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Sept. 2019 Michigan Vacation Slides

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My 2019 Vacation Slides

Port Crescent State Park in Michigan

After months and months in Beijing, it’s hard to describe just how magnificent and refreshing Michigan fresh waters and air are.

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My Spring 2019 Korea Slides

Weekend trip over to Seoul from Beijing to revisit my old neighborhood and have lunch with some former colleagues.

I hadn’t been back since moving away in 2009. It was quietly overwhelming to be back.

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My 2018 Vacation Slides

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.

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My 2017 Vacation Slides

Photo courtesy Nick

July 2017, my first trip back home to Michigan after 11 months in Beijing.

I collect these here for preservation and quick access, and in keeping with my practice of treating this site partly like a garden that I tend to once in a while as a break from the day-to-day.

Most of these images are of sights that struck me in juxtaposition to nature-devoid Beijing. Thus the occasional image of nothing more than a collection of overgrown weeds or a field. A good stretch of time out of your country lets you see your home almost through the eyes of a foreign visitor.

All of which is a deluded way of saying these photos have the quality of a 1980s vacation slide show. I gotta do something with them.

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Shanghai, Dec. 2016

After four months in China, I finally have some days to get out of Beijing and make the bullet train trek to Shanghai. Somewhat unwittingly, I ended up in the best hotel I ever could have hoped for. Not the priciest but could hardly be more appropriate for my first time here.