Thursday, December 24, 2009

...And we're off.

Well it's been a fun two and a half years living in Xiamen, and although our last few weeks have been extremely hectic and busy we managed to get to the airport this morning for our flight down to Hong Kong. We will spend a week in Vietnam - with Christmas and New Year's Eve in Hanoi, and the middle of that time spent taking an overnight train up to Sapa and then doing a home stay.

Our last two nights here were also filled with going away parties - Tuesday night going out with a good group of the people that I've worked with, and who have kept me sane with being able to understand what I'm saying and to then translate it. They were incredibly sweet and we came home with three boxes of Chinese teas that we had to figure out how to pack.

For our final night we met up with friends Howard and Dan at Me & You 2 (of course) to see the sunset one last time (supposedly good but we were late). From there we wandered over to the Sister's for a final meal, meeting up with Yih, Shelly, and Lugas. Shelly presented us with an outstanding tissue holder, and the Sister's presented Tina with a nice shawl. From there it was a quick stroll to Temptations to enjoy a Goh family gift - a sister prepared (Hong) and family delivered (Min and the rest) goodbye Christmas cake - which was outstanding.We tried to finish the night up over at a bar we didn't quite get to often enough during our time here - My Way - so that we could say goodbye to Gino. But Gino wasn't there and Ulf, from Me&You2, had told us that we needed to come back for a goodbye gift. We returned to find Ulf with a bouquet of flowers for Tina along with a bottle of champagne. Problem was, all we really wanted was bed - we muscled through a few glasses, along with a special drink concoction mixed by the bartender, and then wished them luck before we headed home....

So that's it, our China stories are done. Once we get back to Chicago in January we will do some quick updates to talk about Vietnam if we don't get a chance to post while we are there. We will probably also follow up with some China stories that we never quite got around to posting, along with any strange things that we notice as we transition back into life Stateside, before we let our posting on this blog dwindle down to few and far between, if at all.

It's been a great time, thanks to all of you who followed along, we have met some great people, seen some good friends leave, and are now leaving some good friends behind...

2-1/2 years of China in 2-1/2 minutes...

...with a lower quality version for the two of you with dial-up.

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