Sunday, December 17, 2017

Shanghai Diary: Melon!

I'm back in the U.S. With everything that's been going on, I'm amazed the place is still standing. One of my relatives said, "I'm glad you back safe and sound," and I couldn't help say, "Yeah, especially with all the mass shootings that have happened since I've been gone."

I wrapped up work on Thursday and sent all of my Thank You emails to the folks in Shanghai (and even some in Southfield). Eileen came over to give me a drive with some videos on it for work and told me that she had a going-away present for me. She was having it delivered from her home town (found out that it wasn't kuai di but delivered halfway by her brother and the other half by her husband. It's a picture under glass of a panda made with human hair. That might sound gruesome to some folks but I love the long history of hair art.

We agreed to meet for dinner the next night. We went to a place that Serena had picked out where she felt I could get the most traditional Shanghai food before I left: Xiaolongbo, Hong Shao Rou, Sea Cucumber, and more.

I was scheduled to fly out Saturday at 12:20 PM but the flight kept getting pushed back until I got notification Saturday morning that the flight was delayed until 5:15 PM. That gave me another five hours in Shanghai.

As the Didi left my apartment for the airport, the weight of emotion hit me and I started crying. I thought about my trip to the UK when I was a teenager and how much I wanted to get back to the U.S. back then and how much I wanted to stay in Shanghai now. This depression hit me again on the flight and even last night as I lay in my own bed after three months. I'm fighting it back now as I write. I didn't expect to fall in love but I did.

And speaking of love, apparently the people on WeChat love eating melon because it keeps coming up in different sticker sets. Here's a small example:

And I wanted to have a shot of a bunch of guys but I got this one of a bunch of other delivery guys hanging out:

Now I'm back and I'm trying to get my groove back. I've decided that I'm going to do another purge of books, CDs, DVDs, etc. I didn't miss any of these things when I was away so I don't really need them. I'm also getting back on the horse of weight loss. I don't think I gained much if any weight there and now I can get back to ordering and eating the right food for me. And, I'm going to do everything in my power to get back to Shanghai. I only had a few people from the U.S. tell me they missed me.

That brings me to the stunted conclusion of this diary. I'm sure I'll return to it and soon. I'm doing everything I can to not be that guy who says, "Well, ya know, in China they..." about everything.

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