Love It or Leave It: My Decision to Stay in China

May 27, 2011

Dear China,
I realize it’s been a while since I wrote.

Remember that last letter I wrote you? Remember that?

I had just moved in. I was so nervous and scared. But you were so sweet.

You spoiled me with amazing food and an awesome new apartment and a sixteen-hour work week.

You didn’t care if I wore my pajamas in public.

You didn’t even care that I didn’t understand a word you said.

You had me at nihao (and that was before I even knew what nihao meant).

Well, it hasn’t exactly been all roses and lounge-wear-in-public since then.

Shortly after that last letter, I came down with a respiratory infection that took three weeks and two different kinds of antibiotics to shake. It didn’t help that you kept on plying me with bitter-tasting Chinese medicine that promised to cure the “wind-heat in the upper part of the body,” when all I really wanted was some decongestant. (And what the heck is “wind-heat”, by the way?)

Then there was the loneliness.

I’ve made a few friends since moving to Wuxi, but it hasn’t been easy being the only single, thirty-something, foreign gal on campus.  Not that I’m saying you’re not super fun to hang out with, China, but a girl needs her girl friends, okay?

And, well, there was a little boredom, too.

After one great weekend in Beijing performing at the Beijing Improv Festival and another great weekend in Shanghai catching up with friends, I realized how much I missed the hustle and bustle and the lively expat scene of living in a big city. Wuxi, with its sprawling parks and sweet pork ribs, is the perfect place to settle down. But I’m not so sure I’m ready to settle down just yet. I am young after all. (No matter what my birth certificate or my grey hair might tell you.) Besides, I’ve never been the settle-down type. (No matter what my couch might tell you.)

Oh yeah, and that shiny, new, easy-peasy job?

Well, it kind of lost its shiny, new, easy-peasy job smell once my free time started to fill up with assignments that needed grading. And while my students are, for the most part, pleasant, they are like many twenty-year-olds the world over – more interested in their lunch and their cell phones than thesis statements.

A couple weeks into my job, I started to feel the same burn out I felt before I left Japan – the same burn out that made me quit my job and take a year off. I had hoped the time off would “cure” me – make me eager to teach again.

But, after only a couple weeks of working, I was already pining for my days of unemployment when I didn’t have to wake up before noon or fake enthusiasm for five-paragraph essays.

Plus, it didn’t help that I couldn’t find any floss.

I get really cranky when the health of my gums is at stake. I really don’t want to have another root canal in Asia especially since I know the dentists here aren’t so good about doling out the Novocain. (Seriously. I’ve had some great dental care in Asia, but, man, I’ve also had to do a lot of begging and groveling to get the dentists to hook me up with meds. And do you know how hard it is to beg and grovel when there is already a drill inside your mouth? Do you?)

To be honest with you, for the past month or so, I’ve been kind of unhappy.

In fact, I was thinking of leaving you, China.

Yep, that’s right.

This was almost my Dear John letter to you.

I even looked elsewhere. I made eyes at Vietnam. I come hithered with Cambodia. Heck, I even played footsie with Russia, Tanzania and Oman – all at the same time! (I told you I wasn’t the settle-down type!)

And, let me tell you, they flirted back – hard.

I was short-listed for an amazing job in Tanzania. I got a second interview with a great school in Moscow. I had emails from another school in Cambodia. On Friday of last week, both Vietnam and Oman offered me jobs –  jobs with more lucrative paychecks and better career potential than the one I have now.

And, man, it was close. As of Sunday of last weekend, I was ready to call it quits with you, China. I announced to a few of my coworkers that I was having doubts about us. I emailed half a dozen friends to tell them it was over. I even called my parents to tell them we were breaking up.

And, then, I realized something.

It’s not you, China.

It’s me.

And — unlike all the times I’ve said this before — this time, I mean it.

It’s my fault things weren’t working out between us.

I got sick because I wasn’t taking care of myself.

I’m lonely because I haven’t really been making much effort to get out and meet people.

I’m bored because I’ve been spending way too much time holed up in my apartment and not enough time out exploring the city that I’m in.

