given our proximity to so many children. Once we’ve cleared that hurdle I hopefully won’t need to think about flu for the rest of the trip.

Well, my hands are getting tired from typing on the iPhone, so I guess I’ll leave it at this. I’ll try to have a “settling-in” post once we make of to our hotel.

Hearts and shooting stars,
Daniel

UPDATE: 4:30 PM
Starting now I’ll try to keep all posts in Shanghai local time. They’re just now serving breakfast on our flight and everybody is waking up. I had a nice nap since last writing and feel very refreshed and ready to be on the ground in Shanghai. My dad says that maybe we’ll go for tea and foot massages tonight, which sounds very agreeable. I’ve been reading “Alice in Wonderland” on my iPhone and really enjoying it. I’ve actually resumed reading for pleasure since I graduated, so if you have any recommendations, I’d be happy to hear them. I’ve figures out a way to disable calling on my iPhone, effectively making it a touch, without removing the SIM. Evidently while in airplane mode you can just reenable wifi, which should work well for purposes of not accidntally spending international roaming minutes. I’ll try to take some photos from the cab if practical and upload them with my evening post.

Breakfast was really tasty. I’ve been really impressed with the food, service, and friendliness of the flight crewing. I even saw one of the attendants playing cards with a big group of children in the rear galley. I guess to do this job, especially the really long ones like this, you’ve got to be cut out for it and enjoy what you’re doing.

I’ve managed to get a fair amount of work done on the plane and have a lot of emails that will sent out the next time I have an internet connection. I also had time to correspond with a few friends and because I had so much time on my hands and no connectivity, I drafted outrageously long and detailed updates on my life. I’m doing a good job blogging so far I think; I hope I can keep it up.

I’m already excited to have this record to look back on later. Well, I’m pretty written out for now; think I’m going to go back to Alice in Wonderland now.

UPDATE 6:08 PM

They’re doing the on flight health inspection now. It’s a little spooky; we can see people in all white hazmat-esque suits moving through first class. They’ll take our temperature soon. I think they’re using some sort of infrared thermometer because we were told to close our eyes. I’m happy I’ve been healthy these past couple weeks. This has got to be pretty frightening for the younger kids since I’m already minorly spooked. When the official boarded the plane they had a representative give an eerie address; I think he’s Australian.

I’ve snapped a few photos of the inspectors as they come through and these are uploaded.

UPDATE 6:34 PM
We’ve cleared quarantine (I think) and are deplaning. My first view of China is a wet one from my window. See photo

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment