It’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and reflected on my time here in China. They say home is where the heart is, or home is where you hang your hat. Either way, I feel like I’m home. I have good friends, and my students are smart and hardworking. I’m working at a job I love, and I’m learning my way around the city.
I’ve never lived in a city this size before, but it’s great… most of the time. Yes, I still get annoyed at the throngs of people fighting for space on the bus and subway, but I would have that in most busy cities in America.
I went to a coffee shop Sunday and just sat for the whole afternoon working on grades and lesson plans and I felt happy. Wuhan is a “college town” so to speak so most young people can speak a little English. I haven’t run into very many places where I am completely lost and can’t communicate.
I was at the Vegetable market this morning and went to the Chicken Lady. She sells all kinds of chicken, mostly fresh, cut on large racks that really gross me out (especially the plate of chicken feet… I’m still not used to that). That being said, when I walked up the guy at the counter, a middle aged chinese guy pulls a sealed bag of tyson-like frozen, boneless-skinless chicken breasts out of the freezer and hands them to me. Apparently it is only Tingbudan’s that buy that kind of chicken. He knew exactly what I wanted even though I couldn’t communicate it in words.
I went to the Hubei Provincial Museum with a friend Kangjun this weekend, and told me something that I thought was really good –
“You need to learn some Chinese and make Chinese friends otherwise you are still living in America.”
I love being able to hang out with all my American friends here and eat western food like potato soup and hot cocoa, but some part of me wants to really get to know the culture here and just let go of all my presuppositions about which culture is “right” and which one is “wrong”.
American or Chinese, people are people everywhere, and I think it’s really cool that I have an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective. I am so very thankful for the opportunities I have been given in my life.
Until next time, I send my love.