I’m burnt out because I’ve been focusing too much energy on my job and not enough energy on myself. I also haven’t been focusing my energy on what I really want to do with my life – writing.

It was my fault I was unhappy. (Okay, so maybe the whole floss thing was kind of your fault, China.)

To be honest with you, I’m really not cool with this – this whole blaming myself for my unhappiness thing.

I mean, why would I be to blame?

This is me we’re talking about here, people. I’m, like, practically perfect! Well, aside from my less-than-perfect dental history. (I’m telling you, people – floss while you’re young. It will save you a lot of pain and root canals in the future!)

Usually, I’m all about blaming someone or something else for my unhappiness. I just find an easy scapegoat – like, say, my job or, umm, China. (Sorry, China!)

And then I hatch an escape plan – one that involves me quitting my job or the country I’m in.

Then, a couple months or years later, when I’m unhappy or bored or lonely or whatever, I hatch a new escape plan – one that involves my moving to Tanzania or Vietnam or Cambodia or Oman or really any country that doesn’t happen to be China. (Again, sorry, China!)

But this time, I’m not escaping.

I’m staying.

On Monday, I signed my contract to stay for another semester – which means I’ll be here for at least another eight months. This means I have eight months to take better care of myself, to meet people, to explore and to write. This means I have eight months to work on making myself happy. (I’ve already found floss, so it’s like I’m practically there!)

That’s right, China, I’m not going anywhere.

You’re stuck with me.

For better or for worse.

At least, for now.

Hugs,

Sally

P.S. Thanks for the floss. Now, if you could just hook me up a decent selection of cheese at my local grocery store, I’d totally be willing to commit to something more long-term. Think about it.
74

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On May 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm Patricia GW said:

    I LOVE your writing style – China is lucky to have you 😉
    Patricia GW recently posted..What Do You Stand For

  2. On May 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm Jessica said:

    Glad you decided to stay. China is one of those places where sometimes you get into a rut and feel like it sucks but when you get some perspective, you realize you live a pretty good life. I am slightly jealous that you are staying as in just over 5 weeks, I’m leaving China for good.

    In Wuxi you should check out the Three Kingdoms (if you haven’t already), it’s a working film set/tourist attraction. Pretty interesting.

    As for the floss again try Taobao. Ah the cheese problem is one that we foreigners face when we don’t live in Shanghai. I’d reccomend checking out one of the following if you have them: Metro (best selection), Tesco (okay), Auchan (okay – been a while though) and Walmart (somewhat okay). They are the Western supermarket chains. Well best of luck.

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm Sally said:

      I definitely agree with you on the rut — but that’s pretty much any place that feels comfortable. I think if I didn’t feel so comfortable here and have such a nice place (2 things I really like), I probably wouldn’t feel so rutty (something I don’t like). So it’s good and it’s bad.
      I found floss at Watson’s. As for cheese, they have started to get a better selection at Auchan (the only Western supermarket chain nearby me), but it still leaves a bit to be desired if China really wants to win over my heart!

  3. On May 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm Baptiste said:

    So you’re staying in Wuxi ?

    I’ll be in Shanghai next semester I can’t wait to get there 😀

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm Sally said:

      Oh, Shanghai is great. I’m sure you’ll love it. But if you ever get annoyed with the hustle and bustle, definitely come visit Wuxi! Not much hustle & bustle here!

  4. On May 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm Kat said:

    Awesome! I was in the stay camp on your last post, and I’m glad you decided to give another semester a go.
    Kat recently posted..Weekly inspiration- beginning

  5. On May 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm Michi said:

    I’m you got past the fork in the road. I can’t wait to hear about more China adventures! 🙂
    Michi recently posted..First stop – Granada- ciudad bohemia

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Michi. I’m looking forward to having more adventures here. (I think! I just hope they aren’t adventures in the dentist’s chair!)

  6. On May 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm Ken C. said:

    Yea! Much Chinese applause, and a rousing chorus of “nihao’s” to you!

    I’m with Kat (above)…you are awesome, and not just because you used “come hither” as a verb [at least, I think you did]…you properly evaluated you present situation, and made a relatively brave decision to stick with it despite the adversity and lack of pain-killers.

