Paul, Silvy and Ariel.

My last drawing in figure drawing class.

Ariel meeting me by the subway.

Me as of yesterday.

~'{and so...}'~

Here's the scoop: We're headed to Vietnam on either Friday or Saturday on a, most likely, spectacularly uncomfortable train. Today we all went to get our Vietnamese travel visas, which was an experience in and of itself. It feels odd to leave China, especially since I'm not 100% sure when we'll return, but it's terribly exciting.

I've quit my job. I didn't think I was doing anything at all for them, but they adored me and wanted me back whenever. When I come back to China, I intend to study Chinese again and tutor part time.

The countries we're planning on hitting are Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. Silvia and Ariel are planning on traveling for about a month, but I might be traveling for around two. I'll post with more details.

I've been studying a tiny bit of Vietnamese. To anyone interested, the language has six tones instead of Mandarin's four, making it a bit more challenging for Western language speakers. Also, the sounds in Mandarin are more limited than in Vietnamese, making a lot more homophones in Chinese. Chinese romanization, pinyin, is significantly easier to pronounce than Vietnamese diphthong horrors. The good news is that Vietnamese uses a French designed alphabet and hasn't used characters in nearly a hundred years, so no more pictograph code deciphering for a while. In fact, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand all have alphabetical systems related to ancient Khmer and Sanskrit. (I seriously love alphabets now.)

Love you all.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you all - take advantage of every opportunity
ahead. Will you still be able to post as you travel? We look forward to seeing more of your world, be safe!

love, Marie and Evan

harumi said...

wow awesome! how wonderful! I wish safe trip to all of you.
I don't know if you heard, but peggy got in pretty big car accident earlier in this month. She is ok, but it was very crazy thing to go throw.
I just thought it is so important to have great family and loving people around.
take care and be safe on your trips.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful trip Ross!

I look forward to hearing all about your adventures. I'm glad you are able to go with your gang. I wonder what Vietnamese cooking is like there? I've always enjoyed eating it here.

You'll know what to do about China/work later on- please enjoy your freedom worry-free! (I've been working on achieving my own version of this lately)

Your figure drawing is REALLY good.
You use lines like a sculptor, interestingly enough. Take a look at sculptors drawings sometime- Rodin, Lachaise, Nadleman are a good start. You flesh out form effortlessly and minimaly. I'm not just saying this because I'm your father! :)
It could be that you'd do really well working with form. You DO have sculptors genes as well as painters...

Ira and I continue to sort things out here. It looks like I'll be moving into my new place in the second week of July. Ira isn't sure when he's going yet. We are doing fine and doing what we need to do.
Ira sends his love, and reminds you that his new neighborhood is about 20 minutes by train from Astoria. He has a HUGE Indian population where he lives (they have a Hindi movie theatre there), I have a little bit of everyone in Astoria- it's a bit more diverse than in Bayridge.

My new neighborhood is charming- I think you'll like it.

All my love,