It's been a long time since I last posted.
A lot has happened. I went to Thailand and Malaysia. I went to Beijing shortly after. Both trips were incredible experiences. In south-east Asia I experienced night buses and hostel friends. I experienced my first primarily Muslim country. I ate more fried chicken than I ever should have. I sweated for nights in a bamboo bungalow and jumped rope with fire. I also jumped through a flaming hoop. All my body hair was left intact.
In Beijing, I lived in the hutongs, the traditional housing areas of the city. I saw an incredibly vibrant community there, and enjoyed every minute of it. I discovered the joys of chuanr, the delicious lamb skewers sold in most restaurants. I dined with UN staff, ambassadors, journalists and best-selling authors from around the world. I traveled with a beautiful woman and never got sick of her.
Now I'm in Hong Kong for two more weeks, before hitting the Sichuan province of China with my roommate and backpacking for ten days. I couldn't be more excited.
So here I am, in the home stretch. It almost feels like a vacation, it's such a short amount of time to spend in a city so complex. At the end of these nine months, I'm finally dreading leaving. Hong Kong is what I know and what I'm comfortable with, and soon I'll have to change all that and throw myself headlong into repatriation. It's an odd feeling, to be so excited and scared at the prospect of going home. I can't rightly put it into words right now.
I've got a lot of learning to do, and a lot of living.