On September 24, 2013 I started my repatriation experience after 8 years of Asianliving (mostly in China). Before leaving China I was told numerous times by foreign, non-Chinese friends and colleagues that I would be back in 6 months… tops… and I told them all I wouldn’t just cave and go back any time soon.
So, how am I holding up…?
Well, after a month in NH and Boston I’ve had a lot of time to prepare for a new career and new living situation. It’s been GREAT seeing my family and helping them whenever possible. I would never take that back. But there have been times when I’ve really missed China.
Today’s post is not an excuse to complain about the US but rather a chance to be open about what I’m truly missing from my long stay in China.
1) Weather– Living in southern China is like living in Florida- palm trees, seafood, and sunshine sheilas. Everything about the climate makes for a more comfortable lifestyle than, say, the cold snowy Northeast. It hasn’t gotten unbearably cold in Boston yet but the recent cloudy, windy days have been a preview of what’s to come. Hopefully the beautiful snowy winter scenes will be worth it!
2) Food– Coming home has reintroduced me to that daily coffee craving we covet in America and this is why Dunkin Donuts a mixed blessing. Their awesome coffee paired with bagels, croissants, donuts, and a variety of other sandwichy things has single-handedly changed my daily diet. There’s nothing wrong with bread as a staple but it has displaced my rice intake. Before my move back I ate white rice 1-2 times daily and now that figure is more like 1 time per week. My ginger and garlic intake has also dropped too. So, when I get a chance I’ll cook here but I won’t be able to do that as often when I start a full-time job. I am starting to miss my Asian diet but luckily I have found more Asian markets in the Boston area. The only problem is that food prices are steeper in the city.
3) Remedies– Whether its from my lower garlic intake, or for other reasons, I have gotten a full-on cold. *cough cough* Getting sick these last couple days was the first time in quite a long time. Most years in China I would get 1 or 0 colds. Early on I got a serious flu over there and a friend cured me using a local remedy called scraping. That, along with countless other remedies, were part of my life over there. Now I’m taking flu medicine, drinking cough syrup and sucking on Halls to combat my first bug since my return. I miss Pi Pa Gao and congee, but luckily I’ve found these things here in a local Asian market.
4) Relationships– Family and friends are often curious about what’s going on with me and my girlfriend in China. And I have sworn off distance relationships in the past… (remember Brazil?) but this time is a little different. I know it’s hard to be so far away from someone you love, but then I think about how I managed that with my own family. How could I spend 9 years away from them and still have this wonderful relationship we have today!? What I’ve realized here is that we can make it work if we are honest about our goals and what’s most important to us.
Overall, I think I can stick it out here in Boston with some family and an Asian market nearby. The World Series is here in Boston, Thanksgiving is around the corner, then Christmas, and the new year! After that we have Chinese New Year and weekend trips up to the slopes. A visit to Florida will definitely be in order by March too… There’s really too much going on for me to just jump ship and move back to China. When my student loans are paid off and I’m ready to start a training school there I will, but I won’t be running back after a short 6 months visit home.