Internet, I bow to you in humble and even eager servitude. Without access for a few days, I felt like Michael Vick at the SPCA: so close, and yet so very far, from what I wanted.
So upon jacking in to the matrix (pardon me, I've been reading some William Gibson), I indulged in a cybernetic orgy of emails, bloggings, picture-posting, and IMing. You can see a whole boatload of new "content" (I can't help but feel pompous--that is, more pompous than usual--when I use that word, as if I'm creating some form of art here) at my Picasa, and be sure to skip down a bit and see the video I posted of my new place here in Jilin. Included are pics from my time in DC with Juice and Jen, as well as some images from here in Jilin! Behold!
All I can say is, I am excited for the year here in the Great Northern North of China. Already the air has a slight, crisp chill, the incense-stink of changing leaves and a titling planetary axis dancing in the air, a truly, unimaginably fantastic change of pace from Zhanjiang. Something about this city, about the entire north of China, makes it feel like an entirely different country from Zhanjiang.
It's more than just the people. It's the cleanliness, a directness, a change in attitudes and schedules, in respect and courtesy. Yeah, there's some staring, but it's not the rude jackass bullshit from Zhanjiang. I've gotten into good (Chinese!) conversations with more random strangers here in three days than I did all of Zhanjiang in an entire year. I look forward to colder weather, and I feel a thirst, a hunger for learning putonghua/Mandarin like I've never felt before. If I don't improve dramatically here, no one will be more disappointed with me than myself.
Ah, I guess that's enough for now. China ... it's good to be back.