It is Monday evening as this goes out on the interwebs. In the morning we will pack up the car, strap the munchkin into his seat, and head off for Hangzhou. Thursday morning we will hop on the shuttle bus that takes us from downtown Hangzhou to Shanghai's Pudong airport where, around 3pm our flight will leave for Canada.
It's an interesting function of the international dateline that we leave Shanghai at 3pm on Thursday May 17th and arrive in Vancouver just before 12 noon on Thursday May 17th; three hours before we leave. If that doesn't seem fair, don't worry. We lose a whole day on the way back.
Oh, by the way, we're going to Canada on Thursday. We will be spending three weekends, and the two intervening weeks, visiting my home and native land. It's my wife's and son's first trip to Canada and only my second trip back in the last eight years. This is my wife's first time meeting most of my family (my parents have been here to visit us) and my son's first time to see the country of which he is a citizen. I'm so excited that I haven't gotten anything useful done in weeks.
I'm looking forward to seeing people I haven't seen in years (Facebook doesn't count). I'm looking forward to eating a number of things that I haven't eaten for years. People will be hugged and meals demolished. Dee. Mall. Isht.
I am also looking forward to something that few people ever have a chance to do. I'm looking forward to seeing the place where I grew up and the culture I grew up in through the eyes of a stranger. I'm partly referring to my wife's reactions to things, of course, but mostly I mean my own.
I've been living in China for eight years. That's a very long time. In those eight years I'm fairly certain I've become more acculturated than I think to the Chinese way of living, and less accustomed to good old Can-eh-dia, eh? I've also spent a lot of my time hanging out with Aussies, Brits, the French and other disreputable types (I'm looking at you, Germans). I think culturally I'm still more Canadian than Chinese, but I'm not sure by how much, and I'm interested to find out.
I will make an effort to keep this place updated. I have a couple of posts already written and scheduled, and I have the blogger app installed on my tablet, so I should be able to do some basic blogging "from the field" as it were, but if I don't post much for the rest of May it's probably because my mother taught me not to blog with my mouth full. Dee. Mall. Isht.