Back in the US for now -- still jetlagged and in the absence of anything else to do, working on mail-merging labels to be printed for WCC this weekend. I haven't really seen anyone yet today -- just sleeping in, and reading.
In reality, I really didn't want to come back, to be perfectly honest. And if it weren't for WCC and me serving on the Planning Committee, I most likely wouldn't have.
It's not because of anything stateside. Though it's been just two weeks since my move to China (and just barely over a week actually spent in SH, being that I was in HK for CNY), I realize that I need to get rooted, meet like-minded people through the usual friends-of-friends thing, spend quiet time with Him... I need to put a stop to this nomadic lifestyle, at least until the May holiday.
Don't get me wrong... the time in HK was a good time of renewal, actually being able to meet other like-minded people in my city and elsewhere in China, and find out more about my own personality, clarifying many things about myself and what drives me both positively and negatively. These were things that I've always known in a nebulous manner, but never really bothered to attempt to put into words. Lots to share here, once I get my SSL certificate working, and the infrastructure for private entries set up on this blog...
Anyhow, my reluctance to come back to the USA is precisely because of the fact that I'm recovering from the funk that the SH weather and lack of routine got me into, and have started planting the seeds of new friendships with brothers and sisters at my company (both of them...), starting to release my pent-up social desire to go out and meet people. So why interrupt this rhythm?
And it's not like I have any interesting stories to share in my short-time here to those back home or at WCC; people seem to think like I've already spent a lifetime working in China, a modern day Hudson Taylor. Unless you're interested in finding out about the sticker shock at US $6 boxes of imported cereal at expat markets, or the several close calls I've had in taxis, you'll be disappointed.
In other news, the landlord told me that my apartment will probably be ready to be moved in by the end of the month, with all new furniture. Until then, I've just been living in a service apartment -- certainly nice, but beyond my price range, and I don't have the feeling setting in that I've really "established" myself... more like just an extended business trip.
For the SH folks, come out and visit -- it's a scant stone's throw away from Jing An temple and Nanjing Xi Lu. Not too big, about 70 m^2, but I really preferred the central location and liveliness, and the closeness to the Metro, versus having a bigger 100 m^2 place in a not-so-happening location.
Anyhow, things that I'll neverthess try to relish during my time back home, keeping in mind the adage you won't know what you missed until it's gone...
* WCC 2005 -- our biggest conference ever; over 460 people registered, necessiating the need for us to pull some interesting logistical and scheduling tricks working with our venue that has a "stated" capacity of 425... ;P
* Having my first actual bath since leaving the USA.
* Farewell/birthday dinner later tonight.
* Meeting up with the Xealot Thailand team, especially cndbanana and Linda nuna, back in town for their commissioning... always an encouragement to see like-minded folks in other parts.
* My "last Sunday" at GrX (taking some time out from WCC). In reality, I'll probably back in the US at least 2-3 times before the end of this year, and I just don't really think this is a farewell... but I just wanted to say "last Sunday" because that's easier than saying "my last Sunday for two to three months depending on if my company sends me to a conference or someone gets married unexpectedly..." =P
I leave with this question -- where do I consider my home? I don't know yet... for now, one of the things keeping my sanity during this time of transition is the knowledge wherever my home is, I have another one somewhere up there...