Posted in 2014 (China)

13/11/14: One (Half) Year

Well it’s been six months since I got here
Cocked my head to the side and said “Can I go home?”
Five months since I branched out saying
“Gonna get that together, wait and see me”
Three months since I flew away
Got to Hong Kong, wanted to stay
Yesterday, I found a new place
but it’ll still be six months till I can go home

I hope you sang that to the tune of “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies because, even though it’s not my best fit, that was the attempt.

So, it’s been six months here in China and, can I just say, round of applause for me. This is seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. Although, it has been pointed out to me that I like challenges but easy challenges. Which is true. Except now I know what it feels like to be legitimately challenged, homesick, culture shocked, jetlagged, and all that jazz. But all those negative feelings have led to feeling of triumph, determination, and accomplishment. It may suck sometimes, but it’s going.

A recap of the last six months, in case you missed, but more because I haven’t really updated recently:

  • I’ve almost mastered chopsticks. I still struggle with noodles and fish, but the Chinese seem to struggle with the former and I don’t eat the latter much so A+ for me.
  • I got into grad school, I’ll be going to Ireland next September.
  • I’ve met some really awesome people in Beijing and Langfang, some of whom are foreigners like myself and some aren’t.
  • I started to learn the ukulele.
  • I went to Hong Kong.
  • I’ve been to Beijing enough times to know my way around the subway system really well and I know where to get good pancakes. (PANKAKS)
  • I’ve gained visible weight. Which is cool, I think the last time that happened I was going through puberty and still getting taller.
  • I’ve found a new direction in life. I mean, before I kind of knew what I wanted to do, but I absolutely knew that I don’t want to be a teacher. I had a few options, but I’ve finally settled on one. 🙂
  • I’ve made some really awesome presentations and made my students more relaxed around me. (It starts with being silly in front of them and continues on with messing with them during and outside of class.)
  • I thought of something else but I forgot it… It was funn– no I remember
  • I’ve taken a photo with approximately half the population of China.

That’s about it. It might not seem like a lot, but I’m glossing over a lot of the small things that include, but aren’t limited to: going to the supermarket alone, going to the bank alone, getting to Beijing alone, going to the movies (and successfully getting a ticket for the one English movie) alone. A lot of the things I’m most proud of I’ve done alone because I like to have my independence. I don’t want to constantly ask people to go with me if I know it’s something I can do on my own. I’ll still ask for help, of course, but I often want to know I can do it. Even if I don’t do it very often.

Speaking of doing things on my own…. I should really go to Beijing soon. I need tea and cakes and bookstores. Although I’ve been introduced to this really nice café that has cheesecake that’s only a thirty minute walk from my apartment.

As my students would say “so cool”.

 

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