Began: July 20th, 2011
Finished: July 22nd, 2011
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Began: July 22nd, 2011
Finished: July 30th, 2011
Up Next: Wuthering Heights
gpoy for the next few days or so
I MISSED BREAD AND CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE MILK, OKAY?!
bahaha now that i’m not there i’m allowed to think this is funny.
I didn’t think I’d be this sad. I’ve been talking about leaving for at least two weeks. Probably since my birthday. And yet, here I am, tears freely flowing as the cab made that left turn at Chengfu Lu and drove past the Wudaokou ditie zhan.
I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that’s making me sad. Did I grow attached to Beijing? Not particularly, I have too many issues with the smog, the general lack of hygiene among its residents, the constant personal space problems, and so on.
Did I grow attached to the kids? Hands down, number one reason for my sadness. These kids… What can I say? Yeah, I’ll see them at school… But it’s gonna be different. And I know it. And that sucks, hardcore. And I’m powerless… I can make the effort, but we were all together in a foreign country. It’s kind of an isolated experience.
And of course there’s always the nostalgia element. Even though I was hating life at the beginning, it ended up being a really great experience for me. All the places we saw and the things we did and the nicknames we made up and the inside jokes we now have are memories to last a lifetime. But that’s all they are now… Memories.
I don’t want to embellish the memories, I want the realism to go with the good times, but as they become more distant, they will also become hazier. I don’t want to forget; I want to hold on to this forever. I want Eric to hug me like he hugged me at three in the morning last night every time I see him. I want Scott to tell me “that’s classy” every time someone does something sketchy. I want Emily to make her weird noises. And Ian to call people “puffs.” I want to know that I made as big of an impact on them as they have made on me.
You actually have to be brave to walk away from your own life. China was a fantasyland. It gained normalcy, but it was still a vacation to me. People walk away to find themselves but I walked away without that kind of intention.
And now I feel like I’ve found some kind of relationship I’ve never had before. I literally lived with these kids, had class with these kids, and went out with these kids. Normally you have a set for each. These people are absolutely the closest thing I have to siblings at this point, they will not be getting rid of me anytime soon. I think that is the bulk of my sadness, actually, that this type of relationship will not be able to be sustained. I love these kids, I really do. I’m in shock that I got attached to them this quickly, but I guess that’s the nature of going abroad. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I did a non-UF program.
I left Beijing on Saturday at 1 (though our plane didn’t take off until 2) and we arrived at my house on Saturday at 11:30, which would ordinarily not be that bad, but let me remind you that I gained 12 hours back in the process. So, I’m really tired but I also can’t really sleep right now because my body thinks it’s noon on Sunday…
#study abroad kid problems
Only 4 1/2 more pages of my Olympics paper, a final test in Chinese, a trip to the Silk Market, and finally seeing Chairman goddamn Mao stand in my way of getting back home. I cannot wait to set foot on American soil, take in a deep gulp of fresh JFK Airport air and eat a pastrami fucking sandwich. Seriously, everything I will eat for the following three or four days will either have bread or cheese. Or both. None of this white rice business for a long time. AND MILK! Never have I wanted chocolate milk so badly in my life!
You are a cruel mistress. You torment me. I cannot wait to leave you once and for all.