Dianshan Lake

Last Saturday, I went to Dianshan Lake, an oasis right on the border of Shanghai and Suzhou. It was so nice to get away from the city and feel like you were in nature, and in some ways feel normal and American, on a yacht club with a Marina and a pool (the longer I live in China, the more it feels like my life back home and my life here are blurring)

On the other hand, there are still aspects that make everything feel a little off, if you know what I mean. I don’t know if it’s the plastic flowers on the porch trellis, the white gemstones in the bed frame, or the incessant karaoke by the hotel guests (maybe it’s because I’m a bad singer, but I just never really got into it). I can’t pinpoint exactly what makes every experience feel like I am in the uncanny valley. But even though we are cavorting in pools, making barbecue over a gas grill, and sailing on a boat, the thought that this is not America is constantly on the back of my head. And duh, that’s because it’s not America.

But that also doesn’t mean that I sit back and soak in the experience.

I’m working on writing about these things a little more, but I have to be honest, I’ve been having horrible writer’s block. I know that words don’t really come naturally to most writers and it can be a struggle to get them on the page, but wow, has it been a struggle lately. I don’t know if it’s my sleep cycle, that new muscle cramp that I have in my left shoulder (I am 90% sure it’s coming from tensing my shoulder when I sleep), or just the general blues of life in 2020, but I feel unbalanced. There are days that go by extremely slowly and other days that just never seem to end.

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