April 21, 2015

China: All the Thoughts

So, China.

That happened.

It isn’t a dream or a wish any more. It’s a living, breathing place in my memory full of people and smells and foods and more people.  It’s real and there is a sky there and the sun and even some stars.  The same ones that are over me right now.  There are stories there and families and normal everyday things like making lunch and grocery stopping and walking up and down stairs.  

Sometimes I feel like it's easy to think that certain places are only real in movies or stories because they seem so far away.  But it’s only 16 hours on a plane, including one very long continuous “we’re never going to get out of here” 14 hour stretch.  Step off that airplane and the language is unfamiliar, the food is different and people look different too.  It’s kinda crazy.  Our world is so much smaller than we think it is.

China surprised me. In a good way. I was expecting to feel overwhelmed by it. I wasn't. I'll give my friend 100% credit for that because she interpreted everything for me and basically let me follow her around like a lost puppy. I really did. I was no help AT ALL. None. But I could follow along like a champ.  Give them this amount of money....got it. Take the #5 train...okay. He's asking you if you want your bubble tea warm or cold...oh, um...cold? (btw: definitely the right decision. Officially addicted now).

But back to China. It's so different. I've been lucky to travel to quite a few places on this globe, but China wins the prize for the being most different from home. I kinda loved it for its vast differences. Now, some of those things are super annoying and I was ready to leave them behind when I got back on that plane, but overall I couldn't believe the wonder that is this place called China.

I've been writing for days. Trying to get my thoughts out of my head and into words. It's hard. So much of this trip will live inside me. It's changing me. There will be things I can't explain #becauseChina. (I swear that hashtag is truly the only explanation for some things. Things like Chinglish signs or squatty potties) There will be things that I'll realize 3 years from now that will all come back to this trip. But for now, I'll do my best to be brief while giving you a peak into this trip of a lifetime.

I leave you with this photo...

...this is the garbage truck in the neighborhood where I stayed.  This is 2015, not 1890.  Like I said #becauseChina.  No other explanation.

More, oh so much more, to come.


Stephanie said...

Wow! They must recycle a lot because not much would fit in there! Can't wait to hear more!!

cottage girl said...

They don't, but the residential garbage (which this is) gets picked up every day.