Although I am enjoying my stay here in China, learning and trying different things, sometimes I just wish I could go back for home comforts. Here is a list of things that I miss:
1. The sun- I really miss the sun! All day, every day, there is a layer of both cloud and smog, meaning we rarely have a chance to see the sun. When it does appear, it’s great, and the sun is shining in my bedroom. Although it is cold at home at the moment, some days there is not a cloud in the sky and it is completely blue. Here, you mightn’t see the sun for 3 weeks straight. Although when the sun is out, the students get tired. I have no idea why. I ask ‘why are you all so tired?’ and they say ‘Because the weather is good’. God help them if they ever lived in Spain, they would get nothing done.
2. A cosy fire- we have no central heating, or fires. So to warm ourselves up, we usually put our air-conditioning on to 32degrees until its toasty warm in our bedrooms. In the office, my hands are literally freezing because we didn’t get the remote control to the air conditioner. I miss just sitting in front of the fire, drinking a lovely cup of tea, and watching a film.
3. Bread-Bread here is sickly sweet, so I don’t eat it. To me it’s not right to have sweet bread. I would love a chicken/salad sandwich. Or beans on toast, or just plain toast.
4. Milk- Again the milk isn’t nice, meaning I don’t drink it. That means I’m not getting enough calcium, so to rectify this, I buy the already made coffees with the milk in them. I know it’s probably just a tiny amount of milk, but it’s better than nothing.
5. Clothes- I miss my clothes from home! I didn’t bring a lot of clothes with me, so I have to keep re-wearing all of my clothes here. I can’t do a big wash then because I will have no clothes for the next few days, so I have to wait until its absolutely necessary to wash something. I also miss the ease of just browsing the shops, looking at different things. In Chengdu, 10 people work in a shop that in Ireland, they would only have 2 people working. That means everywhere you turn, there is an employee standing beside you and looking at you. This frustrates me, because to me, it feels as if they think I’m going to steal something. Also, many get paid on commission, meaning they are constantly coming over to you with different items or clothes, wanting you to buy them.
6. Typical western food- Although I like the Chinese food, it would be good not to have rice or noodles or pork every day. Maybe a steak, or a roast potato, or even spaghetti would be nice for a change.
7. Easily ordering food- At the moment, I am trying to learn Chinese characters, so I could hopefully order some food. A few days ago I was in a Chinese restaurant with my Chinese friend and I said I was learning Chinese characters. I said, jokingly ‘give me the menu and I’ll order the food’. So there I was looking at the menu, trying to figure out characters, until my Chinese friend took it away from me. He smiled and turned the menu the other way around. Yeah, I was reading the menu upside down. Not a great start! At least in Pizza Hut the menus are in English.
8. Understanding people- All I hear is Chinese, Chinese and more Chinese. It annoys me that I can’t understand them, meaning I miss out on what the students are saying. When they laugh, I have no idea what they are laughing at, so I just look at them with a blank face until they explain it to me. Even with my Chinese friends, they chat away together and I often wonder what they are talking about, resigned to the fact that I will never know.
9. My bedroom- At home, my bedroom was my haven, my place of relaxation. I could stick on some Friends, Father Ted, a good film. Here, my bedroom lacks cosiness, warmth, a personality. Although it has become ‘my bedroom’ in China, it will never beat my own back home.
These are just some things I miss about home, I’ve managed it for the last 3 months, so even if I decide to stay for a year or even 2 months, I know that I can do without them.