Jan 21 - Shanghai
Ok - I have been to Japan and I have been to my old office in Shanghai. Both were positive experiences. Seeing my colleagues in Shanghai has been great. I decided the "final frontier" was for me to go see the old house, my good friend Max - my old neighbor's Alaskan husky, the video store, neighborhood Starbucks, etc.
On the way from the office to Zhudi, Philip and I were discussing his current favorite topic - his new IPhone4. Like any two 3rd graders, we began comparing what each could do on our phones. I had never even tried to get on YouTube via IPhone and and since YouTube is blocked in China by the internet censors, I didn't think my attempt would yield results. To my surprise, through the miracle of a censorship glitch, 45 seconds later I had my brother singing Mr Tamborine Man on the little screen. Of course, Philip with his China registered phone could not get on YouTube. This was the first time I have known more than Philip on the topic of Apple products.
The trip to the old neighborhood only got better. After seeing the old house and Max, we went to the video store. I took a short video of Philip talking with the store owner and "miracle of miracles" was able to upload the video on Facebook which is a top ten target of the censors. I also learned that I had about two minutes or less on FB before it froze as the censors played catch up. Turning the phone on and off will enable you to re-access until the censor software does it thing.
I took a walk by myself and met Phillip back at his favorite hangout - Starbucks. By chance I ran into one of Cailin's high school teachers - we caught up for a minute and then I took another long look around me. I have been gone two months and in that time - several stores have disappeared and been replaced, the main drag of the neighborhood has had a facelift completed and right outside of our compound gate, a new hotel complex has started to go up. The saying "change is the only constant" is validated on a daily basis in China.
I have to admit, I felt like I was home - more at home than I currently feel in Charlotte but I still know the move was well timed. Off to Japan tomorrow........ Maybe having three "homes" in three countries is a good thing.