Monday, June 24, 2013

Miss List

I've been to China before, back in 1998. My parents tell me how everyone wanted to take a picture with me.  In this photograph, I'm with a Chinese soldier reluctantly wearing his hat.

This will be my last post before I leave for Beijing. And although I'm very, very, very excited to explore the country I want to reflect on the things I'll miss in America.

1) My family: I'm leaving for 6 weeks. That's literally insane.  Although my mom will come to China after 3 weeks to visit my dad and I, I'm still going to miss going to her to talk about the most random things or to go over the list of things I have to do for the day. I'll also be leaving my little niece, who's about to turn four. I see her nearly everyday and I regret missing 42 days of her transformation from a baby to a speaking, clever, mischievous little girl. I hope my family misses me too, otherwise this little snippet of my blog will be super embarrassing.

2) White people: I realize that Chinese people are really white. They're whiter than the average American, but that's not what I mean. Not sure why, but I'll miss seeing these caucasian faces I know all too well.

3) English: We've all been through it. We try to speak in the local language with the natives, they laugh and smile as if we're just trying to be cute, and we walk away without any progress at all. I remember back in Indonesia I communicated with some of my Indonesia friends via Google translate. A typical conversation that should have taken us 2 minutes, took us 10. I'm also nervous to see Chinese characters everywhere. The only Chinese characters I see here in America are the ones splattered across human flesh that are supposed to say "Peace" or "Happiness" but really just say "Dog poop" or "YOLO." But language barriers are part of the thrill of traveling. I guess.

4) Food: Everyone loves Chinese food. But I have a feeling the "Chinese" food we have here in America isn't what I'll be eating there. I'm going to miss the Nutella, the Honey Bunches of Oats, and the Chipotle I have here at home. I don't know what to expect in China but I can assure you I am ready to gorge myself.

5) My dog: I would have included my dog as part of my family but that's not the way my dog would have wanted it because in her mind she's the queen. She's a four year old Golden doodle named Millie. I spend a majority of my time singing terms of endearment directed towards her throughout the house as well as cuddling to the max. My trip to China may help alleviate this unhealthy obsession I have with my dog.

Anyways, even though I've listed the things I'm going to miss that doesn't necessarily mean I'm sad to leave. I'm very anxious to start this journey and I'll write again when I'm in Beijing!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


This is the first time I've ever used a blog. I'm glad that's out of the way.

I never understood the purpose of a blog until I met a poet whilst on a 45 mile bike ride. I got to talking with her about how she's visited Mongolia and China and hitchhiked across America. She really was quite interesting. Often times, I try to look intrigued in conversation with strangers but only because I have to. But this poet was really one of a kind. I admire her desire for adventure.

Anyway, here I am blogging on a blog about China but I haven't even mentioned it yet. Well, that's because I'm not in China yet. In just a week I will be leaving for Beijing, China with my dad. After numerous emails and countless times of attaching my resume to my letter of interest to about a dozen publishing companies and newspaper corporations, I finally landed an internship at the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. For a couple of days we will be lodging at my father's friend's place and we'll see what we should do from there.

The other thing I'm planning to do there is start up an English class for students in elementary school. I hope to familiarize myself with some of the locals, so much so that they feel comfortable sending their children to me to learn English. And I mean, why not? An American student is traveling to China who hopes to teach children English from the goodness of her heart. Come on now.

At this point, I haven't started packing or shopping for this 6 week trip which is poor planning on my part. I'm pretty sure I'm just daunted by the fact that I have to pack for a whole 6 weeks. How do I even start?