In June 2014, a few days after coming back from Russia and just a month before departing for Shanghai, I wrote a blog post about counting down the days in the last month, but I decided against publishing it. I’m not sure why. It was very hastily-written and didn’t fit into the tone of my other posts. What it did have, however, was a list of things I wanted to accomplish before leaving for China. I’m reprinting the list here, one year later, to see if I had actually done all of the things I had set out to do and whether that last month turned out the way it was supposed to (it didn’t).
I have less than 30 days to finish up everything I’ve yet to do. I am still jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, and exhausted from my 11-hour Aeroflot adventure (on which I was starved out by the Russian airplane crew, but that is another story for another day), but I feel the need to keep moving. I need to see friends, to have the experiences that I will look back on during my time in China. Truthfully, I’m exhausted; all that I want to do is crawl into my bed, sleep, read books, and drink mugs of tea before I leave, but I feel like there is so pressure: to see my friends, to make the most of these last 30 days. I promised myself that I would YOLO the rest of my time in the US, but honestly, right now, I just want to some sleep.
It must be the jet-lag talking.
My (incomplete) list of things I want to get done before I leave for China is:
- Learn how to ride my bike without handlebars: Done. The balance I’ve learned from yoga finally paid off. It sort of became one of my favorite things up on east rock, heading back to my Orange street sublet.
- Finally make ginger beer: I documented my not-so-successful attempt last June. I’ve also made many batches of ginger beer since. Let’s chalk this one up as a success.
- Read ‘The Hours’: Didn’t happen. Out of all the books that I could have read, why the heck did I choose “The Hours”?? Was is something about Virginia Woolf? I had owned the book for years (it was the ‘now a major motion picture’ copy) for years, still unsure to this day how I came to acquire it, but I didn’t end up reading it before coming to China.
- Go to NYC: My final goodbye to the city was painful and involved sobbing through 70 blocks of the Subway on the subject of not wanting to leave. I made it out to the city at least once a week – to finalize my visa, to buy several pairs of jeans, or simply to get a new lipstick. I’m not quite sure whether New York is home, but my last weekend there, with Salt & Fat, St. Mark’s Place, and a few too many pickle backs (was there also a bottle of red wine??) still sticks out in my mind.
- Eat ice cream out of a Frisbee: Okay, I didn’t do that, but by the time I left, the Ashley’s servers knew me by name, as the girl who always asked for the Peanut Butter & Jelly ice cream, but who settled for Nutella Chip (is it really settling if Nutella is involved?) most of the time.
- Go to Boston: Well, we all know that Boston turned out to be a mess. But at least I was able to see Ankita, whom I hadn’t seen in person in years. In some ways, Boston turned out to be my final reminder that above all, I needed to go to China. And now that we’re about to hit the one year mark, I’m more glad than ever to have made that choice.