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By weihan (Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:44:30 AM EST) China, travel, breakups, cultural decompression (all tags)
So I made it back to the US.

This is probably my last diary as weihan...



I flew back on the 14th of August. It was exhausting. I started at the crack of dawn in Beijing, getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I then flew to Shanghai, got aggregated onto the trans-pacific version of my flight and spent 11 uncomfortable hours flying to LA. I didn't have knock-me-out-oh-god-save-me-from-the-horror pills like I had when I flew to China and I regretted that. So I was awake for most of the flight to LA... I alternated between playing New Super Mario Bros., watching crappy in-flight movies, and taking cat naps. We landed in LA, I waited about 30 minutes for my bags to hit the conveyor before walking through customs. It was a total breeze. Honestly, I was expecting worse after getting grilled for a one week trip to Europe a year and a half before.

I marched over to the neighboring terminal and was happy to have electronic tickets for the next leg of my trip. If I hadn't, I would have stayed in LA a bit longer than planned. The line for normal tickets was at least an hour long according to the helpful guy that was stationed at the end of it. So, after getting my tickets and navigating the ultra-paranoid please-don't-blow-up-your-fellow-passengers-with-that-bottle-of-sprite TSA dehumanization-station (I didn't have much trouble with the SFF computer that was in my carry-on), I boarded my last flight home. Then, after 30 exhausting hours of travel, it was all over.

I spent the first couple weeks in a haze. The jet lag was much worse than I remembered. People around me were polite. Nobody was staring at me anymore. I took the train into Dallas and understood every word of the stupendously inane conversation carried on between my fellow passengers. I was home again.

Now that I've been home for a while, I know what I miss and what I don't miss.

  • I miss Very
  • I miss cheap food
  • I miss being able to take a taxi anywhere at any hour for cheap
  • I miss good Chinese food
  • I miss cheap high-quality hair cuts
  • I miss my bare-bones Nokia phone
  • I don't miss shopping in China
  • I don't miss Chinese beer
  • I don't miss the pollution
  • I don't miss the communication barrier
  • I don't miss Chinese manners
  • I don't miss Chinese provincialism
Very

So I left China and essentially broke it off with Very. We'd said for a long time that this was how it would end but it's been tough for both of us because we didn't break up because we were sick of each other. We still talk a bit via Skype and IM.

I can safely say that my experience in China would be unrecognizable if Very wasn't in the picture. Without her I never would have met 催国华 and I never would have lived in the countryside. My Chinese skills would be pitiful and I would feel like a total failure for wasting a year of my life learning nothing in China. I wouldn't have met Spy and probably would have never had a weird conversation in English while in China (that might not sound like much, but I thrive on weird). I never would have biked around Beijing with a girl sitting on the rear rack. I (and possibly by extension, Slozo) would have never camped on the Great Wall. In fact, I might have only seen one section of the Great Wall (the Badaling tourist trap).

In short, I would have had a much shallower experience in China. For all this, I am grateful. Very, I love you and I hope you know that.

China

So I've experienced China. I've supped on a sampling of the wonders that this ancient country (as writing systems go, hah!) has to offer. I assume that my contact with the country is not complete. I still have yet to see Hong Kong, Tibet, Yunnan, Guilin and Sichuan. Essentially, all the stuff worth seeing in the south. I still plan to study Chinese. I don't know if it will ever be useful, but I'm stubborn enough to keep studying a language that is so incomprehensible to the Western world.

Employment

I've been home for seven weeks now and I've been looking for a job for most of that time. I thought it would be easy, but it's going kinda slow. Things finally kicked into gear at the start of the fiscal year. Hopefully by the end of this month, I will be gainfully employed and living in Austin again.

Software

In the meantime, I've been writing software again.  I'm working on a video mixer / video jockey tool. I actually wrote this program six years ago for Be OS but it was a bit limited. This time around I'm trying to do away with some of those limitations while also leveraging the awesome power of modern GPUs. It should be interesting. I just hope I get enough code written so that it can transition into a nice side project that doesn't consume too much of my life outside of work. We'll see...

< Long distances | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Homecoming | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
any chance by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 12:18:36 PM EST
of going back for her, or was it not that serious?
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Dance On, Gir!
ouch by 256 (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 12:24:49 PM EST
that's not necessarily a real dichotomy
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Double ouch by motty (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 01:02:17 PM EST
Maybe it is though.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T
[ Parent ]
maybe by 256 (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 01:10:10 PM EST
i guess it depends on what brand of romanticism you paint the world with.
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Yeah... by motty (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 01:57:06 PM EST
Exactly. There's strong and weak love, like strong and weak reincarnation.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T
[ Parent ]
Just a percent chance of survival by debacle (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 06:28:24 PM EST
You could also be turned into a badger.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
It doesn't look likely by weihan (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 04:31:45 PM EST
We both agreed then and now that there never was a long term future to our relationship. So yeah... I guess you could say it was never serious, serious, but we obviously have a lot of feelings tied up in the matter.

-卫青涵
[ Parent ]
that's sorta what it sounded like by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 06:57:48 PM EST
no offense meant, as others seem to have sorta read into it. any kind of love is awesome, but some mean things others dont.
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Dance On, Gir!
[ Parent ]
Hey, good to hear from you again . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 05:06:36 PM EST
 . . . and good luck getting over the heartache. I can empathise a bit right now, waiting for YJ to get here. I don't know . . . I see you guys getting together in the future somehow . . . sounds crazy, but I have a feeling . . .

A big ten-four on you missing the cheap food and cheap taxi at any time, and another ten-four for the not mssing Chinese manners and provincialism. TEN - FOUR.

Sorry for the 10-4s . . . started working a security job again. fun fun fun :)

I don't get the manners/provincialism by debacle (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 06:29:15 PM EST
Could you or weihan explain please?

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
re:manners/provincialism . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 07:30:24 PM EST
. . . see my last 48 Chapters. sheesh . . .

[ Parent ]
To my credit by debacle (2.00 / 0) #12 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 07:34:24 PM EST
I've read at least half of them.

I was away from the site for most of the summer, though. All I really remember was your trip to Tibet was it? and before.


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
ahh, going for props . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #13 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 07:41:43 PM EST
. . . on the faithful reader tip - nice. Well, catch up on your reading then, young . . . internet entity!

[ Parent ]
I've been using the internet by debacle (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 07:47:04 PM EST
Since before you were born, son.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
lol again . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 07:50:37 PM EST
. . . that's the second time I've had a good laugh tonight!

[ Parent ]
Homecoming | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback