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Land of opportunity

Liz met me at Logan Airport in Boston this morning and we got to catch up on the drive home. She’d gone into Boston to play mixed doubles squash with Preston (B. Quick) – a real relationship test, it seems to me! – so this worked out perfectly, and so did the fact that she was tired from the match. Now she’s going to have to wait till Monday to start my Chinese language training boot camp.

The weather’s been miserable in the Berkshires, but as of today the sun is shining. We’re closing the office early, in fact, because it’s so lovely outside. (Hm, has the weather really been as bad as they say, or was that just to make me feel guilty for gallivanting around Beijing?)


When I got to the office I distributed some ink drawings from Guangzhou and winter tea from Beijing, and we were talking about the fun of bargaining in markets in other countries. I told them how Tom enjoyed practicing his Chinese with the teenage girls in the Silk Market, explaining why his mother couldn’t possibly pay what they were asking. While he bargained, I attempted to convey a lack of interest and eagerness to leave. The trouble is that if he caught my eye, both of us would start smiling or laughing. So I learned to wander away, leaving the field to him. After one particularly long, intense exchange, deal done at last, I asked him what he’d been saying. “Oh, I was telling her about your business and how times are tough in America, so we’ve come to China to try and restore the family fortunes.” Thus the need for my new business suit. But I’m not sure where the silk dress fit into this scenario.

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