China, Week 8 (Finally!)

Finally! Our work permits arrived—just in time for me to take Asher to Hong Kong. Everyone in the Gulley household is extremely gruntled now that we can touch our own passports whenever we like. In addition, Asher re-entered China after going to Hong Kong, so he now has sixty more days before he has to leave again. We are able to breathe easy.
Except for…grading papers, planning classes, listening to speeches. You know, the usual stresses that come with being a teacher. The things we love to complain about but would miss if we didn’t get to do them. Speaking of teaching, I had my Freshman listen to “Please Call Stella” (the famous linguistics study) and then send me a voice recording of themselves saying it. Listening to fifty Chinese students say “five thick slabs of blue cheese” has been the highlight of my week.
And then of course, there was Hong Kong. Asher and I stayed in the Regal Airport Hotel which is connected to the airport. We took a train ride into Hong Kong proper, and we ate Panini’s for dinner. Then we went to an English language bookstore and bought new books to celebrate our good sportsmanship. Before dinner we strolled along the harbor, looked at public art, and saw the moon for the first time in a long time.
After a relatively comfortable flight home, Asher and I figured out how to take the shuttle bus back to our neighborhood. Then we crossed the street and took the city bus back to the mall near our house. When we started up the street to our apartment complex, we realized that Xi’an is home now.

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