I’m back! In America that is. And I have been for about 6 weeks now.

I spent some time visiting my family in Michigan, then I saw my friends and family in Boston, then I came back to sunny Saco, Maine.

In Michigan I spent some time with my cousins the “East Side Crew” – Cousins Susie, Debbie, and Renee, and her son Jeremy). They wanted to take me into Detroit, and as Debbie kept saying, show me that things weren’t as bad as everyone says they are.

And to my shock and surprise, it really wasn’t bad at all.

I ate plenty of food and saw about 90% of my family out there.

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The End?

I have always known that China was a part of my journey, not the destination. I was never sure how long it would last but I knew that I would not stay forever. With much pleasure and sorrow I realize that my time here has drawn to a close.

Teaching has been challenging yet rewarding; frustrating yet fun. The people I have met along the way are all wonderful people and I wish them the best of luck in China and wherever else their own journey’s take them. Perhaps we’ll cross paths again sometime. *For some of these people, I will go far out of my way to make sure we cross paths again.

To be honest, I wrote the bulk of this post on August 25th, 2013, not even two weeks after I had arrived in China. At the time of writing I was still very unsure as to when I would be leaving China and what I would be doing next. Heck, I hadn’t even taught a class yet! I know you’re probably thinking “wow Jon is crazy, he was already trying to figure out what to do six months from then and he hadn’t even spent a full two weeks there!”

What can I say? I can’t help it. I like to think. Muse. Contemplate. Ponder. Ruminate. I spent countless hours sitting on my little window bench on couch cushions staring at the river and the people and the cars going by and wondering about life. It’s hard for me not to, really.

I know that I like this city (*kind of). There is a lot of stuff to do (*kind of), even if it’s just people watching from my air conditioned apartment. The food is wonderful (did you really think I wouldn’t mention food at least once?) and while I will miss the food and my friends the most, I take solace in two ideas: the fact that good food is universal- you just have to know where to look-, and that communication is global. As you all know firsthand, I have documented every aspect of this trip and kept in personal contact with many friends and family members from home. Who’s to say that the same cannot be done with the people I’ve met here? And next time they’re in Maine or I’m in their city, we’ll meet up and reminisce. I can take solace in the fact that I can leave China but China cannot leave me.

I titled this post “The End?” because while it is the end of my time in China, it is not the end of my adventure. I will probably take a break for a while, but I will be back with another trip to tell you all about.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and encouraging me. As much as (I hope) you have enjoyed this, I have enjoyed you.


* Denotes recent additions. Also, I’m already in Michigan and would like to apologize for the late posting. I would have liked to have posted this before I left, but I didn’t have internet.

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What’s Up?

Howdy. I’ve been reminded that it’s been a while. Sorry. You know how life gets:)

Xavier and Peter

Xavier and Peter

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Food for Thought III

Note: I started writing this a long time ago and forgot about it. So here’s some more num-nums for your brain.

“But growth demanded disobedience. His mother and fear impelled him to keep away from the white wall. Growth is life, and life is forever destined to make for light” – Jack London, White Fang

If you remember from a few months ago, you’ll know that I read White Fang while I was in the Philippines. During a nice rainy day, I spent most of the day reading this in the guest house I was staying.

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Shanghaied in Shanghai

We went to Shanghai for Justin’s bachelor party. It was awesome. Shanghai is a wonderful city. Even though I was there for only a few hours, I had an absolute blast, and I could tell that the city is much nicer than Tianjin.

View from top deck of our hotel

View from top deck of our hotel

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