My one way ticket has been booked on a flight from Shanghai to California. No return ticket for the first time in two and a half years. I can already picture my children and I walking down the familiar jetway amongst a few hundred of our closest Chinese counterparts, boarding that plane, and taking one last flight home. When those cabin doors shut, I'll probably cry. I'll probably start thinking about my friends I'm leaving behind, and the way that living in China has changed me for the better. I'll get all sentimental and sappy realizing I won't be playing frogger everytime we cross the street, nor will I be smelling stinky tofu in the afternoon market or dodging poo piles as we walk our daily errands.
I'll actually miss that stuff.
I've bitched about it, sure. But man....China has really been something else. It's hard to describe. I think when I attempt to tell people back home about it, it comes across as though I've had a negative experience.
This is not the case.
I won't lie. I don't love China, and never will....but I will miss the friendships and village that lent support during the good times and bad. The friends who witnessed the crazy stuff with me, and could back up my stories that start with, "remember, that one time in China?...." . I'll miss the women that shared this experience with me, and understand what living here is all about. I'll miss getting lost on bus rides with friends, play dates and coffee mornings. I'll miss sharing and laughing at cultural slang and mispronunciations and learning about my fellow foreign friend's homelands.
I'll just plain miss them.
But, uhm....did I mention.....I'm moving back to my family, friends, familiarity and paradise !!!!!!!
See you next month, California!