Bad China Days happen when people do not live up to my expectations for them; Good China Days happen when people surpass my expectations for them. Good China Days have the ability to change me, and change how I experience China.
The heroes of my first year helped me not only survive, but thrive as I started my time in Beijing. So many names. So many faces. So many nationalities! So many stories. I would not have survived that first year without them.
Ten years ago today I arrived in Beijing. I was 21 and it was my first time living alone so it was a BIG move. I didn’t realise how big until after I’d done it and had no idea how to do anything. I had no idea what would happen next.
There’s nothing like the first night back in one’s own bed after 4 weeks away! I filed away familiar sounds – dropped and moved items above, fireworks, of trucks on late night runs – and the lovely scent of eucalyptus from my dried arrangement.
Writing has been my creative outlet this year. On the blog I’m writing about things that interest me, like Chinese language and culture, and am delighted to discover other people find them interesting as well! I’m also writing a book about TCKs.
Xiao Qin has never been on a plane and the idea of luggage limits was incredible to her. I appreciate moments like that – when I am reminded just how different my experience of the world is to the experiences of others.
Changes in my accent and vocabulary have been a big part of my expat experience. There is an emotional toll that comes with having an accent that doesn’t match your passport. But it is a choice, and what I gain is worth the cost.
Life is different overseas – not always harder, but always different. I love that so many expats go out of their way to help out friends – even the newest ones. Most are happy to help, because we’ve all been there.
National Day holiday is October 1st-October 7th, regardless of which days of the week these are. This year, that’s Tuesday-Monday. Then the Sunday before and Saturday after become work days. Confused? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one.
For months the other youth leaders have talked about how I need to get a scooter so we could be a scooter gang. A week ago, on a beautiful day, we all had a meeting closer to town and rode together – it was the inaugural ride of the Shunyi Pandas!
I was recently offered a Liebster Award, and it is an honour to be recognised. I am still surprised every time someone I don’t know personally interacts with my stories. It is wonderful to find that my writing can interest or entertain others.
In Perth with my sister I took a ferry to Fremantle – complete with dolphins, watched State of Origin, went shopping, visited a Beijing friend at a cidery in the hills, and saw a play. It was a great time, with clear air and cider. Then I went home.