Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back from China

I returned from China a few days ago, arriving late Thursday night. Surprisingly, my jetlag has been minimal. The last time I got back from China it took me quite a while to synchronize to the new time zone. This year it's only taken a day or so. It's a little surreal to have returned. The seven-week trip is over and I'm right back in my everyday Maine existence. In about 24 hours I traveled 12 time zones. A little hard to fully grasp.

But mostly it's great to be back home and back in Maine. I've been enjoying some of the simple pleasures of home: hanging laundry on the line on a sunny day, sleeping with a cat curled next to my head, cooking for myself, and sleeping in my own comfortable bed with flannel sheets. I've been particularly enjoying the clean air. Beijing is amazingly polluted. It was great to get off the plane in Bangor and breathe in the clean, cool Maine air. I don't think I really understood how unhealthy and uncomfortable Beijing air was until I got a good dose of Maine.

I've spent the last few days dealing with email and snail mail and doing laundry and other things around the house. I've talked to a few friends and colleagues when on campus, for for the most part things have been quiet. It's been quite nice and relaxing. Last night I took a bath and read the latest issue of the American Journal of Physics. Quite a Saturday night. This evening I may take another bath and read The College Mathematics Journal or perhaps Dissent or The Atlantic Monthly. I have a lot of journal and magazine reading to catch up on. I also have some classes to prepare: Calculus I and Chaos and Complex Systems. Both should be a lot of fun.


earth549 said...

Glad you had fun over there, Dave! A friend of mine just left for Shenyang, China (also quite polluted and crowded). Maine's air is clean in comparison to a lot of places. I miss that ocean smell! I love Bar Harbor in the early fall - all the students arriving, the excitement in the air, the Bar Island swim...
I can't believe how quickly summer passes by - even when you're not a student or teacher! Of course, in politics, September means crunch-time, too.

Dave said...

The ocean smell is great. But there's also the smell of the forest. It was this smell that greeted me on the tarmac at the Bangor airport.