Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Hi everyone!

Six days remaining until I leave for China. My nerves are on end lately and I sort of feel like I'm walking around in a surreal world, bits and pieces of shocking reality hitting me suddenly, here and there.

Last night I surrendered my truck for voluntary repossession. I just can't seem to get away from debt, but looking back over the last couple of years, I'm closer now than I ever have been, if you don't count my school loans. I've heard a rumor that if you die, Stafford Loans will send a representative into oblivion, looking for repayment.

My schedule is tight the next few remaining days. Today is wood chopping and packing, tomorrow I'll have the car and will go get my hair cut and air myself out a bit, Friday is a day of last minute phone business and re-checks, Saturday is my last class in Boston, Sunday is packing day and some last minute work around the house, Monday I'll finish my packing, confirm my flight and chill with Wanda.

Tuesday is D-day.

I know I'll be a wreck Tuesday, I usually am before a trip like this and this one is just a tad more serious than most. Last minute checklists, arranging bags and waiting for Wanda to get out of work early so she can drive me to Logan airport.

I hate goodbyes.

I've always tried to avoid them and I never do weddings or funerals either. I guess you could say if it involves expression of emotion - you can count me out. But, this one I can't avoid, so I'm dreading it.

I've tried to put my feelings down on paper and tried to blog some of my thoughts about this move but I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not ready to do that yet. Too many mixed emotions. I've had my doubts about this move and I've been excited about it, sometimes both in the same hour.

Before I forget, I want to thank Chris Allen and Meg for volunteering to help keep my blog alive and whom I have made partners to my site, doing some posting for me while I am living behind the Great Firewall of China.

The research I've done on Guangzhou alone, is staggering. I've joined Guangzhou discussion groups, subscribed to an online magazine, "That's Guangzhou," and spent hours and hours reading my Lonely Planet guide and doing Google Searches.

First on my agenda once off the plane, settled and rested, is to find Beijing Nan Lu in the local dai pai dong scene and sit down to a steaming plate of one dozen freshly shucked and roasted oysters on the half shell with freshly chopped garlic and chili sauce, for a mere 30 RMB, the equivalent of about four U.S. dollars. YAHOO!

I've been dreaming of that for weeks now. Let's face it, as far as food goes you can't get much better (and cheaper) than the eateries in Guangzhou, with that Hong Kong influence, under the bright neon lights of Xia Du Road, Shan Xia Jiu, and of course Bar Street in Fang Cun.

I've been keeping up with other events in Guangzhou and plan to partake in the arts a bit too, something I've been lacking in most of my life, more out of something to do rather than a piqued interest.

I've also been monitoring the weather in Guangzhou, which can only be described as Hot, Hot, Hot, Humid, Hot, Humid and thunderstorms. All this brings back memories of the Philippines, getting off the plane, walking through an air conditioned international airport and walking into a wall of heat that you could slice through with a butter knife.

It took me at least two weeks in that tropical weather before I got really used to it, so I know the misery won't last too awful long. I'll have about four days to adjust to my surroundings before walking into a classroom of seven through ten year olds wondering what I'm going to do next.

So, will keep all of you posted and I thank all of you (Wanda-Susan-Meg-Sis-Larry-Bruce-Jenni-Deb-Dick-Tim&Judy-Lois-Terry and others in the U.S., Annie in Spain, Vangie in Joburg, Chris in Belfast, Peter in Scotland, Benjamin in Ghana, Ella in Israel, Rampyari in Oman, Esther in Kenya, Angie in England, Youngtack in Seoul, Wang Yu in Beijing, Sasha in Taiwan, Pim in Bangkok, as well as others who I'm probably forgetting) for all your help and well wishes for this bizarre journey I am getting ready to take.

I'll be in touch!



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