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Published: September 16th 2010
Despite the many advantages of being in China; the opportunity, the cheapness of everything and basically the overall experience of it, I have progressively gotten more and more homesick. Almost literally. I have managed to get a sore throat, body aches and a headache. I blame the mosquitoes who keep me up on a nightly basis. I also had my window open since it had been so hot, but like Reno, the temperature drops without notice. Or maybe with notice, but I don't keep up. I got medicine today, which turned out to be tea...and who knows how long it will take to kick in. I have to teach in half an hour. I love reading about home and having communication with everyone. But it definitely makes things a little harder. I think that even without that though, I love Reno enough to make the distance a huge factor in my homesickness. I swear it's a disease that only gets worse. So I would just like to reminisce for a bit with you, the only people who will understand exactly what it's like.
I miss the food so much! Yes, China has some good stuff. But where are the steak and potatoes? The chicken breasts and asparagus? Italian and Mexican food? I talk to the teachers about food and they help me practice my chinese so I can order something besides dumplings and rice (which are my favorite foods here by far, and eggplant). I talked to them about Mexican food and can you believe they don't know what a tortilla is, or a burrito for that matter?? Oh and their idea of a hamburger is a KFC chicken sandwich. There are no regular sandwiches here. So then I think of Jimmy John's and Port of Subs and Newman's! Even if there are some type of sandwiches, they are just not the same. And I can't find white wine anywhere.
I miss cafe's! There is one across the street, but the coffee is hardly coffee. More like sugar. It's really nice and I think if I went there to just hang out and read, I might grow to really love it there. But this place is also a little different. There are private poker rooms available and everyone thinks it's a good idea to smoke inside. I miss going to Bibo's in the morning before work, or during, to get everyone some goodness. I miss My Favorite Muffin and their delicious bagels. I was never a huge Starbuck's fan, but I do miss it. I miss Java Jungle the most. Just sitting by the window watching people. That strip with Jungle Vino right next to it was my comfort zone. I try to mentally go there to make me feel better sometimes, but how I wish I could teleport! If only for a minute.
I miss the art, the shows, the music. I miss the nightlife. I miss talking to different people. I miss the river and the wine walks, the Wal and Awful Awful. I miss campus and having "my own" office! I really miss the structures lab, believe it or not.
And of course, I miss the people, the familiarity. I took for granted being able to walk into a bar or store or restaurant and talk to people. I very much miss that simple tool of communicating through language. I'm a walking charades game. The Chinese must guess. And if they don't, well we all fail.
Maybe it's just Benxi, and not China, that lacks a lot of the variety America offers. It is a much smaller city with very little tourism (so please forgive me for not sending out postcards sooner. I can't find them here). I know when I leave here, I will have another million thing to miss. Already I know I'll miss not being able to step out of my apartment and cross the street to the gym or to get some fruit. Or go right downstairs to the market. I'll miss spending $2 for medicine and 50 cents for 3 bananas and a pear. I'll miss the busy streets. I'll definitely miss some of the food. I might even miss taking a taxi everywhere, the fireworks that go off early Saturday and Sunday mornings (for weddings) and teaching, but that is yet to be determined.
So as I deal with more homesickness for the next few days (it will be raining for the next week), I will gladly be accepting care packages. 😊 I know you would like to send me all of America, but please contain yourselves. It can get expensive.
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