Wednesday, December 12, 2007

24 Hours In BJ

So begins my last 24 hours in Beijing. I've started the countdown of the lasts: Today I did my last load of laundry here, I took my last Chinese test, rode line 13 for the last time, tomorrow I'll take my last shower in the dorm, buy my last bubble tea, ride my bike for the last time... the list goes on.

It's bittersweet. I'm leaving a lot of friends, opportunities, fun. But on the flip side I'm going back to a lot of friends, opportunities, fun. It's that weird homesick/friendsick feeling that is reminiscent of camp - because who knows which home or friends I'm missing anymore?

I'm lucky enough to have a week long cushion in the middle of this experience - I'm headed to Tibet tomorrow night. I'll be taking the fancy oxygen train from Beijing to Lhasa, an epic 47.5 hour journey. I'm going to see a lot of China, meet a lot of pengyous, and play a lot of chess. In Lhasa I don't really have much of a plan - can't really, because we don't know what roads are open. We'll clearly do the Lhasa thing, and then there are some sacred lakes we want to see. We'll definitely get out of the city for a bit, and I'd like to visit one of the 5 sacred mountains, perhaps Everest if we can swing it. If you're thinking of me, drop me a line, maybe I'll make friends with a monk who has internet.

So that's pretty much where my life is right now, and why no one will hear from me for about a week. I'll come back for a whirlwind BJ visit on the 22nd, and fly home the 23rd. Thanks to the date line, my 14 hour flight takes off at 5 and lands at 5:40. Trippy, but I'll be home for Christmas.

I miss you all and I'll be home soon to see as many people as I can. Let's start making plans? For now I'll be turning up the volume and - as shuffle has just informed me - having Ozomatli and Crosby Stills and Nash cheer me on through the packing process.


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