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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm tired and my place is a mess

and it's awesome because my family is here and we're having a great time.

Meg and Deirdge missed their connection to Hong Kong, Patch and I waited four long awesome hours in the airport, sipping coffee (me) and water (him) and just having a great time talking to one another again in person. Girls arrived at last, Airport Express train into the heart of Hong Kong, bus to Stanley (Maryknoll's neck of the woods), a short cab ride up that goliath of a hill, a long relaxing chat over sandwiches at three in the morning, bed. They slept, I stayed awake, wasting the hour and half before we had to catch another bus drinking coffee and checking the net.

Monday was A Very Long Bus Ride. Had I blogged, that'd been the title. All day on the bus, a brief lunch where I learned that Meghan and Deirdre can't use chopsticks (they're already getting better), a large group of bemused Chinese watching these four foreigners eating taproot and tofu and bitter melon pork with them. Being forced to navigate these situations with my primordial Chinese makes me feel great, learning as I go, lunch is over, back on the bus, finally in Zhanjiang, we collapse for a group nap and eat dinner, talking and watching Talladega Nights.

An early start to the morning, Deirdre and Meghan coming in to make pancakes, I show them the park, campus, open-air market, Walking Street and more. Afternoon, lunch at the Sichuan place that we all love, and then they came to class, a sea of excited Chinese students staring wide-eyed and smiling at so many new and young foreign faces, small groups chatting together with my siblings and I have to tear them away so we can rotate speakers. The girls love Patch (think he's cute), love Deirdre (same age and grade), and love Meghan (the successful college graduate about to begin a lucrative career). I try to control the exuberant madness, no point, just let it go and let the energy of the room dictate what comes next. A four dollar massage to end the night and we come home to sleep thats like a coma.

Today it was a long morning of class, sophomores and juniors, we finish around noon and arrive hungry and exhausted to over three hundred home-made dumplings at Shang's house, us and Steve and his mother Angie. We get drunk on dumplings, rush back for some coffee (me) and water/internet (the others), sprint to class and have one more marathon meet and greet. They go over like rock stars, who knew Heads Up Seven Up could be so fun?, we take more pictures, and now they're all napping before we head out to the hot spring spa for a night of hot tubs and tea baths.

My place is dirty, in the real, lived in way. The cleanliness and order of droll routine has been replaced by haphazard and disorganized life. Funny how my family has to travel around the world for this place to finally look and feel like home.

1 comment:

Schlotzky said...

You Smith kids rock. And the pictures are...where? :) :) :)

- Shannon -