I’ve just been missing home a lot lately. I’ve been missing the vegan potlucks we used to have on Dwight street. I’ve been missing the red of the fall New England leafs. I’ve been missing biking up to Edwards St or getting Tahini at the Muslim grocery on East Rock. It’s getting colder in Shanghai and now my commute to work is about twice as long as it used to be, and for those 30 minutes, I’ve tended to get lost in thoughts about home.
And then those thoughts leave me when I accidentally (gently) brush past a man on the Réel Plaza and get a not-so-friendly “GO FUCK YOURSELF” (in stilted English) as I scooter past him. I hate China at times like that. But then, on my way home, I walk into the fruit shop on Yongjia Road and the shy girl from the noodle shop next door smiles at me, speaks a few sentences of English, and tells me her English name is Yo-Yo, before running away in nervousness. I tell the girl’s mother that her English is really good (it was much better than my Chinese was after one year). And suddenly, I don’t hate China anymore.
To be honest, dealing with this yo-yoing (see what I did there?) is hard. Living in China is hard, but I think that’s why I do it. Because despite the almost-heart-attacks that I have almost every day on the way to the office (you try crossing an eight-lane city highway, where no one is obeying traffic laws, on a razor scooter), I kind of relish in this insanity, assholes who call my driving out notwithstanding.