I cannot believe that it has been one year since I left everything familiar behind (except Anders and my cat) in the US and jumped feet first into this amazing adventure. On my 50th birthday I didn’t do a whole lot of reflecting. I was living a fantastic life. Kiersten was married and “launched” as Anders likes to say and Andrew had less than 2 years of college left. I loved my life and was quite happy, therefore I didn’t feel the need to make a grand gesture for my 50th. HAH! Little did I know that before I turned 51 I would be living in China.
I have learned so much about so much in the past year!
I CAN learn another language. I never thought I could or would 🙂 have the need after learning French in my 40’s. Chinese isn’t so easy but I’m doing it. 🙂 I just started learning characters 2 days ago, kind of cool.
Very little intimidates me anymore. Not people, not adventures, not situations, lack of language, food, nothing. If I can make such a drastic move then I feel like I can do anything. (If I didn’t have FB or my Kindle I might be writing a different story, but I do have them so this is my story!)
I really like Chinese food. I have also learned that I will try any kind of food. There hasn’t been anything too weird so maybe it’s easy for me to say that. The only thing that I’ve spit out was a mooncake but I’ll give them another go this year for Mooncake Festival.
China is huge! OK, I knew that before I came here but I didn’t know that there would be so many places on my “To Visit” list. Originally I wanted to use the opportunity of living in China to travel in Asia. All of the usual suspects were on the list and they still are. However my list of Chinese cities and sights is just as long, if not longer. Just like when we were in Switzerland and were given the advice of not to miss out on the “home” country, I don’t want to miss out on China. Truthfully I am more interested in my Chinese list than my other countries list. Why?
Chinese people are welcoming, funny, hard-working, gracious, and happy. There are women that I buy from regularly at the wet market that I always say hello to or they yell hello to me as I walk by. I have a fruit guy that I always buy from. BTW, he almost never has a shirt on 😉 There is a cleaning woman at work that always has a grin and hello for me. Kids are the cutest. They smile and say hello and are thrilled when you notice them. Their parents get excited as well. Chinese are VERY accepting of any attempt at speaking their langauge. I can name a few countries where that is definitely not the norm, ahem France. Sorry Monsieur C. but it’s true. The people who work with Anders are all so dear and D leads the way. They have gone out of their way to welcome us. One of Anders’ peeps gave Kiersten and Steven a beautiful set of mugs as a welcome to China gift! The people who I work with are so sweet and I adore my Chinese teacher. We always have a good time, even when I think she must surely want to pull her hair out! When I think back to the trips I’ve taken in China there are people who immediately pop into my head that made the experience special.
Guangzhou is the place to be, for me anyway. I’ve been to 5 cities in China and there is no place like GZ. I’m so glad Anders ended up here. It has a more relaxed pace. It’s probably because it’s so stinking hot but I don’t need to know the why of if. I just know that I can’t wait to get back after I’ve been away.
I will NEVER get tired of my view, particularly the TV Tower. I still look at it every night and every night it still amazes me.
I can blog. I didn’t think I could. I kept putting it off before I moved here because it seemed daunting. My nephew K told me I could do it. How could I let him down? So thanks K for giving me the kick I needed to do this so that when I leave I have this to look back on. Not to mention that I made a friend through it and now Anders and I are friends with RHHOG and Mrs. RHHOG.
I will cry my big, round, green eyes out when I have to say goodbye to Ben. 😦 I’m doing it now just thinking of the day. No one, NO ONE has had a bigger influence on my time in China. He’s my brother from a Chinese mother! 😉 For the record he thinks I’m part Chinese from high up on the family tree. He makes me laugh every day. He told me a joke today about learning characters and all because after my class I showed him my first attempts. I never would have gotten the joke before now but he probably had it in his back pocket and was just waiting for the day when he could tell it to me. It’s a cute joke too.
I wanted to include some of my favorite photos of the past year but because I’m having connection issues today I think it’s best to get this published while I can. I’ll do a photo gallery blog over the weekend.
5PM – 99°