Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some news

I’ve felt a little bit out of love with China since the beginning of this year. I am not quite sure what it is about, can’t put my finger on it, but there’s just something that is stopping me from enjoying everything to its fully. I’ve written about this before and like some people have pointed out, it might have to do with the fact that I’ve now been here for a while and that’s it’s not as ‘new and exciting’ as before… although I kind of like that everything aren't 'new and exciting.' Comparing to when I first came to Shanghai in 2006, spoke no Chinese and had no idea about anything, I prefer this… I have no problems getting around anymore (language wise), I know which places I like/dislike, and so on… but, that bubbly ‘I-love-China’ feeling that I used to possess seems to have gone missing. Along with my motivation, and some other happy-to-be-here feelings.

So, I’ve decided to do something about it.

I’m moving home.

Yeah, I know it might sound a bit drastic but I have really thought about it and I feel this is the best thing to do. I am far from native in Chinese but I feel I have a good enough level to still get a job.


Geez, you thought you’d get rid of me that easy?! No no, not moving anywhere, but still getting a change of scene. I’ve been offered a summer vacancy at a media company (focused on China) in Finland. And I’ve said yes. So during July and August I’ll be working full-time in Finland, making radio shows and news/travel stories about China…

It’s actually a quite good situation. My boss is Chinese (although not the spitting kind, I’m done with those), and my workmates are from all over the world, including China. So, I’ll not only be writing about China every day, but I’ll also be in a ‘fairly’ Chinese environment, although I’ll still be able to breathe the freshest air, go for long runs in the forest (the REAL forest. Not just some lame field with some flowers), and swim in clean lakes (Yes I know, I am going there for work but the beauty of Scandinavian summers is that the sun stays up until late every night, so you can go for a evening dip every night at 9pm without getting lost in the darkness). I couldn’t ask for more. Since I’ll be fairly close to Sweden (a 3 hour bus ride + a 2 hour plane ride + a 1 hour train ride –OK, not mega close but closer than now!) I’ll also get a chance to go home and spend some time with my sister and her baby Sam (that I haven’t even met!!), the rest of the family, my friends and relatives… And sometimes that’s just what you need to get some new energy. At least that’s how it works for me. I need a (preferably large) dose of near and dear ones every now and then to be able to function.

I know there are still 2 months or so to go, and a lot of things will happen before I go but I just wanted to share it today for some reason (maybe I’ve still got some fever left from that flu making me all ‘I want to share everything with everyone?!’). But I am really looking forward to getting a longer change of scene and a chance to think everything over. There’s still a decision to be made at the end of this year (should we stay or should we go –and if we go, then where do we go?! Where’s ‘home’? If we stay –where do we stay, and what do we do?).

Anyways, I just wanted to share it. I’ll still be blogging from over there (how could I not. I am more or less addicted by now) and I won’t go until July so not much will change for the time being.


Ramesh said...

Good for you Jonna. Its is nice to be able to go back "home", or atleast near home once in a while. Hope this will be great for you and will also help you decide what, where, how, for next year. There's still some time, but here's best wishes for a smashing time in Finland.

Chong Hum said...

The Finnish people will wonder ... why is that lady spitting on the street, talking loud, riding her bike like a mad woman, asking for Chinese eggplant, slurping her noodles, honking her car horn non-stop ... you think she thinks she's in China !!!

Jonna ... Thanks for all your stories about China. Looking forward to "SHE in Finland", hehe

Anonymous said...

That'll be a good change for you. I've been in Japan for almost 4 years straight now and going back home for Christmas last year was more than welcomed.

I understand what you mean about everything not being so new anymore; I feel the same about Japan. When I came back to Japan in 2008 I decided that I would only stay one or two more years and then go home... and that's the plan now ;)

Anonymous said...

Jonna, Glad to hear you will do a summer intern in a place near your home and under Chinese environment. Hope you can keep blogging by then.

CJ said...

You gave us a view of China through your eyes.Now do the same with Finland,Sweden or any other country you decide to go!Change of secene is always good.Enjoy!

love ♥

Jonna Wibelius said...

