July 2018, second trip back home after moving to Beijing in 2016.
I collect these here for preservation and quick access, and in keeping with my practice of treating this site partly like a garden I tend to once in a while as a break from the day-to-day.
A good stretch of time out of your country lets you see your home almost through the eyes of a foreign visitor. Trips back home are characterized by constant juxtapositions to China. Everything strikes me with the accompanying thought of, “Imagine how my Chinese colleagues would see this.” This is less about what you might expect — the political and cultural differences, though those are quite real — but for residents of Beijing, in my mind at least, it’s about nature. Beijing is so artificial and uncomfortable that all the sensations of fresh Michigan air and water feel like an incredible (in the true sense of that word) wealth of riches by comparison.