Saturday, November 22, 2008

Business Traveler, China

I remember, four years ago, walking from the Taishan Overseas Chinese Hotel to Xiao Ming's house, to make a phone call back home to the States. Although I was only like a mile away, it was a big deal to us China newbies. And there were questions on the other end...Where are Desi and the kids? Are they safe? Yes, being new to foreign travel exposes your fears in all kinds of little ways.

Fast forward to today. I'm sitting here in Beijing Airport's new, enormous, "dragon" terminal, about to get on a plane to Wuhan. In one respect, this kind of trip is nothing new. Head out to a conference or another university. Give a talk. Attend panels (yeah, right). Eat some good food. See some sights. Return home.

Viewed from a different perspective, though, today is one of those little breakthroughs to cherish. I'll be, I don't know, close to a thousand miles away from home. The kids will get on the bus tomorrow morning and head to school. Desi will find some new way to get around Beijing and some new places to explore. It will be business as usual...



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