So getting stuck (alright, we'll be fair and call it traveling) in China means three things to me:
-Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner look exactly alike
I know, not all that great, but it makes you appreciate these things further when they're taken away. Meeting up with my dad in Vietnam was something I had been looking forward to, what caught me by surprise was the fact that we'd be spending a whopping 9 days in China and to top it all off ON A TOUR. Here is why tours don't work for me: it takes a very long time to wait for everyone else on the tour (esp when there are 40 other people), you run according to someone else's schedule (not your own) meaning someone else decides when you take a nap, eat, and such, and there's no freedom or time to be spontaneous. You're also probably overpaying for shitty food. But some people like that, some people don't like to think or worry about applying for visas and bus schedules, or accommodation. I'm not one of those people.
We hit up a couple of cities in China including Shanghai, Beijing, and Sizhou, as well as another city I can't remember. Yep, it was that fascinating it just caught me off guard. One of the highlights included visiting & chatting with the lovely Ms. Chen on the fourth of July who was living in Beijing for six months. We go to the same university and it was a breath of fresh air venting and listening to a friendly face. The other highlight of my trip in China was my experience with a barista in one of the hotels we stayed. She was adorable, like a young lost child. I had soymilk and was in need of espresso and chocolate for my mocha. I asked her for both and showed her my mocha and asked her to heat it up using the espresso machine. After posing a confused stare she took my milk and began walking somewhere, I immediately stopped her, asked "where are you going?" To which she used both her hands to form a square and utter "ding!" (I told you she was adorable)
"No no no microwave," I said, and let out a laugh.
Still confused, I walked her back behind the counter and showed her how the
It's interesting because you hear and read loads about China. Travelers I ran into stressed how not many people spoke English and that the Chinese aren't the friendliest people ever. The latter, you quickly pick up on and as a result ends in some frustration. I don't entirely understand the Chinese and that's fine by me, I won't judge a culture and people whose enormous history I have failed to appreciate because of my own fault. I was terribly miserable because of holding in a lot of what I was thinking and feeling.
You see, for the first time (yes, first) I felt like a third wheel. Due to the "couple-ness" my father and his girlfriend were emitting as bright as sunshine. You ever see those couples that do everything together, that wait for each other when they go to the bathroom, can't spend more than ten minutes apart without wondering where the other is? Yeah, after having only heard of this type of pair I had begun to doubt they existed.
I was angry and mad: two things I explicitly told myself I would not be writing about in a blog because of how depressing that is, but shit happens. Those 9 days in China were the only days this summer I would see my dad. It wasn't til after Christmas that I anticipate going back to Miami. He lives in Miami and so does she, you get my point? This is when you've gotta bite your tongue and say alright, they're in love I respect that, I'll just go with the flow and pretend it's all fan-frickin-tastic. But communication needs to happen, it takes two to tango of course, so do it the right way and work on that dance.
Anywho, that's done and over....apologies were exchanged and life goes on. People make mistakes. My dad and I, we're particularly good at that.
This summer has been possible because of him and I'm truly grateful. Not everyone has these opportunities.
Landing in Chicago and wandering around the city I call home for a couple of days and meeting up with friends made me feel so alive.
-cars actually respect pedestrians
-eating whenever you felt hungry
-people who were polite and randomly said hello
-hanging out with my mom and sharing hysterical stories
-washing the dishes (this I really do enjoy)
-living without too much worry, being comfy- which I missed
Pedro's front yard was blooming with all sorts of veggies, it's a terribly exciting time.
Things have been crazy busy ever since getting back to the states. A couple of conference calls have kept me updated on how the activism world is coming along.
While in Boston I stayed at a couchsurfer's place for one night since my wonderful pseudo best friend from grade school didn't remember to mention she'd be busy doing some volunteer work. But God bless her, she's wonderful.
I stayed with Jimmy, who works for a university creating games for educational purposes, he does what he loves, has a fantastic apartment, and is a great host. He also plays the guitar, makes a fresh pot of coffee in the morning (one of the many ways you can truly make me happy), and is a cool guy to have a chat with.
I'm planning on a final summer post once I have some more time. CHANGE pre-training starts tomorrow and I'm absolutely tickled to meet everyone, eat real food, talk activism, and have a packed/intense schedule.