and definitely NOT miss...
21.08.2009 - 19.01.2010
Like I've said before, I have a love/hate relationship with this country. It is full of contradictions and so are my feelings towards it.
Case in point:
The split pants thing. Really weird and sometimes disgusting when a child just squats down and does his business on the sidewalk. However, this is one thing I might also miss when I'm gone. It's kind of funny. And I love the puffy outfits the parents put the babies in.
One thing I will definitely miss:
Fresh and colorful produce everywhere on the street. I've really enjoyed the exotic fruits and vegetables that I just can't find at home. And it feels good supporting the locals as well, instead of always going to the supermarket.
I will not miss the meat hanging everywhere.
Although I suppose it's better to see what you are going to eat, no matter how gross it is. We are usually detached from our food source in the West, at least in the US; the fact that this was once a living being we are about to devour is usually forgotten. How is this meat any different from a steak I would eat back home? But still, watching flies attack big slabs of flesh makes me lose my appetite. There are sanitation issues I suppose. I've barely eaten any meat since I've been here. because of it. I gotta give credit to the Chinese though, they eat every part of the body.
Chinglish. It always gives me a good chuckle. It will be sorely missed.
And some other things I will miss:
1. The mystified looks on people's faces when they see me, the blond laowai, walking down the street.
2. My fruit and veg stand ladies outside my apartment (they always have a big grin on their face when I come)
3. My 4 and 5 year old students calling me "jacket"
4. The funny looks on my students' faces when they don't understand me
5. Chinese children in general--so cute!
6. Hot pot
7. Never knowing what kind of crazy things I will encounter on my walks...anywhere
8. Street vendors
9. Living more simply
10. Eating with chopsticks
11. A language with barely any grammar rules to learn
12. Sharing plates when you eat out
13. The amazing variety of tofu
14. The diversity of the people--more so than you would think!
15. la jiao--a spice Guiyang people put on everything!
16. Old men doing tai chi in the morning
17. Women practicing their dancing
AND...Trying to make sense of this crazy country!
(Notice how many of these are about food...haha.)
Of course, China is not a place I want to stay for a long time. Why, you ask?
1. Line cutters
3. A general lack of manners
4. SPITTING (I mean full on phlegm filled gobs...bleh!
5. Crowded elevators, buses, streets...pretty much crowded everything
6. Hazy skies--i.e. pollution!
7. Walking by roasted dog on the street everyday
8. Stepping in street juice
9. Feeling like an alien
10. Feeling like a helpless child
11. Avoiding controversial issues
12. Annoying shop assistants
13. Comparing myself to tiny Chinese girls
14. The lack of creativity and individuality in my students
15. Parents who let their kids ride in the front of a motorcycle without a helmet or let 3 year olds cross the street alone
16. Honking horns
Don't get me wrong, I don't regret one second of my experience here. And I still have a month and a half to go! I'm going to make the best of it at all of these negatives as things that will make me that much more tolerant...