Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June in Kunming

I am 22 years old right now, and have spent almost as many years in public school, and I am obsessed with the month of June. These two things are no doubt related--after years of pavlovian training that June = Summer Vacation, I simply had no choice in the matter. 

And here we are again, June. I have been waiting for you.  June means that it is still warm and light outside even well into the evening. It means swimming in the lake. It means sleeping with just a sheet on and with the windows open, and taking cold showers.  

June is usually the month when I quit my job and leave where ever I happen to be staying to go to the mystical OUTDOORS. Ah yes, you might have heard of it. It is everything which is the opposite of being indoors: cramped spaces, stuffy air, computer screens, beeping electronics-- none of these things are allowed during the month of June. They are all replaced with the warm smell of hot dirt and pine needles, big mouthfuls of tart lemonade, and the sounds of a choruses of buzzing bees.  

I remember this time last year I was cruising down Highway 101 heading north with my family, looking out of the open backseat window of our car and over the ocean, feeling the cool coastal air. My silly family--we just drove and drove and drove until we decided to head home. 

This June, I will be much farther above sea level than I was last year. My Mom is going to brave the trip to come see me here in Yunnan, and we are going to have a look around down here. We will do some hiking in Dali, lounge for a few days in Lijiang, and check out Lugu Lake where the mysterious Lugu people live. Think Chinese cottage towns with criss-crossing cobblestoned alleyways, and great green plains where livestock graze underneath towering mountains peaks. Mostly I am excited to be with my mom, and for us to just wander around out there together. We will have a lot of time to spend taking rides on the slow train to remote locations, sitting around in tea houses eating sunflower seeds, and seeing the sights. We can enjoy the sun again, and be free. 

Now that I am graduating, I suspect that me continuing to asking for June off into my professional life will not be as socially acceptable. I've been applying for what have been known to me in college as "real jobs." But seeing as I am unemployed for the time being, I will continue to indulge myself, if not at least for just one last time, in June.