I leave China in slightly less than 12 hours. I'm currently in the midst of packing. I think it will all fit, but I've accumulated quite a few odds and ends -- books, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, and so on -- and it will be a little bit of a challenge. Doreen has also acquired a ton of papers from her trips to Hong Kong, Manila, Delhi, and Bangalore, and it has fallen to me to carry them. Right now it's looking like my bags will be very heavy, but that everything will fit.
The last three summers Doreen and I traveled around China for around three weeks after my summer school work was done. This year we're heading straight home. We had hoped to have a quiet month together in Maine and travel up to Quebec to kayak with the whales. For a variety of reasons -- some good and some bad -- we won't be able to do so. But we've had a nice few days in Beijing, relaxing and hanging out. And we will get to spend some time together in Maine before school starts and before Doreen jets off to Europe. She has a sabbatical from COA in the fall, so she'll be away much of the time.
We are celebrating our last night in Beijing by sharing a bottle of red wine and packing. The wine is Suntime Manes Dry Red Wine. It was chosen by the summer school's official sommelier, Professor Henry Wright. He ranks it as one of the better Chinese reds he's had. The reviews from Professor Doreen Stabinsky are somewhat mixed: "It tastes like grapes." "I'm glad we didn't waste space in our luggage bringing this home." And, "It's actually not bad. It tastes pretty good, just not like wine." I'm finding it fine. Not great, but good enough for a long night of packing.
I will try to post more Beijing thoughts when I get back to Maine. Right now I should turn my attention to packing and wine.
18 hours ago