Welcome to Day 2 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more. For more on that click here: goinswriter.com
(For the record – the above sentence is not counted in my 500 words)
(Neither is that one)
(This could go on for a while)
So I just returned from China. It was an epic journey. So much so that I felt like a Hobbit. This was my third visit since we relocated back to America about 16 months ago. Going back was part of the deal. Had returning to China not been an option I would not have been ready to leave yet. I love China and we have great relationships there so my trips back are fabulous but exhausting and whirlwindy (now a word). I generally hit six cities in two weeks and talk to dozens of people. 50% of my time is spent in international schools, hotels, restaurants and taxis. The other 50% is spent looking for taxis to take me to those other places.
I love it but . . . not so much time for chummy reunions.
Still . . . I get to be in China and I get to see my friends.
This trip was different. It was exponentially more enjoyable based on one simple variable.
My family joined me.
Two weeks into my trip (when I would generally be coming home) my wife and two kids met me in Beijing. We stayed for another two weeks so we actually got time to spend with friends and stomp on our old grounds. It was wonderful. I was in China for more than a month and my family got to share in the joy.
It was different than any trip I have been on but it was also different than any trip we have been on as a family. Ever.
These are just a few of the things that I loved about it.
1. I got to see that my kids are still TCK’s
I love that my kids have still spent the bulk of their lives as foreigners. I know that makes me weird but I have a unnatural appreciation for the TCK experience and the character that it builds. I’ve been mourning that. Wondering if my kids are destined to get sucked into the humdrum of mono-culturalism. So I was thrilled when my five year old walked into a Chinese bathroom and said, “mmm, smells so good.”
Don’t judge me
2. We were never not home
That’s what really set this trip apart. Generally speaking when you travel you leave home and go somewhere else. This time we left home and went home. We weren’t awkward tourists surrounded by strangers. We were indeed foreigners but only in the familiar sense. The beauty of the whole thing is, when the trip was over . . . we went home again.
It’s a brilliant concept really. Going home for vacation. I think I might market that and get rich.
I love me some fried noodles. They should be greasy and chocked full of onions and veggies and maybe some beef. Sometimes they should have an entire fried egg sitting right there on top. They should also be dirt cheap and never more than a 15 minute walk away in any direction.
If you ask me, that’s what is wrong with America. We do noodles all wrong.
4. I got lots of blog fodder
A month in China makes for a lot of of new stories and bumbling foreigner experiences which will come in handy for the next 29 days.
And those are my 500 words.