I was just on a train to Beijing, taking some time off to run some errands.
Strange situation, being separated from my love, but in order to organize things so that we can be together.

Alone on the train, I was thinking, reminiscing:
When I was a bit younger, I watched Michael Palin’s journeys… “Around the World in 80 days“, “Full Circle” around the Pacific…

and I would be particularly fascinated by his adventures in East Asia. Now, I’m on a train in China myself, being here the second year, with everything looking to my being here for a third, and longer, more often – and it doesn’t feel particularly like an adventure.

Sure, it still is a different country, I still can’t understand – let alone speak – anywhere near as much as I’d like to, there is quite enough to wonder about, and yet… I wonder if it’s an issue of my girlfriend making me feel so at home, the academic/teaching context being such a location independent situation (or actually, very much location-based, but rather conditionally so), or a matter of personal attitude.

It sometimes feels as if, had I really been looking for a Buddhist equanimity, I have been rather too successful at it. My computer not working, especially if I want to contact my girl – that is something that can get me raving. Seeing her again will also be emotional. Otherwise, however, I don’t know. Am I following André Heller’s words that ‘the true adventures are in your head – and if they are not in your head, they are nowhere to be found’?

Traveling with Ellis, we were joking that I “just don’t do excitement.”

About languages, I have somewhat lost the excitement about learning them, exploring new ones, and I am looking to get it back. Interest in languages has been so much a part of me, it’s just wrong to lose that (and it’s just the daily grind that has come in between, as it uses up time and motivation to sit down for studies).

Give me some observation in daily life, some comment – or some chile peppers, for that matter – however, and watch me go.
I guess it’s just not daily life, and even less the shallow excitement about exotic places, that gets me. What’s behind daily life, why people act the way they do, how we can get ourselves around to living well in a planetary context, those are the things that do get me excited.