Monday, June 13, 2011


Moving to China, people know that they will have to give up stuff, but actually the things you eventually miss are kind of surprising.

The first and most obvious thing that people tend to miss is food, cheese to be more specific.  

The longer you live in China, other things start creeping in.  Things that you really enjoyed in the states aren't around anymore like art galleries, performances, movie theaters with interesting international and independent films, lectures, concerts, and easily accessible articles about current events.  If you love pets, you might start feeling the emptiness of your flat.  Due to the high statistics of rabies, PC China policy doesn't allow pets except maybe a cricket.

If you live isolated from a bunch of other foreigners, conversations start becoming monotonous.  If in the states you liked to discuss politics, world events, religion or injustices in the world, it is rare to have such conversations.  If you are into pop culture or discussing the interesting stories on NPR, well… Chinese pop culture and stories are different, a bit too unrealistically positive for my taste.

If you aren't in your mid-twenties anymore, it is harder to find people your own age to interact with since most of them are too busy with families of their own, or if they are a lot older, they can't speak English.  I have only found one older friend who is a divorced woman which means she doesn't have as many family responsibilities anymore.  One's social group tends to be young 19-21 year old college students who giggle when you say the word "sexy" or whose answer to the question "who do you want to meet the most in the world" is their mother.  You start missing the women from your rugby team or the eccentric artists and friends you know or people who have the freedom to love whomever they want or your boyfriend or girlfriend whom you left at home.

Most of the time though the things you miss won't ever really bother you.  You'll be busy exploring the culture, meeting new people, and working.  It is just during those low points, maybe during the end of the semester when you're burnt out, that the USA starts sounding like a place you'd rather be.  Don't worry!  A good vacation during the summer holiday will restore you back into the optimistic American PCV who loves China like a home.

1 comment:

M said...

You American! *grin*
Aka the ending is REALLY optimistic!