A lot of people have made comments along the lines of “but you’ll be back”. I hope that’s true, but I don’t know for sure. It’s important to me that I close this chapter well, that I don’t leave things hanging. I need this to be a real ending.
I haven’t read a lot of books about China, but these are the three China books I really, really like – and highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand more about China: River Town, Dreamng In Chinese, and China Road.
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.