Back from the edge of chaosSo happy day -- I am back in blogger contact. You may now rejoyce. If it wasn't clear as to my hiatus (and it shouldn't have been, because I don't think I mentioned it to anyone), our blog is blocked from viewing in China. I do know very much how Chinese citizens like to hear a constant stream of ranting from disgruntled history graduate students (and whatever you can call my mindless chatter), and I have to say, I'm disturbed that they cannot get their fill of our sage words.
(Full disclosure: All blogger websites are blocked.)
Perhaps I will write about China in a bit, but right now I need to get some shut eye, so I will keep this short. Plus, since I left only two days ago, I don't feel like racanting it all just yet. Though I'm surely losing a lot of details in my memories by procrastinating. Here is a collage of pictures I made for y'all. Click on it to see them bigger. In case it wasn't obvious, I'm the awkward looking tan kid.
How about we make a deal. If you post questions in the comment section, I'll try to answer them. (In case you didn't know why I was in China, see this. Here are my new friends. And what I did is here.)
But I have now settled into Sokendai, a graduate university in Japan, where I will be spending the next month. My quarters are spacious and my "co-worker" is better than I could have hoped for. I was getting rather tired of the... inconviences... of traveling by the end of the China leg of my trip, but upon reaching Japan, I'm ready to start fresh. From what I've seen, from one day of sightseeing, I could definitely get used to living here. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm in Hayama, which is a resort beach town. Seriously, it's like being in Malibu.
Except with big statues of the Buddah, people taking on and off their shoes, and everything 10-20% more expensive. And that's saying a lot because Malibu in itself is expensive. But it didn't have nearly enough Hello Kitty. Here it is on a map:
Today I went on a scenic drive, saw the world's biggest bronze Buddah, ate noodles, went on a tour of a temple built in the 1200s, drank tea ceremony tea, went to someone's house for dinner and had amazing sushi and delightful conversation, spent $6o for not very much at the grocery store, and went back to the dorm.
Tomorrow work starts, and I'm excited for that.
Chris, I'll send care packages when I get back to the US. Just note that I am in the same situation you are in for vegetables. Apparently, all the cafeteria serves here for lunch is meat with meat covered in meat. (Yesterday, my first day, I already accidentally ate meat. A vegetarian in a meat-filled land.) Mmmm. It also sounds like you -- too -- are constantly being bombarded with Engrish-ness. Maybe we're in sister cities. Miss you. Take care.
Michael, what have you been doing all summer? Miss you too. Keep tough.
Linus, you better get more than 2 footnotes out of this summer. On the other hand, who am I to talk. I've been in graduate school for 2 years, and still have NO ideas for a dissertation topic. So maybe I should settle for footnotes and hope for a dissertation to come out of one of them. It's a chicken and egg thing, though, a zen koan: footnotes for what? What came first, the footnotes or the dissertation topic?
Sorry if this is nondescript and incoherent. I'm so tired I can barely type.