forward looking retrospective

I’ve managed to set myself up for a good trip to China this time around.  A two week jaunt will take me to Sichuan and back, a 14 day trip with a smattering of long distance train and plane travel. Most likely I will eat some ridiculously spicy food, see some outstanding mountains, and wonders of ancient sculpture, see (and hopefully not be attacked by) crazy monkeys, and also assess the congestion of one of the most populated provinces in China.  With some luck I’ll make it off the beaten path as well. I’ve had a knack for that in the past, but I feel like it’s so much more of a gamble with a “mere” tourist visa.

I’m hoping to track down a brewpub I’ve heard of in Chengdu and see what is up in the local bar scene.  I have never had Sichuan local brews, and I think that’ll be fun.  It’ll be interesting to me to see if the local beers are distinctly flavored to complement the spicy cuisine.  It may not be because chine is so chock full of lagers, but it’s still worth checking to see what’s up.

There are some things I’m looking forward to, like my travel reading. There are so many books I haven’t touched this summer. For fiction, I’m definitely bringing Tim Power’s Last Call. For non-fiction I was torn between Jared Diamond’s Collapse, and Elizabeth Royte’s Garbage Land. Both sound great, and I’ve started Collapse, but I think that I’ll have tie-ins to read it during the semester.  I’m not sure how much time I’ll be focusing on US issues this semester, so Garbage Land it is. I think it will give me some good ideas for waste stream issues, which is something that interests me more and more.

That brings up the fall semester as well.  I’m registered for Introduction to Sustainable Development as well as Life Cycle and Risk Assessment. I think both will further my practical application of math, this time through more computer-related pursuits than I had over the summer in Biostatistics.

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