Me and Chairman Mao
  Leaving on a jet plane.
As of later this morning, I am off to Seattle for a wedding, so all of you will have to survive with no blog updates for at least a week and a half. Hard news, I know, especially on a Friday afternoon. Hopefully I didn't just ruin all of your respective weekends, but I'm sure I did because my blog is, after all, just that powerful and affecting. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

But if you feel bad, don't worry--you're not alone. The good citizens of Shanghai are also completely distraught by my impending absence from the "Pearl of the Orient." (It used to go by the slightly less charming moniker "The Whore of the Orient," but I'm pretty sure that honor has now passed to Bangkok.) (And really, with a name like "Bangkok," the city never really had a chance, did it?)

Anyway, as I said above, the Shanghainese are, in general, pretty much crushed by the fact that I'm leaving temporarily, as the picture below illustrates:

Sad, I know, but don't despair--I'll be back. (CUE maniacal laughter and evil hand-wringing.) I'll be back ...

(Side note: the girl was actually one of a group of identically dressed girls who were handing out flyers for some weekend beach party outside one of the malls by our place. I have no idea why she was so upset, but my theory is that it has something to do with the fact that her job is dressing up in a skirt and go-go boots and handing out flyers in front of malls. Probably that's it.)
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