Christmas in July??

 Or at least that’s what it feels like around here.  These days, it is eternal summer and it’s been a little hard to identify with the Christmas spirit.  I mean, it’s around 80 or 85 degrees, and while the touristy places might put up a faux Christmas tree be-speckled with all sorts of shiny decorations, it’s just not the same.  And it feels a bit artificial, as the great majority of the country is buddhist.  BUT I’ve tried not be be a grinch, made some (perhaps lame) attempts at decorating our apartment and made some great plans to GET OUT OF TOWN.  So, actually, right now as I type this I am at the beginning of my Christmas trek.

I am headed ultimately to China via a rather weaving route :).  I took a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon, whichever you perfer. I’m not sure which is politically or socially correct– probably really depends on who you are talking to).  I arrived here yesterday, greeted by my friend Bon, who was an exchange student my junior year in High School.  We went to the prom together, it was pretty cute.  We were both skinny and akward.  I’m still skinny, not as akward and he has finally grown up a bit.  Yesterday was the first time we have seen each other since we were 17 years old!  It was SO good to see him, and we have much to catch up on.  It’s rather bizarre to think on how much I have changed since then (though he says i look exactly the same, figures), and how things so central to my identity, like human rights work, were not an explicit part of my life then.  Many of the underlying values were there of course– like service, community, etc.– but not to the projection or the magnitude of my life today.  Though Bon and I have kept up with each other, we have a lot things to re-learn about each other too. It’s kind of a fun experiement. But while we have both evolved and grown into ourselves since HS in Missouri, we have both remained the same in some ways too.  Bon’s still a playful charmer, outgoing, friendly, ultimately sincere.  The good thing is he’s not trying to get me to kiss him any more, haha.  (no offense, Bon!! 🙂  ) I wasn’t buying into the whole “my american girlfriend” thing back in HS either.  Yes, I’m still as stubborn as always.

He’s been the most generous host– showing me around town, eating at his mom’s fabulous restaurant, and (via the “network”) hooked me up with a free night at his friend’s “spare” penthouse apartment overlooking the river on the 28th floor of a gorgeous building.  And I was expecting a basic hostel or maybe a couch.  Wow. 

BUT tomorrow I am off– it is a very quick stay– and will be headed to Hong Kong—> Shenzhen—-> Hangzhou to meet my very spunky, delightful, creative, thoughtful friend Cammie.  We know each other from William Jewell College, our alama mater, and she has been living there in China for at least 3 years or more now teaching english.  I am SO excited to join her there, experience a bit of winter, breath a little deeper with a friend from my “other life” and explore China with her and her flatmate Jackie. 

Does anyone have any burning China travel suggestions?  DO tell :*)  Most of our travel planning will happen once I get there.


Ok!! I’m off


One Response to “Christmas in July??”

  1. searchingforquestions Says:

    Are you still in China? How was/is it? miss you!

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