In the past week or so I have started to think about how I’m going to experience China when I come back and 10 months of it stretches out before me. In a week and a bit we are leaving for the summer, going to Canada where I plan on going on a cross country tent camping trip with my son. We are going to start in BC and end up in PEI. I was hoping to see Newfoundland but that may be too ambitious.
I wonder about how I’m going to see it when I come back because I am amazed at how much I have gotten used to since I got here. I am completely used to ordering in restaurants not really knowing what it’s going to be. I am used to not being understood (or understanding) absolutely everywhere and having to mime things when it’s really important. I am used to being stared at, photographed and talked about right in front of me (in Chinese of course). None of these things bother me and haven’t since I got here. In fact, I think I am starting to like it…it’s like living in a bubble. I feel like everything that is happening around me is out of my reach of understanding and I am not being totally understood, just stared at. I guess part of the charm is that I don’t feel RESPONSIBLE for what’s happening because it’s not in my control or in my scope of understanding. People talk about me when I’m standing there and I know it because I know what it feels like to be discussed. I just don’t know exactly what they are saying (I know it’s not nice when they laugh but other than that…no clue). I can walk around with my friends or with my son and talk about whatever we want and the chance that someone will understand our rapid-fire English is slim so we can talk about anything we want. Many times when we aren’t allowed to do something (like take photographs at the Life Museum), I can’t read the signs and the guards can’t explain what they are talking about so I don’t always have to follow the rules. (I may have taken advantage of this a few times). It’s an odd way to experience life.
I am excited about our trip and a little sad to leave here. I am getting used to it and sometimes I am so proud of being able to do this move to China thing. It was so scary and I just did it anyway and although that’s always been my style of living, I can’t help be proud of it. I am also proud of my son who is so adaptable and charmed by everything in this new country. I can’t wait to show him the rest of the world!