I arrived in China a year ago, filled with angst and excitement. I had no idea what it was going to be like, I knew absolutely NO Mandarin, I had done some research on the area, but neglected to research things like how bathrooms worked here (ummm squat toilets? No hot water or soap in the public bathrooms? Ugh), how many holidays schools had here (too many to count!!), and well there is the other issue of doing more research for the agency I was hired by. That deserves a book, not a blog. Perhaps one day I will sit down and write a book about the whole experience of China that I have had – not an overly pleasant story at times but one that should be written about. But that is for another day!
I am so grateful for all the things that I was able to see and experience here. Some will say that I missed out on seeing so much and that I will regret it. I do not regret not seeing the Great Wall – it’s a dream for a lot of people, but honestly, I moved to the North East part of China to see Harbin and Shenyang, and because it was not as big a city as Beijing or Shanghai. I did not come to China to see the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, Beijing or Shanghai. Hot temperatures, humidity, and millions of people around – none of that sounds like fun. I came to China to teach, to experience the culture, and to live amongst the Chinese. I came here to prove to myself that I could teach kids and enjoy it and be good at it. And I accomplished all of that. For that I am very proud of myself.
I have enjoyed my time here. And I am now ready to experience a brand new culture. The Chilean culture. The food. The sights. Penguins! Volcanoes! The Atacama!! Empanadas!!! (yes, I am VERY excited to have Chilean empanadas!!) The cool weather. The Pacific Ocean!! Oh yes, it is definitely time for me to leave China and to start exploring the southern hemisphere of this amazing world we live in.
So now it is time to say good bye to China!! Thanks for the memories that will last a lifetime, but I am happy to say PEACE OUT! On to bigger and better things. Chile awaits…