The Faces I Lived Amongst

Home: where routines are made, and the places and people are familiar. It’s a location that let’s you get into your groove of life and feel comfortable.

The hunter-gatherer peoples of pre-civilized humanity had a “home” of sorts: it was the people they kept close. Then when farming, domestication, and cities sprouted, humans came to know the comforts and productivity of staying put, of enjoying the regularity of a homestead.

For the most part, this holds true today.

Feel the difference when away from home—more alert and present, more uncomfortable, excited, or anxious? Then as you’re within striking distance on the return trip, you get that groove back, and the familiarity of the environment puts you in a new state.

Regardless of your specific reaction, the impact of home makes Dorothy truthful when saying there’s no place like it—wherever it is. Bemidji, Minneapolis, Buenos Aires, or Zhuhai. That’s right, even if just a temporary home, like Zhuhai was for me, these points all held true to the degree that a year in China can allow.

Whereas my last slideshow boasted a wider geographic breadth, I’d argue that the variety of this slideshow is greater. Because when you get to know an area, when it’s your home, you delve into its crevices to reveal what really makes it tick—just as a matter of being there and living the day to day. So it’s a matter of depth.

Here are the faces that made me feel at home in Zhuhai. It’s appropriate that I finish my China posts with this ode to my home there.


(oh, and I really wanted to give you an audio option with this slideshow, but my tech skillz are sour this morning. So do yourself a favor a play a nice melody to go along with the show: )

Boy, looking at pictures and seeing the times that you had really has you appreciate the moments past!

I’ll be honest, though, I can specifically recall some of those pictures, and the moments had weren’t as enjoyable as the pictures tell me they could have been. In other words, sometimes I wasn’t all there when taking or being in the picture. I was thinking about something else–worrying, anticipating, pre-occupied with something.

Each picture captured a precious moment, and the degree to which I wasn’t soaking in that singular experience is the degree to which I missed out. It’s the point made in that old adage: life it what happens when you’re busy making plans.

I realized when reviewing the slideshow that I had an incredible year, but am guilty of sometimes living the moments as a means to an end–a paycheck, a resume builder, a time-filler. The reward of my time in China wasn’t just something to gain “down the road”; the trip itself was the reward!

Here’s to not wasting a drip of life.

And as a treat to my China-based readers (and heck, a self-reflective treat to those in America, too) next time I’m going to write a post about my return to Minnesota. Re-introducing myself to county fairs, Chinese buffets, and state parks with fresh eyes was a revealing and enlightening experience that I look forward to sharing with you.

It’ll be a introduction to Minnesota for the Chinese who read this blog; and maybe for you Minnesotans, it’ll be a fresh re-introduction for you, too.

Until then,

and to new plateaus,


4 Responses

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  2. Suzy Chen

    As a native chinese, Im really happy to find what ur opinions on China. Maybe , it is not sort of opion , It is the fact. Americanes are in badly want of the China facts ..

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