It’s hard to hear myself think as the windows to my hotel room rattle from the roman candles being sparked off the balcony next to mine. Today is my seventh or eighth day in China. Hard to keep count. So far I have hiked the great wall, walked through the forbidden city, seen the summer palace, prayed at the temple of heaven, taken a gondola ride through Tongli; (the oriental Venice), and sailed on West Lake in Hangzou. The weather has been cold and each attraction seems to end with myself running for the warmth of the bus to escape the wind. The temples are beautiful and very detailed, the people are short and very pushy, and the food is greasy and very bland. I feel like I need to get back to the states for good chinese. China is everything I expected -minus the small urge of wanting to go home.