Saturday, June 21, 2008

CD304: Moving Out and Moving On

Early yesterday night, I left Pingxiang. I am 99% sure that I will never go back there and I am 50% unsure of how I feel about that. Don't get me wrong, I am wanting to come home and there is nothing super about PX but...I just am not sure how to express how I feel. This last week was so super rushed I felt like I didn't really have enough time to do anything that I wanted to do before I left but I also can't tell you what else there was that I wanted to do.

I am now in Shanghai killing time before I fly out this afternoon for a 4 day cruise on the Yangtze. Heather will be in Shanghai the day after the cruise ends so I will meet her here and we will travel around Shanghai and who knows where else for about a week. That will be my last week in China and then she and I will head to Japan for a week before coming back stateside. My official arrival date is July 8th for those of you that care and are diligently marking it on your calendar.

My first month back home will most likely be crazy. I have to go to San Diego to have an interview (wish me luck), take an intense 5 hour all inclusive science mastery test (wish me more luck) and find a place to live (God willing). That is just 1 week. I also have to see friends, spend some time at home in Medford visiting the fam, go through all the stuff in my storage unit that I haven't seen in 2 years and  then pack a moving truck and drive it down south.

Though I am not technically done with China I figured I would give you all a short (consolidated) recap of the past year.

Things I will not forget:
1. Liu Yan Jun
2. Shaolin monk doing sweet Chinese Gung Fu on me in a restaurant
3. Lady almost falling out of the train
4. Spin the bottle
5. Singing on a stage for a televised event

Things I will miss:
1. Not having to tip (perhaps linked with #1 below)
2. Everyone thinking I am special/interesting because I am white/foreign/different (haha)
3. Being able to argue prices
4. Relative cheapness of items
5. Everything I do being "lovely" or "clever"
6. Being complimented on my "good English"
7. Real Chinese food - American Chinese food is total crap
8. My ridiculously light work load and relatively extravagant pay
9. Trains being a viable and cheap travel option
10. Movies only costing $1 or less

Things I would have never gotten use to:
1. Bad customer service (perhaps linked with #1 above)
2. Unattended children 5 and under
3. People randomly burning things including plastic and Styrofoam
4. Unattended children being allowed to play with said burning piles
5. The volume at which Chinese people speak to each other
6. Hating to hear the word "hello"
7. People not understanding why I would want to go back to my country but laughing if I ask if they'd want to live anywhere else than China
8. Baijao - Chinese white wine, a liquor made with rice and gasoline I think :)
9. Chinese style toilets and squatting
10. High heels being the universal woman's shoe and reasonable to be worn for any occasion/type of weather