Monday, May 31, 2010

China Bound

At the risk of using all the wrong fonts, here's guest post #5. The last we heard from our fearless blogger he was hunkered down in a park in Shanghai with his old college crony burning little bits of plastic. I have spend the past weeks reacquainting myself with variations on the Stoltzfus profile and remembering what kind, honest faces my friends have.

We spend our 5th anniversary half a world apart re-exploring our previous lives. I can't really remember what we promised each other in the park except that it involved the most traditional mennonite vows we could find. What we said is less important to me than what it means to wake up next to a person in the morning realising that he will always be unknown to me but that (amazingly) he has chosen to wake up beside me every morning. What it means is that I have a suitcase full of books and a backpack full of clothing and expectations for a good year.

I'm excited to go. For extreme anti-socialites like myself, it is nice to know that a smile and a few unintelligible social pleasantries will suffice (few expect eloquence from an immigrant). It will be the chance of a lifetime to lose myself with books, paper and pen and whatever other regimens I construct for myself. For once, my long term goals will involve taking on such monumental tasks as that needlepoint of Darren the Viking.

I am excited to go, but to be honest, if Darren decided he was going to spend the year in a sewer you'd probably find me donning my wet suit.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Fannie Mae Collection

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

At the Center of the Western World
We're on the road, traveling the number 2 straight across the country 50 miles south of Canada. The roads are straight and the trucks we see are dirty. In Eastern Montana the single finger flip wave is a popular way to greet neighbors.
The land is dotted with interesting conglomerations built over time out of machinery for another time and smaller world. The towns are leaning like abandoned barns, but they are still strong. The signs tell us to watch for game crossings.
We stay in lodges, consort with the locals in places like Stacey's Country Kitchen and drink black coffee from grizzled rancher/oil driller types. At night the trains freighted with a miles of unknowns rumble by. I love it.