How Does It Feel?

As I’m down to my last day, living the ‘Hai life, many folks are asking me, “how do you feel?” So, I figured it’d be best to put it up on a post, once and for all to read. It’ll all be in random form as since this is part of the “how I am feeling” experience…….. like to hear it? here it goes!

How do you feel?

I’m ready.

It feels natural.

I’m excited.

I’m nervous.

I’m anxious.

I’m SO ret’ ta go!!

I feel accomplished.

I still can NOT believe I’ve lived in China for 2 years, let alone.. at all!

I know that I’m a changed person, but in a way that is in inexplicable.

I’m proud of myself for taking on such a leap of faith + challenge in my life.

I realize not many people do such things, therefore I am for certain, a minority.

Sometimes I wonder, “who am I to do such a crazy thing to up and leave, taking on risks etc.” … but then, I figure, ehhh what can really go wrong when your gut is really into it and you’ve got a bit of smarts to carry you through?!

Two years abroad have made me so much more in tune with my emotions.

I’ve learned how to miss…and I mean, REALLY MISS THEM!! : family, loved ones, friends.

I appreciate  those who I have in my life; all who have stood by me in full support: family, loved ones, friends, teachers/mentors.

I never thought I’d have so many asian, well ABC friends, lol. But, I’ve come to learn we’re a special breed in our own right.

I’m confident in “checking off” Shanghai as a “been there, DONE that!”

My listening comprehension in Mandarin has definitely improved – big time!.. .but still struggling with speaking/pronouncing the correct tones.

I realize that once I get back to the States, I may feel as if these past two years had never happened. Thankfully, I have pictures and videos as well as lifetime friendships that I’ve nurtured while out here to remind me that these past two years were in fact, real!  We created our own little support system out here when homesickness, cultural aggravations, misunderstandings, etc. came about. And of course, we’ve created PLENTY of awesome fun-filled memories along the way! I’ve got love for my Shanghai Fam!!

What will you miss most about Shanghai?

I will miss the friendsthat I’ve made, who’ve become my “Shanghai Fam” – truly, some special people in my life, but I KNOW our paths will cross again.

I will miss the ridiculously cheap and GOOD food from all different provinces of China, ie. Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Dong Bei, etc… but I still got love for my Cantonese!!! (I really upped my various Chinese cuisine game this year.)

I will miss my teaching job schedule + abundant travel time/opportunities.

I will miss the SUPER CLEAN and efficient metro system.

I will miss the idiosyncracies of China for sure…at some point.

I will miss walking out of my apartment and onto the streets…. and pretty much bargain anything. For instance, I walked outta my apt for approx. 10min and  picked up a large suitcase yesterday…… for about $20usd! not a bad deal, eh?!

What will you NOT miss about Shanghai?

I will not miss the high volume, high pitch in speech. (sounds like folks are arguing, but really, that’s just their natural tonation in speech)

I will not miss the locals having NO concept of standing in queue.

I will not miss the crowdedness at metro stations: pushing and shoving. (though, this has been happening farrrrr less as compared to when I first arrived… thanks to Shanghai World Expo.)

I will not miss the ridiculously brutal humidity combined with folks everywhere + car pollution. UGH. The thought of it makes me want to cough.

I will not miss the cold ass winters, with no central heating and walls super thin w/o insulation.

I will not miss dodging a gazillion bicyclists, scooters, cars and buses all at the same time to cross over my 8 lane street!!

I will not miss being lost in translation.

“Untitled (How Does It Feel?)” from album, Voodoo by D’Angelo (January, 2000)

. . don’t burn the day. .

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