Friday, February 24, 2012

Five years ago...

...I was embarking on the biggest adventure of my 19-year-old life. And it changed me in oh so many ways. 

It taught me how to love people that can sometimes be little pills (but adorable pills all the same).

 I made wonderful friends and still cherish every adventure we went on.

I also experienced what it might feel like to be a B-list celebrity with how many people were always asking for their photo with us. That was fun. 

I got to experience life in a foreign country for longer than just a vacation status. The good, the bad, the ugly. Living in China prepared me for so many things in life. After that, even the jankiest apartments in Provo "weren't so bad." I even came away from it believing that squatter toilets are more sanitary for public restrooms. And it definitely prepared me to serve a mission in another foreign country. I felt I could handle almost anything after that. Except for rats. I can never handle those.

And I got to travel and explore to see how amazingly beautiful the world is.


I was looking at my journal that I kept during those six months, and I made a list of all the things that made China so endearing to me. It was amusing to look back on and remember. Allow me to share a few:

The phrase you hear for any weird food or strange custom: "Very good for the health!"
The opium nail (yes, they really do exist)
The split crotch pants for the babies.
House slippers
High heels with ankle socks. (Mind you this was five years ago, and now that is in style here. Those Chinese are so ahead on the fashion trends!)
Man purses
Man/woman, woman/woman, man/man linking arms as they walk down the street
Sleeper trains: amazing. (for the record they are WAY better than European ones)
The Chinese squat. (This is referring to how they never sit on the ground, so if there are no benches, they just squat, sometimes for very long periods of time)
Umbrella superstores
"Wei??" (this is how they answer the phone)
"I'm fine, sank oo."
The people in the stores who think they know your size, and will even refuse to get something for you if they think it's not going to fit, or look good. 

Oh man, how I really REALLY miss it all. And what I would give to have just one day to go shopping there. I loved it all. I love China. And it will always be a part of me.

1 comment:

  1. Sank oo for the trip down memory lane! Yesterday I saw an asian woman with the most fantastic shoes that reminded me of shoe stores in Beijing. It made me really want some China shopping, too! I'm so glad we were able to have all those fun adventures together. China totally changed me in a lot of ways. I'm so glad I had great friends to share it with!