Friday, December 11, 2009

East and West

Ho hum, another day in Beijing. 
Cal was feeling a little under the weather so we went to the on-campus clinic for a little pick-me-up.  He left with a full complement of the best that East and West has to offer for his cold symptoms.
We mailed a Christmas package to Cal's daughter, watching as the postal worker wrapped each individual piece in bubble wrap, then wrapped the box in bubble wrap with copious amounts of tape and then put everything in another box and put tape and plastic straps on that.  Postage to the US was only slightly less than the price of the original items.
Next stop was the bookstore, where they have a small foreign language section.  I must be addicted to books because I enjoy wandering in the store even when I can't read 99 percent of what's there.
Upon returning to campus, I found what might be my new favorite place at the university. On the third floor of the library, there are a few English-language magazines.  The presence of Time and Newsweek I can understand.  People magazine was a bit of a surprise.  I can only hope that no one actually reads it.
I walked back to our apartment building, passing a serious soccer game being played on concrete because the university grounds are too small to have a sports field.
Out of the frigid wind, into the lobby, where at least three languages are being spoken.  Up the stairs and down the hall to "home."  And here I sit, tapping away 5239.36 miles from  our "real" home.  (I checked.)


  1. Anonymous7:01 AM

    Pretty amazing - we miss you! Can't imagine how much you're learnin'

  2. Hello Cathy: I was Googling my last book, The Last Season, and found your review from 2008. Thanks for taking the time to write. I've been following up with everybody I can contact online to let them know about my forthcoming book, The Only Thing Worth Dying For... A never before told story from the war in Afghanistan.

    It's a non partisan, not anti, and not pro war book written strictly from the perspective of a small team of Green Berets in the South of Afghanistan after 9/11 who happened to be the team assigned to Hamid Karzai before the world had heard of him. Anyway. I see you're a traveler, and hope you might appreciate the read. Take a look, and please spread the word to anybody you think may be interested. My wife and I traveled around the world for ten months focusing on Asia, so reading some of your blog gave me some wanderlust and spurred many memories. I hope Cal is feeling better and that your travels are both inspiring and educational. Cheers. Eric Blehm (