I've been back for two weeks now. Let's see...how has it been?
Things have felt really strange lately. I will honestly say I was feeling really down this time about leaving home and coming back here. I had had such a great summer with my family and friends that I didn't want to go. I hated having to say goodbye all over again, knowing I likely wouldn't see everyone for another full year.
The plane ride back was ok. From NYC to Beijing felt like a night you have trouble sleeping. I read, then slept. I ate, then slept. I watched part of a movie, then slept. I never slept for long but still the ride seemed to go a lot smoother and faster than usual for me. I didn't have my usual "Get me off this goddamn plane" panic attack that I usually have around the 7-8th hour. I rushed around the Beijing airport since my plane was delayed and I had to recheck my baggage...only to find out my next flight was delayed as well. Lovely. When I finally landed in Shanghai there was one small lovely gift the universe gave me. My luggage came out first. Glory hallelujah. I got myself a taxi and the memories came rushing back.
That's when the first feeling of "I never left..." washed over me. Watching the familiar billboards fly by, the familiar skyline, even the familiar smell. I love that I recognized where I was every minute of the ride. I love that I had to give my cab driver directions. I love that when we got to the school gate (at around 1am, just like I predicted), the guard smiled when he recognized me and let the taxi drive all the way to my apartment building.
It was really strange unlocking my apartment door and walking in. I had been gone for over two months and here everything was, the way I left it. I had been looking at coming back as though it was a new trip and yet my apartment was already unpacked and stocked and...lived in. I tried to get my internet to work right away but since my laptop was re-imaged it was a no-go. I made my bed with the sheets past-me was nice enough to clean for future-me and went right to sleep.
I felt really disoriented the first morning. I assumed we would have work on Sunday to prepare for classes on Monday. I showered, ate some of the crackers I had leftover from the plane, packed up my work bag and walked to the high school. Locked. I decided to take my bike and ride over to the Coffee Beanery so I could get a real breakfast and some Wi-Fi. I got an e-mail saying that Sunday was a day off for teachers, but apparently I was to have been at work on Saturday. Oops. Well, I didn't get in trouble for that, thankfully. I sent off a few e-mails to let my coworkers and family know where I was, and then was disappointed to discover that my blog and youtube were still blocked. Also facebook is now blocked. UGH UGH.
After that I rode over to Carrefour and got some basic groceries. I honestly can't remember what I did for the rest of the day. I think I unpacked and just hung out.
I think I am going to split this up into at least two entries since it's getting really long.