After a long week of jet lag, extreme humidity, dietary adventures, and complex coursework, the SJSU crew needs to relax over the next couple days. Today's class was a downer, with folks expressing newfound frustrations about the amount of readings required for this course. Reminding students how many times I'd advised them to crack those books before our arrival does little to cut the tension, and I quickly find myself losing patience. The heat has gotten to us all. Best to end class early and regroup next week.
There are no formal activities scheduled for the weekend, which means that small groups (everyone with at least one "buddy") are free to explore Beijing, putting their metro cards and street smarts to good use. No doubt they'll all return on Monday with lots of stories to share - and we'll all surely feel better. So today I will clear my head and slow my breathing. My afternoon will be devoted to solitary wandering, learning to acclimate myself to Beijing's fascinating collision of hellbent futurism and crumbling decay.