Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is this numbing feeling?

It's strange because this is yet another feeling that is hard to describe. In two days, I make the mark of being in China for six months. Wow...I've been in China for half a year now and I only have four more to go.

It's definitely hard because at this point, I somewhat feel ready to leave. There's a part of me saying "I'm done with living the China-life...let's hit the real world now" but then another part of me is saying "Hey now, this is a lifetime oppurtunity...four more months, it will pass by quicker than you think, enjoy it while you can".

A lot of this feeling has to do with missing people back home but then again because school life is quite uneventful and boring. At this point in time, it's like I am already used to China, nothing I see now seems as significant as it probably did three months ago. A lot of the things I noticed came to a shock at first, seeing all the negatives, then seeing them as positives...and then it's like this culture shock gets put back into reverse again because I've noticed that at the 6 month point, you start seeing some negatives again and start to compare with the things back home. It's not that I make a big deal out of it, more like...seeing the difference from China and the U.S. Though yeah...the feeling of home grows stronger as the days go on...

I'm also preparing to take the HSK which is a Chinese proficiency test (I will be taking it in about a month) so for now, I have a lot of things to do and to keep myself busy.

Have a nice day everyone! & I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentines Day :)


Saturday, February 4, 2012

A break from HK and back to the present

There’s a lot of new going on right now due to the change in my family. I was assigned two host families before coming to Nanjing so I knew what was coming my way.

These past five months have gone by so quick, it actually doesn’t feel as If I have been here for that long, its almost been half a year since I’ve been here!

I’m still on Chinese New Year’s holidays for two more days so I have some time to get adjusted to the new house and family before going off to school again. I will be attending the same school but its going to be a little hard getting used to a new bus route to and from school and also to other places that I often go to such as: Xin Jie Kou or Fu Zi Miao.

Packing my things to move into my new families house was quite the hassle because of the amount of things I had! When I came to China all I had was a big suitcase, a carry-on and a backpack. I ended up with my big suitcase, carry-on, backpack, two boxes, and about 7 bags...all filled with things that were bought in China (mostly things that I won’t bring back such as toiletries and books I use to study with). I guess I bought a lot of winter clothes here because in Hawaii none of that is necessary (also being from Hawaii means anything below 70F is considered chilly or “cold”).

I woke up at 8:30 AM on moving day to organize my last few things and get ready to leave because my new host-mother was picking me up at 10AM. When she finally came by to our house she rung the doorbell and my host-dad went to go pick her up from downstairs. When they got upstairs we all worked together in getting my things into the elevator, one person would be passing the bags down and another person putting the things into the elevator. I was quite overwhelmed with the amount of things I had! And already worrying about how many things I’ll have to get rid of when I go home to Hawaii.

When we got downstairs my head teacher, Ms. Yu was there also to help us bring my stuff into the car and to make sure that everything was ok. When we finally got everything in the car we were ready to leave and I thanked my prior host family for everything and we drove off. I was debating whether to give them a hug but since they are Chinese giving hugs isn’t really their culture…so I didn’t in the end (even though I really wanted to). They were really nice and said that I could come over anytime I want for a visit and to eat food and such! Of course I will go visit them again, but first I had to settle into the new house.

My new family lives on the 18th floor and their house is a little bigger than my other family but the apartment is older. The community is very small compared to the other…there are about five other apartments in this new community whereas in the other one, there were so many I couldn’t keep count of!

In my room, I had a normal queen sized bed! Which is uncommon in China because most people sleep on wooden beds without cushion because they believe that hard beds will give you a strong and healthier spine compared to a soft bed that will curve it. There wasn’t a lot of space to put my clothes but in the end I figured it out. There is also a long desk, more like a TV desk so its hard to study or do homework on because it is very low and there is no leg space but since I have been here a couple of days already I am used to it and I really like it!

Besides my nice room my family is so great! They are very welcoming and I already feel that I am part of their family. My host sister, Shirley and I get along very well because we have the same interests and opinions on certain things. The host mom and I also get along well, probably because I have spent the most time with her. That is because Shirley has been off at school and the mom stays at home so we spend time together and the host dad is off at work. It is a little hard to communicate with the host dad because he speaks a different dialect of Chinese (Hang Zhou, which is their hometown). I think I am adjusting really well to this new family and environment though. It’s just the location and bus routes that I need to get used to.

The other night, the family and I went out for a movie at a mall called “Wanda Plaza”. We watched “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" Which was a really good movie and I had a good time with the family also!

At this point in time…I sort of feel ready to go home, but then I realize where I am right now…in a new families home, and it hits me every time that its going to be another new experience from here on out, and even though June is getting closer and closer, I know that I still have some time to spend with this new family and to enjoy my time and get to know them! Basically the way I feel right now is “So close but so far”. I guess its sort of a strange feeling to explain…