Thanks guys! Although I am not leaving yet... but in 2 months.. :)

F course I'll continue blogging. Like I said. Obsessed by now :)

Chong Hum -I'll never take the spitting to the streets... although I might go to Chi restos and ask for eggplant, and behave like a jerk in traffic... hehe.

Kanmuri -hehe I know what u mean about plans changing.. u think u'll be able to stick to ur current one? What about ur hubby? Happy to move to Canada?

Lideting -not an internship (I've done my deal of those!) but a paid, full-time summer vacancy.

Cahita -hehe, finland isn't far as excited as China, but I'll do my best! :)

Hang said...

Oh, no, no, no ... China will miss you. Hope you don't leave for too long.:)

flyingfish said...

Congratulations on the summer gig, Jonna! It sounds absolutely perfect for you. I've been wanting to spend a summer in Scandinavia for YEARS now (as I can't be in direct sunlight, I figure the long, light evenings are just what I need!), so I'm counting on you to enjoy the lakes and forests on my behalf as well as your own.

Congratulations again. You go girl!

Tarja said...

Grattis! Sounds really interesting. So you will be going back to Tampere than? There's nothing like Scandinavian summer. I'm missing it too so much and those pictures you keep posting here doesn't really help =)!!! But keep posting... I'm allso looking forward reading about SHE in Finland!

ere said...

That's awesome! So when you come back, you will feel refreshed and fall in love with china all over again, which part are u living in now? i wanna move to taiwan so bad!

Emmy said...

Wow, I must admit you got me. I thought, no, that will be sad! Have fun! So awesome that you get to see so many different parts of the world.

Carl said...

Wow! Congratulations Jonna. That's a fantastic opportunity for you. I'm glad you will keep blogging so we can enjoy your adventures. Xie xie.

mtl said...

oooh u totally got me there! Super relieved when I saw the "kidding" part.

Would you write about Finland, Sweden, Scandinavian culture? I think a lot of us are curious about it. Maybe some rivalry between them going on? What is "sauna man"? Some of what you say gave a feeling (prbly inacurrate) that Swedes are quite cold towards strangers, is this true?

congrats on the job! With your talent in writing you deserve a good one

The Casual Observer said...

Cool. We get to learn about another country.

One of these days, you'll make millions selling the book rights :)

Janet said...

Chong Hum, lol ... little blonde Yu Nah doing all that!

This break sounds awesome. One must always grab every opportunity; never stop the adventure!

Unknown said...

That sounds really good for you! And I'm sure it'll be a good work experience as well. So welcome to Finland :) am waiting eagerly to read your postings from here.

and yeah, may I ask where I could read your writings of China and listen to your radio shows?

Christopher said...

Hey Jonna, that's fantastic news, congratulations! The job sounds perfect, you can really use all of the experiences you've had in China.

I know how you feel actually, I've not been here as long as you (only 1 year and a half), but in February and March I was almost ready to leave. Like you said, things weren't as fun or exciting any more. Things are back to normal for now though.

I'm sure it'll be a lovely change to live in Finland after your time in China. I look forward to seeing your blog continue!!

Enjoy your remaining two months :O)

Jonna Wibelius said...

Hang -I'm sure that after one week in FI I'll be missing China desperately too. That's normally how it goes and this time it's just what I am hoping for. 2 months is quite long but then I'll be back for sure, I've already planned a trip to Yunnan in the beginning of September :)

flyingfish -if u want the evening sunlight then scando is the place to be. U should do it! Plenty of places to choose between (No, Swe, Fi, Den) although I would personally recommend Swe or Fi. Den and No are too expensive! Loads of German tourists arrive to Swe each summer and spend months at the popular caravan parks.

Tarja -Yes, it will be in Tampere... I'm actually quite excited. Will probably go to Helsinki a lot too... ahhh, love helsinki! And love the Finnish summer! Although who knows? Might be raining for 2 months straight?! U never know... Aren't u going home for a China break?

Alej -well that's what I am hoping for! Right now I am in Suzhou... I've heard that Taiwan is lovely. Go for it!

