Linda in the Arboretum
I've been back in the U.S. for about two weeks now. Despite, or perhaps--on account of--not being in this country for a year-and-a-half, it's been a comfortable transition. There have been previous times I've returned to the U.S. and found that it just wasn't the place I wanted to be at that particular moment. That's how I felt in late 2003 when circumstances compelled me to make a premature visit back to Seattle.
I'll be in Seattle off-and-on, mostly on, throughout this summer. It's been good to call on friends and family members and not have the time restriction I've had each of my visits over the last several years. All my visits over recent years were for a period of about one month in the country. Over those trips, my time was limited. I was booking stays, meals--even coffee with friends--well in advance. I'm taking it far easier this time around, just calling on people here and there as I feel.
Though I feel comfortable and at ease being in America this time around, there are things that I observe which--even two weeks after my arrival--still stand out in my mind:
I'm sure my perspective is stilted by reading online news from Urumqi over the past several years, but I just can't imagine those old, blocky newspaper vending machines surviving many more years.