I woke up this morning cranky and curled into a face down, baby-style sleeping position.  I stomped around trying desperately to remember the things that I was going to forget and shove things into my luggage that I knew I would never really need.  I stomped around full frustration and vinegar while my mother and Jacklynn tried to make my life easier.  Remembering how much I loved my friends and family and how much I would miss them I stood in the kitchen and filled with tears.

After maneuvering things the three of us rushed off for some delicious and sinful corporate scones.  Jackie and I said goodbye while demanding that the other have a great time.  My mother and father were both at the airport to drop me off and we did some good old fashioned problem solving after discovering that my enormous luggage was obviously overweight.  They told me endlessly to take care of myself reminding me that as I live in Shanghai I have to both pay attention to what I do and let them know that I’m okay.

I willed my body to sleep or at least my eyes to be closed throughout the flight to San Francisco. I got my first taste of China when I arrived in the international terminal.  Hectic, hot, and crowded.  I stood in line patiently to ask the clerk at the United counter a question and another woman bolted in front of me automatically when she sensed my hesitation.  Suddenly she seemed to remember where she was saying, “Oh right, queuing…” and then waiting her turn. Soon I’ll be elbowing with the best of them trying to push myself to the front of the line.  The gate is filled with Chinese mostly and a smattering of others ready to become minorities. Seeing excited faces of friends talking, grandmothers and moms doting on only children, and exhausted business men all remind me of people to meet and speak to in Shanghai.

I’m excited about the new and interesting things that I’ll be doing and I’m excited about the pitfalls that I’ll encounter and roll around in. What could be better then a brand new adventure?