Emmy -Oh really u bought it?! Haha! yeah, I've already lived in FI for 1 year (before Chi) and although that year cannot be compared to my time in China it was still a fairly interesting time... I don't speak any Finnish and the city I lived in was quite Finnish, so I had some difficulties in the beginning (using the washing machine being one of them. All the instructions were in Finnish only. It was like reading greek).

Carl -thanks, and yes, f course I'll continue sharing everything w you guys!

dfvxc -I got u too!? haha! I didn't think anyone was going to believe that.. anyways. I don't plan to write too much about Scandinavia... it's not that interesting although if u guys wanna hear about it I will f course tell. But this blog will mainly be focussed on China still. (as for Swedes being quite cold to strangers (including Swedes that they don't know): true! Sad but true.

Observer -wow, that's quite a comment. Cool, thanks! I wish that someone from a publishing house would believe the same thing...

Gigwriter -nope, haven't stopped yet so won't stop now.. :) Hehe.. 'little You Na'. Wow, you're the first one to call me 'little' in a long time! hahaha!

Maija -Thanks!!! The radio shows will be in Swedish... I'll let u know more once we get closer to the date.

Chris -thanks, I will! Yeah, it's annoying when that feeling comes over u and u aren't able to shake it off you. Hopefully these 2 months away are going to help!

mantse said...

Oh~~~ Sounds great you can back North Europe so soon~~
wish you everything luck

Changing is not easy and must something need time to adapt (from China back to much Cleaner and Fresher Finland...)

Enjoy these two months still and have a nice intern!!! what is your media company do? a newspaper? magazine? or internet radio? share with us your articales and your "baby"!

thetrystero said...

NOOOooo ... I was only getting started reading your blog and now you're leaving already??
I guess that's my cue to start making an effort to get back in touch with my roots on my own instead of having to experience it through someone else -- then I'll get to take over your blog! (although it probably won't nearly be half as funny).

China, here I come!! (or, in reality, more like boring days in the office without Jonna's blog entries)

Jonna Wibelius said...

thetrystero -what are u talking about? I'm not leaving anything (and my blog's not for sale, hehe!), just going to FI for work for 2 months during the summer. This blog is not coming to an end in any way...

Gosh, maybe this post was stupid?! People think I'm going to stop blogging? Oh well. Blame it on the flu. like everything else this week!

Pete In Syracuse said...

Jonna you got me too!

I thought "Oh My! I'm having a momentary spasm I must be addicted to "SHE" how am I going to get rehab from this and then reality started to take over & I thought Yeah!
"She in finland" Reentry into the Scandinavian culture

"The Reassessment" Tune In NOW !!

Then I realized in your bio you had lived there before - I mean I read it, but it didn't sink in. I was in Finland too for a bit. I had a friend that lived in Joensuu. I traveled from Helsinki by train overnight to see him. It was a great trip it was in the end of April beginning of May, so there was no leaves on the trees and still some snow on the ground, but it was breath taking. All of the pine trees & berch trees of white and green & friendly people more than willing to help a "looking lost" traveler on his way to his destination. The funny part of the story was that Matti (Karppinen) hopped on the train to meet me in Helsinki and our trains crossed somewhere in the middle. When I got to Joensuu in the early morning it was like Sunday, because shops were not open streets were empty all there was was only one taxi. One of the passengers helped me get the taxi driver to Matti's house where I discovered that Matti was now down in Helsinki via his brother (Heimo) who translated for me & his parents who didn't speak english. I was fed and housed & taken back to Helsinki to meet up with Matti & it was an interesting & exciting memory that is etched permently on my brain.
The one thing that all of my travels have concluded is that people everywhere around the world are generally the same. We all have personal wants and needs & in most cases are nice to our fellow people. There are people that are greedy and only think of themselves and others that are willing to give the shirt off of their backs to help you & ask for nothing in return. People hunting for the "Why am I here - To what is my contribution to society?" questions. In that journey we run into people hunting for the same thing & how that interaction happens is what causes life.
The refreshing part of (You) "SHE" is that you bring that to the forefront & we all get to examine that in a forum of communication that promotes heathy interaction & discovery.
That's something today that is not as popular as it use to be & was lacking too!

