Friday, August 7, 2009

Back in Beijing

I mentioned back in June that I was working on this article. And here it is, in print. Well, technically you have to be in Beijing to see it in print, but you get what I'm saying.

It's 5:30 a.m. and I've been awake for almost 3 hours. 3 of my kids are awake, too. Jetlag... the worst part of the FS lifestyle.

So much to catch up on. I'll try to write in bits and pieces over the next few days, because if I store it all up for one long post, well, you won't be hearing from me until 2010.

Here is a brief synopsis of my fabulous life:

Airplanes: hate 'em. But I don't have to get on another one for a good long time, and by then I'll be ready. The kids were spectacularly well-behaved on the flight out from Beijing in July. Seriously. Little haloes floated above their heads throughout the journey. Not once did they fight. They didn't even whine. I was like a rock star on the plane, with people telling me how wonderful my kids are. I basked in the glory of it all, all the way to Seattle. Apparently, they were just saving energy for the trip from Seattle to NY, because the boys spent that entire journey bickering, and I quickly moved from my evil-mom-hiss to my full-out don't-make-me-get-up-from-my-seat-snarl. But they made up for it on the trip back here, when they were once again well-behaved. If only you could predict it, you know?

Summer vacation: almost over. School starts next Thursday. So much left undone! Part of me (okay, most of me) is relieved to send 50% of my kids off to school and earn myself some free time. But another sliver of self is going to miss those little guys. When did they get so big?

Beijing: My eyes are burning. I had forgotten how atrocious the air is. Yesterday was brown and hazy and humid and nasty. At one point I told Shay he needed to go out into the sunshine so his body would adjust to the time and he asked "sunshine? What sunshine?" But - I snuck out for lunch with some friends, and it was good to catch up. Beijing is good and bad in equal measure. For example, the airport personnel were polite, professional, efficient. But then we hopped in the shuttle, and oh-my-gawd can noone drive in this country? The grocery store is still small and a bit dingy. But the store managers welcomed me back and asked how our trip was. And of course, when I discovered my computer was even more messed up than when I left, I started yelling at the lightbulbs that they'd better fix my computer because I was a writer, gosh darn it, and if my computer didn't start working right NOW I'd tell everyone China sucks! This place makes you paranoid. But 30 minutes later, the computer mysteriously worked again. Go figure.

Okay, I've abandoned the jetlagged beasts for long enough. More later. For now, go read my article and tell me I'm brilliant. Seriously. I'm waiting.


Ambrose said... [Reply]

Welcome back! And your article is fantastic.

globalgal said... [Reply]

Ditto what Ambrose said! I enjoyed the article because I was nodding my head yes at just about everything. We're getting ready for our summer trip out of China, to Spain. It's been a long, hot China summer (but with a lot less pollution than normal, which was a big surprise) and I'm more than ready for a break!

Erin G said... [Reply]

you're brilliant. :)

seriously the article is great. welcome home!

Please. Write your own stuff.