Dear city how I've missed you!
Back in Shanghai after a looong holiday. Almost too long. I get way too lazy when my life lacks structure. But I’ve had a wonderful time in Finland and Sweden, and as soon as I get around to connecting my camera with a missing cable (…) I will upload a holiday photo special.
But like I said, now I’m back. Back in our old (or new, because we moved in here one week before we went on our holiday!) flat, back in the humid heat, enjoying the noises, smell and atmosphere of being back. It’s actually pretty wonderful! I’ve missed China. I've missed my friends and I've missed the food. But most of all, I've missed the life we have here. The every day life where anything is possible and nothing is predictable. Sure, it can be frustrating at times but most of the time it's kind of fun. Also, this time, the humid heat wave that hit me when I stepped out of the airport terminal and into the taxi did not make me feel like running back inside and hiding on the plane (I’m not going to lie, sometimes it does).
Instead, we decided to embrace being back. So, yesterday we did stuff like we normally never do here in China. We went grocery shopping, we cleaned, and, we went to Ikea! Yeah! Ikea on a Sunday –after not having slept for some 48 hours (since I am sometimes struggling with sleeping in a bed, sleeping on a plane is completely out of the question. I have even stopped trying) we decided that Ikea would be the perfect choice. We were so spaced out, so tired and so out of it that we couldn’t have cared less about pushing ourselves through throngs of people on a regular Ikea Sunday in Shanghai. Good times. And now our flat looks so a lot nicer than before (although I’m glad we didn’t do all of our “must do” Ikea shopping last night because we came home with cushions in the wrong colour –as we in the store remembered our couch as blue. In reality, however, it’s gray. We also couldn’t remember the colour of our couch table so in the end we couldn’t get half of the stuff we set out to do).
A funny thing that I realised yesterday when I used my Chinese again, after a month’s break, was how bad it must have gotten. Because, for the first time in I don’t know how long, people made comments about it. The fruit man in the grocery store, our security guard at the door (that laughed at us when we emptied our over filled mail box and bills literally fell out on the floor) the girl at the counter at Ikea… they all wanted to know how long I had been in China for, if I liked it here, and told me that my Chinese was everything from 还可以 (OK) to 很好 (very good). I've been told that when people say your Chinese is "OK" it is also a nice way of saying: “good effort but you’ve got some improvements to do!”
Now I’m off to the office and after 1 month away I am guessing I’m in for a super duper busy day with an over full inbox and some 82684962349 meetings I need to book. Oh, and did I mention it’s my birthday? Yeah, today I turn 29! What better way to kick start my last year in the twenties?