Last days in the US, 2019
The world now looks so different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been staying in my apartment in Beijing for three months. Now everything’s finally coming back to normal, gradually.
This is a long delayed update. I spent my last days in the US in California before departure. During those few weeks, I visited a few parks and scenic drives and attended the AGU fall meeting.
17-mile drive. This is a famous beach-side drive to the south of the bay area. Lots of luxurious houses by the road. The Pacific was restless.
My first birding experience with Cin-Ty, and lots of other people including Roberta. Yes, it happened after I worked with Cin-Ty for three years, right before I departed for Beijing…Roberta gave me a big hug when we met on the trail. Cin-Ty organized this pre-AGU birding expedition. It was in the bay area. The team had a dozen of geologists. I have to say I didn’t even know where to look…but it was a very pleasant morning. They were all equiped with different kinds of long-reaching binoculars/monoculars and DSLRs. I only brought a compact camera with me…
Wonderful weather on that morning.
Another trip to Point Reyes. Can’t remember how many times I visited it. I got fascinated with this cape since Xin and I found it back in 2015, near the end of our cross-country drive from Maryland to California. Each trip to Point Reyes had been different, but I missed the very first one. It was a foggy and gloomy early afternoon in January. Xin and I were wandering on the beach. The bluish Pacific was wavy. It was a bit chilly. No one else were on the beach.
We visited Lick Observatory. It is a historic mountaintop observatory.
Overview of the mountains from Lick Observatory.
Sunset. Driving back from Lick Observatory.
I believe this one was taken on Thanksgiving day last year. We were driving back from Russian Ridge in the bay area. This place was suggested by Jackson, my officemate at Rice.
Life restarted after I came back. Lots of things changed. It was a bit difficult to get used to it at first. But Kang and my PKU colleagues helped me a lot. I rented an apartment, smaller than the one I stayed in in Houston. It is expensive but the location is excellent. Three km from the university. There are dozens of supermarkets and hundreds of restaurants in walking distance.
Used to keep two SIM cards, one for the US and the other for China. I swapped them when I travelled back and forth between US and China. No need to keep the eight years old US SIM anymore.
Got my university email and stopped using Gmail as my primary email. I reset the Mail apps on both my computers and cellphone.
Put away all my credit cards and US driver’s licence.
No more driving but there are a lot of shared bikes by the streets.
My US dota ID doesn’t work anymore.
I’m not a student or a post-doc anymore.
Don’t need to cook anymore.
Don’t talk to people in English anymore.
Beijing is colder and much drier than Houston in winter.