Okay, so we’ve lived in China 4 months. Who placed bets we’d be coming home early? Well you’re wrong. Who would have guessed we’d be homesick? Wrong again. Of course we have our moments. We are 1/3 of the way through our contract with Kang Chaio. Its been a crazy ride, a rough start and will probably continue to be a difficult and rewarding journey. Nicholas and I have been talking about what we miss about America. Here is my list:
1.Driving a car.
I miss the ease of having my own covered vehicle. It is so lovely being able to jump in the car and go. I can make it to downtown in 10 minutes or to another city in 30. Here, if we want to go to “downtown” Huaqiao it means a 30 minute (minimum) cart ride. With the temperature dropping, this is not really ideal. We are very thankful for our cart, but who doesn’t love a car???
2. American grocery stores.
I miss having every ingredient at my fingertips. I miss the comfort of knowing that it was all just around the corner. And that I could jump in my car and be in the store and out within 30 minutes. I miss not having to order food online. Here we must order a lot of meat, coffee, cheese, and gluten free things online which means a premium price.
No place like it on Earth. We’ve tried the knockoff in Shanghai but it doesn’t really come close.
4. Slyce Pizza Co..
If you haven’t had Slyce, do yourself a favor. Take a trip to Fort Collins, and order one of every kind of pizza slice. I miss the overbearingly hot atmosphere with the pumping music. I miss the buffalo wing pizza, the hamburger pizza, the mac’n’cheese pizza, the pesto artichoke pizza, the chicken finger pizza…. wait, I just miss pizza.
5. My American Kitchen.
I miss my oven. And my Kitchen Aid. This has been the most difficult for us. I have learned that I bake everything at home. I’ve had to reinvent myself in the kitchen. Which isn’t bad. I just feel very limited. I miss being able to make pies and cakes and muffins and casseroles and baked potatoes.
Isn’t it funny how most of the things on my list have to do with food? We’ve come to the understanding that stuff is just stuff. We have so little stuff and I haven’t missed most of it. Not like I miss pizza. I’m even considering leaving most of my clothing in China when we leave… we’ll see about that. We miss so little about America but I’ve come to have an appreciation about some of the characteristics that make Americans so great.
The first characteristic I have seen and appreciate about the US now that I live outside of it, is the pursuit of justice. Whether its social justice or protecting innocent lives, I believe it is such a strength to seek what is right. America is (undoubtably) misled at time as to what is right, but I’ve seen the way that a lot of Chinese and other Asians are treated because of their race, tribe, country and beliefs. I don’t mean religious persecution. As an American I feel so strongly against this sort of infringement on what should be basic human rights. I don’t think I am the only American to understand this feeling. This is something beautiful about my people, my country.
The other thing that I value about America: we are a fun-loving, enthusiastic nation. This can get the better of us. It’s been my experience here in the expat world, that Americans are the best at having some good old-fashioned fun.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!