Fresh from the road.

Flew out of Beijing this morning, yesterday — however you measure time when traveling overseas, backwards and forwards.  Got a ride with a very angry cab driver.  He was angry about our luggage, angry about going to the airport, angry with the guy he spoke with on the phone — and then he overcharged us by ten dollars.  At that point, I didn’t feel like arguing with him.

But the rest of the trip was smooth.  Chinese immigration is easy.  I was traveling with my daughter, which made everything so much better.  It’s nice having family with you on these long trips.  You can stretch out without feeling as though you’re imposing on a stranger.

As usual, though, it was surreal reaching Chicago.  You’re in China, and then suddenly you’re not.  There’s no transition, and the change can be a bit jarring sometimes.  United States immigration was relatively stress-free, though no one ever asks you questions when you enter China, and every time I come back to America, I feel a bit like I’ve got a white-hot light shining in my eyes when it’s my turn to talk to the agent.

Home now, though.  Home sweet home.

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