Finally! I have regular access to the internet again, after have only sporadic access since I left Hong Kong a little over a week ago.
It's embarrassing how much I rely on the internet: email, news, keeping in touch with friends and family, outlets for simple laziness and curiosity. And it’s strange how disconnected I feel when I can't jump on Google or the myriad other sites I frequent to look up information, do research, or just simply waste time. The internet is both a tool and a source of entertainment that's been heavily used by me and my generation for the past decade, and it's only going to become more integrated into our habits and sense of normalcy. Without it, I feel very much out of the loop.
Well, in short: Zhanjiang is great. My students are wonderful, teaching is fun and interesting, the city is fascinating, and my Chinese is improving (slowly buy surely). But it’s hot here, hot as all hell, and not knowing the language makes even simple things - like grocery shopping or speaking to students with poor English - very difficult. If we were up north, where people on the street speak and understand Mandarin, perhaps I could get around; but here in southern China, Cantonese is the language of the people, and only the young and educated respond to Mandarin.
I have a ton of work to do, and I'll post more later, but it's good to be back, connected with the world, and blogging once again.