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July 31st 2010
Published: July 31st 2010
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There are exactly three weeks left until I am on the plane to Beijing. I'd like to say I am excited or nervous, but it still doesn't feel real. I don't think it will feel real until I start packing.

My profile picture, for the moment, is a picture from the last time I visited China, which was six years ago. I remember many places and events from that trip, but they are all disconnected. Although we will be visiting many of the same sites this time around, it should be an entirely new experience. Since I visited China last, Beijing underwent various transformations in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. And I have heard that there is no longer a Starbucks in the Forbidden City. Mostly it will feel different because I am different: six years more mature.

I expect many things from my study abroad experience, but I am trying not to think about it too much. Every time I form expectations, they are overturned in a moment. So, all I will confess to expecting is a vast improvement in my Chinese language skills, spoken and written. If I admit to anything else, I will probably have to take it back later when I am proven wrong.

Let's just wait to see what happens.


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