Lotus.

I leave Hangzhou in the morning, ending my time in China in much the same way it began: as a tourist in a new city.  I have no classes to teach, so there are no alarms to be set and no agendas beyond spending time with my sister and keeping myself fed- which, as you well know, has not been a problem.  Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to my trip to Tianjin.
Since I got here, the one event in Hangzhou I’ve been waiting for is the blooming of the lotus flowers around West Lake, but we’ve had so much rain lately and so little sun, and people keep telling me that the flowers won’t open until early July anyway.  I’d resigned myself to just enjoying photos of the blossoms online.
Trisha and her sister left this morning for Beijing, and the apartment felt too empty, so I took one last walk down to West Lake.  The weather was overcast, hazy, and reminded me of the first time I saw the lake.  Having spent lots of time on Lake Superior and coming from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, West Lake has been a steady source of comfort here.
And today, on my last day in Hangzhou, I finally finally finally saw the lotus blossoms.  Just a few early blooms, but their timing was perfect.
Baochu Pagoda in the distance.

I leave Hangzhou with a very full heart.

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