Day 45: Homeward Bound

Things I Won’t Miss About China:

  • The smog.
  • The toilets.
  • The lack of clean tap water (and brushing my teeth with bottled water, for that matter).
  • The people who hock loogies on the street….and in restaurants….and on the bus….and in every other public place you can think of.
  • The people who ask me (every day) why I look Chinese, but can’t speak the language fluently.

I realize that this list makes me sound somewhat shallow, so please move on to the next list….

Things I Will Miss About China:

  • The prices – I’m a cheapskate. I know it. I can no longer eat filling meal for less than $2, and it makes me a little sad.
  • The parks – why doesn’t America have parks like China? There are always tons of people walking around, meeting up with friends, and relaxing as they sip their cups of tea while surrounded by beautiful waterways and trees. I could go to a park in Chengdu every day and not get bored.
  • The lifestyle – China seems so laid back sometimes. After dinner families sit outside and catch up on their day while the children run around and play and go to roller blading classes outside of Pizza Hut.
  • The history – there is something about a country with thousands of years of history that just makes me want to learn more. If I had the chance, I’d go to a museum or a historical site every day.
  • The people – not only will I miss the rice place waiters, the teachers, and all of the Chinese friends that I have made, but I will miss friends that I have made within the UF in Chengdu group. Living and learning with the same group of 20 people for six weeks may have been trying at times, but I am so happy to have such a large and supportive group of classmates to have shared this experience with. Between trying not to die while crossing the crazy Chengdu streets and late night study sessions, we really had the ultimate study abroad experience.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love China, but it’s definitely time for me to head home. I think six weeks was the perfect amount of time to be in China because it gave me enough time to really get to know the city, but not long enough for me to get overly homesick. I know that my listening comprehension has improved tenfold, even if my grammar and speaking sometimes fails me.

Now I’m off to finish packing and prepare for the long journey home. I bought a new suitcase today, so now I get guesstimate the weight of my bags so that I don’t have a repeat of the Tampa airport (11 pounds overweight? Uhhh…). And I may or may not have already checked into what restaurants are in the Delta terminal for when I land in Los Angeles. It’s been a great six weeks in Chengdu, but in 48 hours, I’ll be back in Florida, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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