Staring Out the Shanghai Window Looking for Froth

Monday, June 22

I just summonsed the blog document because, as it turns out, I forgot to put all those Game of Thrones episodes through the cloud and they’re unwatchable… and I just finished the first of the books and couldn’t find an English bookstore to grab the second.  My head is filled with a yearning for dragons, but that’s okay because it seems appropriate on a flight from Shanghai to Bangkok.

I’m at the wing seat and we’re way over the clouds so I can’t see much, but the wing itself is funny in that, despite the giant Chinese characters that dominate the decor, the “NO STEP” warning is linguistically directed to those who are presumably the only ones dumb enough to venture out for a mid-flight stroll.  Or plummet.  I guess you could try it once…


I haven’t written for awhile because of the wall-to-wall awesomeness and idiocy I’ve put myself through.  It started as I awoke for my real last day at Shinagawa Gakuen, the Saturday farewell party.  Despite my annoyance surrounding the circumstances, it was really very sweet and thoughtful.  There are some absolutely lovely people in Japan.

They treated us like rock stars at the Grammys: we were celebrated for the sake of ceremony and the people, and nobody was allowed to talk too much.  Still, when 500 tiny people are singing and swaying at you and 500 more are graciously honoring your presence behind them, you can’t help but feel good about intentions and the world.  Singing kindergartners should be a non-negotiable presence at every international summit.  

After that, we were led upstairs to further celebration, complete with gifts, food, and a delicious fruit tart concocted by the woman whom I refuse to further disparage because upon reflection, I realize that bossy or not, her intentions were good.  She gave us a ton of time and effort and by complaining about that just because it doesn’t fit my personality, I’m the asshole.  My apologies to someone who hopefully never knows that she needs them.

I’m also kind of embarrassed at my childlike behavior at this ceremony, but I can’t bring myself to regret it because it was the hardest I’ve laughed in months.  See, this kid next to me said something, and it was a rude thing, but he didn’t say it to be rude or funny or to cause trouble; he just sort of said it to himself in such complete wonder and astonishment that he’d even had the thought that I absolutely lost my mind laughing.  

It was like being in church when you’re not allowed to laugh, and it makes you laugh all the harder… head down, shoulders shaking, occasional snort escaping fiercely… which then sets you off anew.

Shameful, but oh, hey- it was good.

I also got to say my farewells to my favorite kid, this kid:

who is maybe the most outgoing and personable child in the world, and if I ever deign to become a kidnapper, this little dude’s my first target.  He’s one of those children with a heart of gold, with no idea that there’s anything bad in the world so he treats it accordingly.  He’s also hilarious, winking ostentatiously when you look at him and bursting into ABBA song and dance at the slightest provocation.  

But alas!  It was time for my final farewell, and off to grab the first of three trains to the monkeys.

On the same note, I’m ending this entry now.  Chinese planes serve a weird meal of individually wrapped unidentifiables, but most people don’t die, and I like those odds.  More later on my idiocy and the macaques. 



One thought on “Staring Out the Shanghai Window Looking for Froth

  1. Colleen Foster says:

    So glad you attended the last day of festivities! You look great in the pictures. Japan must agree with you. Did you know that Andy spent time in Thailand either after college or his MBA?


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