Stick and I took our niece Isabel to the pool today. We played a pick-up game of Marco Polo, with some neighborhood kids, and watched a hundred thousand times as Isabel’s cried “Watch this! Look at me!”
It was fantastic, a day of brilliant blue skies with puffy white Disney clouds, and trees in all directions. Not the straight rows of matching new saplings, but older trees, with different leaves and different shapes, and some Southern summer flowers. I sat in the sun, half-listening to conversations around me, and my eavesdropping gets me neighborhood gossip, not the “Three… not have… tomorrow” my Mandarin skills glean.
I feel strange, though, like I am impersonating an American. I’m constantly off-balance, lost without the ring roads and the nei / wai style of Beijing navigation, having strange mornings without the shouts of recycling pick-up and my daily ChinesePod.