Chloe Harrington, Public Health in China, Summer 2014
I literally have 20 minutes until I am kicked out of my room here at Beida, and I wanted to save this last post for reflection on my time here.
As I write this final blog post from China, it is with a heavy heart; by that I mean that I have truly had an amazing experience here in Beijing this summer and made some unforgettable memories and friends. This summer has been such a culture shock in the best way. I feel that I am just getting used to Beijing and its quirks, and I am so sad to be leaving so soon. The past 8 weeks have absolutely flown by.
The one person who has truly touched my heart that I will be leaving behind in Beijing, though, is my language buddy who was assigned to me through the NU-PKU program. I met him on the first day in Beijing and he has been a constant, joyful presence in not only my life but those of all my friends here. He genuinely took an interest in all of our lives and was an amazing friend to all of us. He took us out and really showed us Beijing as he saw it as a local. Today we had to say goodbye to him and there was not a dry eye in the house.
It is not just Li Zhongmin that I will miss, though, as the Chinese people here on campus in general have been friendly and welcoming this whole time.
I really hope that I will be able to come back some day. But, to say all this has been easy would be a lie, it was definitely an adjustment. The culture here is extremely different and it really took some effort to understand and communicate with the people here. Also, as the saying goes- there is no place like home. To effectively sum up my feelings, I shall make two lists:
Things I will miss:
- Li Zhongmin
- The strength of the US dollar (aka 50 cent lunches)
- Excursions to amazing places that are nearby
- The calves I recently developed (see previous post)
- Chopsticks (I really got used to them)
- Learning Chinese as I live here
- Stares (sometimes it was very nice and I got to pose for photos with cute children)
- Jianbing lady (the best breakfast I’ve ever had, hands down)
Things I will NOT miss:
- Lack of effective line formation in public places
- Squat toilets (without doors sometimes)
- No internet
- No cellular data (how am I supposed to look up google maps?)
- Umbrellas regardless of the weather
- Stares (sometimes it was downright weird)
And with that,
I am rolling my suitcases out the door as I type.
(goodbye Beijing, and thank you.)