What have you got to celebrate?
Thoughts on returning to China First off, I returned to China after a 17 month absence, and 19 months after being attacked by a Tibetan mastiff. I had many fears – can I handle this country and the ruggedness of where my heart wants to live? Will I be able to get clean water? What if the pain comes back? Am I ready to return? etc., etc.
My fears dissipated very quickly, as I was warmly received by my local and foreign friends. Walking down the streets I saw many familiar places, and was reminded of the smells of Asia (some good and some not so good). The main center of town, Da Shi Zi, used to have a huge circle of cement above the street intersection. This was a great central place to meet people, and a well-known landmark. But after the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008, they took it down, said it was not earthquake proof. Now, they have torn up the center of town and are building an underground circle, so pedestrians won't obstruct traffic. A little inconvenient for now, but will be nice when it is finished.
I love to walk, and am so thankful that I can walk again. It was in November 2008 when I could only stand for 4 minutes before I had to sit because of the pain. Now I go walking through the streets every day, and last week walked for 3 hours! As I take my walk about, I am reminded...
… of how the children love to say “Hello” to foreigners. I love this!
… of Asian throat clearing, like no other place on earth.
… of forgotten words, proverbs and local sayings.
… of how I am so used to seeing black hair every day, and the comfort in that consistency.
… of how horn honking is to tell someone else that you are there, not as an emergency.
… of how much I have missed living in another culture.
… of how much I have missed my Tibetan family.
… of how much I have to be thankful for, and can celebrate today that I am back.
It is great to be back in China. What have you got to celebrate?