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Mendy Smith

Coming Home

November 13, 2007 at 2:58 PM

I made it back from Hong Kong tonight. The last leg of the journey I did solo - a few train stops, navigating through the train station, across the street, through the mall and finally - back to the hotel!!!

Visiting China again just reinforced how happy I am to be living in the US. The road conditions are horrible, getting into a car is like "Death Race 2000" (I lost count of how many times we almost got into a crash), smog 1000x worse than LA on a bad day, dirt and rubble everywhere. The only highlight is the people that I work with at the plant. They are so incredibly eager to learn, attentive, and good hosts all around.

My colleague "baby sat" my viola for me while I ventured into China. My stay in China was only for one night and I had meetings scheduled through the day and evening. Practice time would have been non-existant. He promiced not to cut the strings while viola-sitting. I'll find out for sure tomorow.

I took my software development team out to lunch today at a hotel restaraunt across the road. Walking across the road was an adenture in and of itself!!! I almost got run over 3 times, once by a bicyclist, once by a motor bike, and one by a motor bike with a trailer hitch! We made it to the hotel for lunch and had a private room. I have no idea what I ate, and I hope noone ever tells me what it was that I was eating. There were things like pigs feet, intestines, snake, fish heads, inspects, etc.. all over the menu. It tasted good and I'm not sick, so all is well.

Everyone had a blast (2 hour lunches are unheard of out here even if it also a staff meeting). Luckily about half of my group speaks English well enough to translate for those who do not, and to have the other discussions translated for my benefit. They tried to convince me to extend my stay in China through the end of the week.

Tomorrow morning we head back to the airport to go home. I can't wait! Well maintained roads, good food, wide open spaces, clean air, safe driving, enough room to practice without hitting my bow arm on the wall, and best of all my own bed.

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