It’s crazy to think it’s been 6 months since I stepped on a plane with a 1-way ticket to Shanghai, China. No idea what it would truly be like when i got there, no idea when i’d return.
So what’s life been like in Zhongguo?
It’s hard to explain. Some day’s it’s easy, carefree, and forgetful that I’m in China. For example, I’m currently writing from a bakary that reminds me of 1 in SF that I used to go to. I’ve had a delicious Croque-Monsieur for lunch and a latte to go with it. I am contemplating getting a glass of rose for 40 rmb….yes, yes I will get that.
And other days: it’s stressful, frustrating, and exhausting. Everyday is a new adventure.
What do I miss from home. I miss the normal things: family, friends, the cool SF summer. And suprisingly…
I miss tacos. It’s silly for me to say. But, there’s a lot of things you can get in China that you would at home (i mean a lot of it is made here). But some minor things like tacos, you can’t find done right. Yes, there are tacos in Shanghai, but not great tacos. Or nachos. Or burritos. I’m so excited to go home, and have great tacos (and see family and friends of course). But also, tacos.
And tabasco flavored cheese-its.
But enough about food.
What have I learned in the last 6 months? That I’m resilient. I’ve had to go through a lot of change in the last 6 months, some wanted and some extremely unexpected. It hasn’t been easy, trust me. I’ve had to stretch myself in so many new and different ways and learn how to bounce back from it all. I’ve explored my relationship with myself and learned better how to take care of my self.
I think that’s what I would say was the biggest learning in my last 6 months, how to be in touch with myself. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve made some good friends with folks who share the same mindset.
I mean, who doesn’t love the monthly girl’s trip to the all-day korean spa!
I’ve been able to travel. The perk about living in a metropolitan city with 2 major airports, a boyfriend who shares the same thirst for exploration, and nothing holding us back has allowed us to see the world. We try to travel at least 1x per month, no matter how far and where. I’ve got a lot of great travel planned in the upcoming months and I cannot wait to write about my experiences.
I was able to survive my first summer. Growing up in the cool SF Bay Area, where it never goes above 20C, and then coming to Shanghai where the coldest part of the summer day at 3 am is 33C is quite shocking.
For the first few weeks, I never went outside. I went to work early, brought food for lunch, and left when it was dark out JUST so I didn’t have to go outside.
But, I’ve gotten more used to it (not 100%) and learning to deal with it a bit better
I live with my boyfriend. Crazy. Living together is very different from just dating each other. We’re adjusting to our new normal (and are still talking to each other! yay!). We have chores schedule (still WIP on terms and conditions) and take turns cooking dinner. My boyfriend has definitely learned how to be cleaner, but still sometimes has piles of clothes everywhere (again, adjusting to new normal). We go on dates and explore new parts of the city.
I bike everywhere. Like actually. I gave in and bought a 90 day mobike pass for the ‘pick-up anywhere’ mobikes that are left around the city. Nowadays, I rarely take the metro anywhere unless it’s far, and will either bike to my destination or walk. The 90-day pass has paid for itself (50RMB for 90 days on mobike vs. 1 rmb per hour on mobike vs. 3 rmb metro ride).
I’ve made new friends. People I have lunch with. People I have dinner with. People I work-out with. People I spa with. People I complain with. People everywhere!
And this is just the beginning to this experience. I will be here for awhile before I make any next moves. Boyfriend and I have have an idea of where we want to live next, but it’s all up to chance what actually happens