POSTLUDE----August 17, 2002

Two months ago today I returned from China. While the whole experience is still very close to me, within a week of my return I thought, ``Now when was I in China? Was it six years ago?" So quickly we slip right back into our old routines.

There were only two things that caught me by surprise. One was the blue sky. It took my breath away. It was even more intense than I remembered. And the sky in Bakersfield, which has gained notice for its own air pollution, looked like heaven. It was so clear in comparison to China.

The other surprise was the trafficŠor lack thereof. I was driving downtown on a Thursday noon at lunch time and there was so little traffic I wondered if this was a holiday or some emergency had happened that emptied the streets. It wasn't until several hours later that I realized this is the normal flow of traffic in Bakersfield. Such a contrast.

I have had quite a few communications from China. The first one from Cui Hua said that it rained for a whole week after I left, like the emotion they felt in their hearts. I had a report for Lu Zhin Yuan and Li Di about how well they are handling all the applications just like I showed them. A half dozen people who have applied for this coming year and wanted a reference person have been carrying on extensive email correspondence with me. Several who are especially serious about it write me for answers to questions because I have a much faster turn-around time than Bohan does. One who leaves for Tianjin in about a week was worrying because she didn't have the work visa, but she said she was reassured after I told her I went on a tourist visa and it worked out fine.

Remember Liu Yong? The fine man who worked for the company briefly and was actively recruited for a new company in Nanjing? That job dissolved because the two ``cooperating" universities couldn't agree on which of them should be the general manager. He asked if I could help him. He said he didn't ``have face" to go back to Bohan. He would like to either set up his own business or be a representative for an American firm. So we have had lots of emails going back and forth helping him to develop a resume and searching the Net for good job posting sites. So here I am back in California helping a Chinese man get a job in China! Great fun.

My connection with all of them goes on. I'm glad.