Well Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you all had a fun time ringing in 2011, I know I did! We (Karina, Pauline, Sangmin, Moritz, Giulia and I) all went clubbing and it turned out to be really fun, a night I definitely will never forget.
It’s January Sixth today, and you know what that means? Two weeks until I leave Changsha. Pretty crazy, huh? For those of you who have been reading since the very beginning, it’s been a very long road to get here. It’s hard to believe it’s all going to be over. In some ways I really don’t want to go home but in others I’m very excited…it’ll be hard to adjust once I’m back and I’m not looking forward to that at all. I’ll probably be repeating myself over and over, and everyone will think I’m crazy. Some of my to-be-most-commonly-used-phrases will include:
1. “It’s so CLEAN here!!”–I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before (though I don’t know how I could not have), but Changsha is incredibly dirty. Like I really cannot describe to you how dirty…I always want to say the ground is dirty but that seems obvious, doesn’t it? Dirt is most commonly found on the ground. But no, the ground is especially dirty, the streets and sidewalk are, the cars are covered in mud, the streetlights, the seats in taxis, peoples hands and bodies…even the plants near my school are caked in a layer of mud. Even saying all this, I don’t think you can imagine the level of dirt here. So California will seem so so clean I tell you. So so clean.
2. “Look at all the foreigners!”–even here when I went to Guangzhou over the weekend I would say this, though there weren’t many. Whenever I see a non-Asian person here I stare. It’s pretty sad, when we first came here we’d all complain about people staring at us but now I can totally understand why…I saw a blond girl whilst in Guangzhou and I seriously was like almost yelling out of excitement, “Look Michelle! It’s a blond girl! Do you see her? Look at her hair! Oh she just went behind that tree, but I swear, I just saw a girl with blond hair!”
3. “Everyone’s English is so good!”–now this may sound a bit racist but it’s true–I’m going to be utterly shocked when I speak to Asian people who don’t have thick accents. Actually, I’m just going to be shocked that anyone doesn’t have an accent and speaks perfect English..there are so few people here that have English as their first language..I can’t imagine meeting someone new who is fluent in English. I can barely remember what that’s like. I’m also going to have to refrain from speaking Midori-English, which is the extremely simplified version I use when I need to communicate something that she doesn’t know all the words for. This would be extremely embarrassing to use, let’s hope it doesn’t happen.
4. “They’re all wearing…normal clothes?”–Chinese fashion is very different from other countries, and when we all came here most of us were generally appalled by it. A outfit composed of entirely cheetah print? No thank you! But now we’ve been here so long and seen the craziest of clothing, I’ve become pretty immune to seeing people wear sheep print pajamas that appear to be made out of quilts when out and about. I honestly can barely remember what people in America wear normally..we were watching Youtube videos (on a proxy) today from each other’s home schools and Giulia was showing one and I was amazed at the students all wearing different clothing. And jeans! Did you know people wear jeans every day to school? I can’t even imagine! Ugh when I go back home I’ll have to care about what I look like again, I can’t wear ugly sweats everyday. Poor me.
5. “In China they…”–be prepared, friends. I will either talk about this experience non-stop or none at all, I’d prefer the latter but knowing me it will probably end up being the former. So get ready, because all those questions you may or may not have about China? Oh baby, I’ll answer them.