Sorry to ramble on it will be great to travel along with you as you prepare for the move and the reaction from the people you now live with in regard to your leaving (Plans). How exciting!

emily said...

I'll be looking forward to some great photos and funny stories from Finland! Enjoy your summer. :)
I commented once before and was living in Qatar in the Middle East... now back home in the US and it's lovely. More so than when I last lived here! (Only about a year ago!)

Incognito said...

psst.... I won't miss you, GOOD RIDDANCE!

/just kidding.

now we are even.

Godspeed to your new job


Naresh said...

don't forget to blogging regularly from there, it seems i kinda addicted to ur blog(daily morning i open news sites in one window and ur blog in another window hehe) keep writing (for the sake of others like me :) )

afritzse said...

Keep it up! I really enjoyed reading all of your blog posts on China. Hope you're going back.

Lori Luo said...

Hey,I have the feeling too that being home is always nice if you can. You have enjoyed the days in China, alreay very enough.

Kate said...

Congrats on the new summer adventure, Jonna! I am glad you will be close to your family and will get to meet your new nephew! That first year of life is always so amazing!

I am looking forward to SHE in Finland.

Veronique Renard said...

I understand you quite well. I had three weeks of holiday at my parents' home in the Netherlands, to find out I had become too Asian to live in that country. So I was happy to go back to Bangkok. However, I decided to have another home outside Bangkok on a beach so I get something different to experience. Interestingly, when I speak of home, I still refer to my room in the Indian Himalayas. In miss my simple spiritual life as a yogini in the mountains. In Bangkok I need to be a city girl. I am going to India in the fall/winter for 3 months. After that I might be happier again with Thailand. And perhaps you'll see China again with different, refreshed eyes.

Pantau in Bangkok

inthesun said...

I've been following your blog ever since it was first featured. It's become part of my work week routine to read it. You even got me thinking about moving to China for a while.

Anyway, you saying your moving back home gave me a bit of a sinking feeling at first. I was like, "Nooo waayyy!" Nice one. ;) Sounds like you could use the change though. Another great post as always. Well, back to watching idly by.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Pete -thanks for sharing that funny story. Yeah u r right, most people aren't that different after all. Although I can imagine u knocking on the door of that Finnish family wasn't really an usual occasion in that town... did they offer you some vodka and sauna after dinner? :)

Emily -thanks! And u r right, it is always nice to come back after some time away... nothing beats the feeling of opening the door and feeling 'I'm home!'. Not sure if that's the feeling I'll get when I arrive to Tampere though, I only lived there for 1 year before I moved to China... but let's see!

Incognito -Ok, you got ME! I was like... 'what?!!!!' hahaha... OK no more jokes like that!

Naresh -I promise I'll blog. If you are addicted to reading it... I am addicted to writing works for both of us! :)

afritzse -yes I'll be back. How could I not. Many more silly and less silly posts to come! :)

Lori Luo -not quite enough yet... but a change of scene is always nice!

Kate -SHE in Finland... probably won't be as exciting as SHE in China. Although I'll be working with Chinese people so who knows... there's definitely potential!

Pantau -I hope you are right. That's what I am aiming for. Sometimes u don't realize what you've got until you've 'lost it'...

inthesun -you've been with me from the beginning?! Wow, cool. I thought no one read my blog when I first started blogging. Or OK, one person: Mom. But that was it. :) More blog posts to come for sure!

Anonymous said...

I think I will be able to stick with my plans. We are planning to go back to Canada together in April 2010. I don't intend to renew my contract another year and my husband is quitting his job in July so he can study French before we leave. I know I want to leave but lately my husband said he wasn't sure about leaving. I think he's afraid; he's never been abroad. We'll see how thing go...

Catherine said...

Yes it is a touch of the expat blues when you are now longer new but still not fully part of the place where you live...expat limboland??

Pete In Syracuse said...

Yes they did offer it I just sipped a little of the Vodka (I'm not a Drinker), but really enjoyed the sauna - I was toasty inside & out!!

Pete In Syracuse said...

Yeah now that you mentioned it they did look a bit shocked - like who the heck is this ???? lol

Alan said...

Wow that is a great assignment. Have fun and enjoy!!!