What it's like to come home

In less than 24 hours, I’ll be home. Well, not home, but you get the point.

I’ve already been in airports so many times this year. I’ve been exhausted, scrambling to make my flights to other cities in China or to Hong Kong, but this is the first time I’m feeling the butterflies that I used to feel about flying somewhere far away and unknown. Except I’m actually flying somewhere overwhelmingly familiar. To be honest, the past year, I’ve started to sort of resent going to Chinese airports, because they’re empty, there are no decent food courts (just give me a Dunkin’ Donuts!), and none of the flights leave on time. I keep on being brought back to my flight to Shanghai, and the 24-hour United nightmare that turned out to be. But honestly, by this point, I’ve been through much worse.

Coming home will be so wonderful. I’m excited to have fast internet. I’m excited to drink the tap water. I’m excited to buy real allergy medicine. I’m excited just to go to Walgreens. I’m excited, because these banal things are no longer banal for me. I look at them the same way I look at buying Sesame Soy Milk, or picking up street food chuanr late at night in Shanghai.

But more than anything, coming home shows me that I feel that I’m not ready to leave China permanently. One year is too short to have lived here. I still love coming home to my apartment every night. I still love the sense of danger I have when eating street food (which doesn’t make me sick about 80% of the time anymore). I think that’s a good thing.

My flight is leaving in three hours. New York City -> Los Angeles -> New Haven. Go.

7 thoughts on “What it's like to come home”

  • Oh yes, stock up on allergic medicine before you return to China. I am very interested in your time in the States because eventually it will be me. I also live in New England, so it will be similar? Seriously, I am so interested. I havent been back to New England since 2009. It’s a good time to visit because it’s not too hot yet.

    I understand. I lived in Shanghai for two years but I am not ready to go just yet…unless of course, we are talking about Taiwan…well…

    I had strawberry sugary snack at one of the stalls daily and I didn’t get sick. It’s a good thing because I liked the treat.

    I hope you have a lovely time. Eat New England food for me because I’m trying to be Kosher. haha

    • Which part of New England are you from? I grew up around Western Mass and Boston, but I think right now Southern CT and New York City are the most like home (and they’ll be the parts I’m visiting). I’m already feeling so many emotions and figuring out how to write them down.

      I love the strawberries on a stick! They’re one of my favorite street snacks to get. Do you try to keep Kosher in Shanghai as well? I can’t imagine what that must be like.

      • I grew up in Maine but I also visited Boston many times as well as Cape Cod. I lived all around Mass, to be honest. I am not entirely kosher. I just do basic rules. For an example, no pork or shellfish. I only eat certain kind of fish. I also don’t mix my dairy with meat. Little things like that. xD It’s easier to keep Kosher in Shanghai than in New England because people tend to be judgmental. “You are from Maine. You must eat a lot of lobster!” Well….

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