better days In a 2009 photo, a shopkeeper in the 水井坊 Shuijingfang area of Chengdu closes her eyes, maybe remembering other times. The shop, along with about 90% of the ancient neighborhood, is now gone.
From the #76 bus stop, a new skyscraper goes up on Dongda Jie in central Chengdu. Back to school – classes started on Monday. Because I’m teaching in a corporate language training program, I’m starting in mid-August instead of the first of September. With 38 students in each class, it’s a bit awkward teaching Oral English, but since I have each group for 6 periods a week, I hope to sort out a method for having a little individual speaking time with each student at least once a week. The weather is hot and sticky, and I spend a lot of my time indoors with my new air conditioner – the old one chose to die the day after my return from my 3-week trip to the U.S. In the evening, thunder lights up the distant sky, and sometimes the oppressive humidity condenses itself into a brief rain storm. The other day, between class and lunch, I sat on a bench by the lotus pond near North Gate and meditated. The pink lotus blossoms provided good focal points, and the low-high-low choral buzzing of the cicadas gave me a sense of tranquility. I’m still mulling over my thoughts from my American sojourn. Was that really just a few weeks ago? I hope to have them down on paper – or on a computer screen – once I’m better able to articulate my feelings about reverse culture shock, and revisiting my home country after an absence of 5 years. As soon as
Resting – teahouse, Chengdu