Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"i live in china."

"i live in china."

that used to be one of the most fun things to say. i used to say it just to experience the sheer amusement of saying it. amazingly, i have to try really hard if i want to say that with any sense of awe now. it has somehow become something of a mundane fact. or an excuse for strange behavior. "i live in china, what can i do?"

and my life here? yeah, that feels pretty normal, too. it completely sneaks up on you. you don't even realize it's happening until one day you suddenly realize that nothing seems at all strange about fighting your way down the crowded street to buy a phone card from the man in the folding chair on the corner. nor does it seem odd that you don't actually know where else you would buy one. (do they sell those in stores? i don't know.)

suddenly your spanish becomes peppered with chinese, instead of the other way around. and you don't even think twice about thoroughly peeling your apple. next thing you know, you're standing in the middle of the street as buses wiz past inches away on either side and your heart isn't even beating fast. that's when you know it's over. this is your life and it's just not worth writing home about anymore.

sure, you still write, but there aren't anymore amusing anecdotes about bizarre chinese behavior. of course couples wear matching outfits and girls walk down the street holding hands. what else would they do? no, your writing turns inward, to the philosophical musings that always seem to erupt just as you're getting comfortable.

i actually got scared about coming home the other day. that same nervous anticipation i had before i came to china. america seems so far away and so foreign. i can only guess how it will seem after a year here. i expect as many things to feel strange and bizarre as feel normal and comfortable.

so i apologize for the tapering of my writing and the lack of amusing daily-life stories. things just don't seem that interesting anymore. and who wants to read about boring old normal life?