While I’m not excited about leaving China, I am excited about WHY I am leaving. As surreal as it is to be leaving the world I know and love here, I want to continue to grow – which means being me in different places, doing different things.
I love the reminder that this world can be small. It’s a good thing to think on as I prepare to leave the place where I met many of the closest friends I’ve ever had. Not bad thoughts to dwell on during my last visit to the Great Wall of China.
I am obviously foreign in a country whose citizens are, for the most part, quite ethnically homogenous. I stand out. Not everyone sees past it all and connects with the person underneath. I love when it doesn’t matter that I’m a foreigner.
These interactions are something I’ll miss when I leave. They make me love speaking Chinese, and the way it helps me think from another culture’s viewpoint. It makes me want to learn more languages, and live in more places.
I remember how different my apartment felt when that furniture arrived. They weren’t just things – they meant something. It’s so strange to think they won’t be mine again. That these solid pieces of my life in China are just gone.
When I wrote my “foreigner favourite” Chinese food post I didn’t expect it to be so popular! So I asked people which of their favourites I’d missed. While I wasn’t able to include all of them, here are some of YOUR favourite Chinese dishes.
To learn language well means going beyond translating English thoughts into Chinese, instead expressing myself in wholly Chinese thoughts – to see the world through that lens. To not be chained to “front” as “future” and “behind” as “past”.
He was short and wiry and wrinkled, wearing loose clothes and a cloth cap. He looked like a peasant grandfather, the kindly type who smile a lot. As it turned out, Mr Zhao was nothing like I initially assumed.