Happy 4th of July everybody! This is actually my first 4th in China, I'm usually home by this time. Americans like to celebrate by grilling out, eating watermelon and homemade ice cream, and shooting fireworks, but I had to put a slight Chinese twist on it this year. Since Angelyn and I weren't invited to the 4th of July grilling party downstairs at a certain other American's apartment (we're not bitter) we celebrated by going down the street to a Chinese restaurant that serves grilled things. So we had the spicy grilled fish! Not quite a hamburger or hotdog, but it sure was good. We also had a watermelon as appetizer/dessert and ice cream on the way home. Oddly enough (since we're in China) we didn't have any fireworks to shoot off. But that's okay because we see fireworks shooting every other day of the year. We ended our evening by trying to pick out an "American" movie to watch. We couldn't really decide on one from our massive collection, so we decided to use a trusty Chinese website to watch Independence Day. I'm sure it breaks every copyright law there is, but there are numerous Chinese websites where you can click and watch just about any movie ever made instantly. I mean, what better way to celebrate America's independence than to illegally watch a movie on the internet in a communist country? Well, we didn't even get to anything exciting because the internet wasn't being cooperative. We settled for watching an episode of Monk and going to bed.
I'll be home in a few days! That's weird. Our school agreed to drive us to the Xi'an airport Tuesday morning, which means we won't have to wrestle any bags onto trains or buses. That's an incredible blessing! They were very reluctant to do it at first, but Angelyn is awesome and gave them a good guilt trip about fulfilling their obligations and 15 minutes later everything was approved by the proper authorities. We'll leave Xi'an Tuesday night (Tuesday morning in America) and I'll arrive in Nashville after four flights. If you happen to be at the Nashville airport around 9:20 on Wednesday morning, make sure to say hello to me. I'm sure I'll be a little too tired to notice you unless you initiate contact. Big banners help. So do brass bands. And ham sandwiches with mustard, a slice of American cheese, and a crispy piece of lettuce. And a cold root beer. Or just waving and yelling my name.