    Not that anyone, including absent cheese-makers nor neighborhood dentists, wish you adversity or pain, but…[think of it] this can only be GOOD for your writing.

    See, once again, you’ve landed shiny-side up; you’re awesome!

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm Sally said:

      Isn’t “come hither” a verb? It looks like a verb, so if it’s not a verb it should totally own up and become one already.
      Thanks for the encouragement. It was a tough decision to make (as all decisions are when you realize that you’ve been the one being the baddie), but I’m really happy with it.

  7. On May 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm Heather said:

    Sounds like you had some great offers on the table that you can keep in mind after China — assuming you decide to move elsewhere after eight months! Who knows 🙂

    I would have had a hard time deciding if I was in the same spot, but I’m glad you chose to stay…China rose to the occasion with some floss, so now you get some more time in China to take care of yourself and make time for more things that will make you happy — and as you know, you’d have to do that wherever you go 🙂
    Heather recently posted..Australia Roadtrip- Victoria

  8. On May 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm Rick Jones said:

    I should probably tell you, china has been flirting with me as of late.

    xiexie.

    -Rick
    Rick Jones recently posted..Tales from Bangkok – Arriving in Bangkok and taxi ride

  9. On May 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm Gillian @OneGiantStep said:

    Yay! I’m glad you decided to stay. And I just know that China will hitch up his socks and show you he’s worth it. Looking forward to hearing all about it!! Cheers!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..A Letter From The Past

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm Sally said:

      Well, since my decision to stay, China has already been pretty sweet to me — the weather has been awesome & they put in a new grocery store near my house with a relatively decent selection of cheese. Obviously, China is trying to win back my heart. It’s working, China. It’s working.

  10. On May 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm Katherina said:

    I’m glad you’re giving China another chance… despite it being a bit challenging. But challenge is good, isn’t it? These less “favorable” situations are the ones that make us grow – at least that’s what I want to believe, as I’m kind of in the same 😉
    Katherina recently posted..Finding an Upside to Switzerland’s Housing Shortage

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm Sally said:

      Yes, definitely. I still think my year in Brazil was probably the hardest thing I ever did (it got easier as time went by, but definitely the first 6 months were TOUGH). But it was also the best thing I ever did — I got in shape, I learned a foreign language, I became much more self reliant and I got a heck of a lot more happy. If I can manage half of that in the time I’m in China, I’ll be good!

  11. On May 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm Giulia said:

    I’m afraid I should’ve done the same and stay in Egypt. But I left. And now I spend my days why I did this to myself. 🙁
    Right choice Sally!
    Giulia recently posted..Delights of Italy- REAL pizza

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm Sally said:

      I hate that feeling of thinking maybe you left a country too early. I felt that after I left Japan the first time after only being there a year. Luckily, I had a second chance and went back for three. So, you never know, you may find yourself back there again!

  12. On May 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm MaryAnne said:

    Am very glad you are staying. I’ll be sending you the life-coaching bill next week. I’m having a sale this month for my services– two begrudging acknowledgements of the actual situation for the price of one!

    Here’s to your brilliant next 8 months!
    MaryAnne recently posted..A Totally Impractical Expat Interview 13- Kate Bailward of Driving Like a Maniac

    • On May 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm Sally said:

      Mwahahaha! “Two begrudging acknowledgments of the actual situation for the price of one.” Love it! I hope you accept payment in margaritas and nachos.

  13. On May 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm Jonathan said:

    Hurray! So glad you are staying in Asia. Hope to see you again sometime in the next couple of years!

    (I also used to love leaving a place. There’s something really freeing in it, but I think it gets harder with time.)

  14. On May 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm Katja said:

    Hoo yeah. The whole running away rather than facing up to the real problem thing? Yeah, I know that one. It’s why I left last year’s job, and is also (partly) why I’m leaving this one. Although this year I may have dumped the job, but I’m hanging around in the place for a while, so maybe I’m on the road to recovery … 😀
    Katja recently posted..Perfect weekend recipe

    • On May 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm Sally said:

      Yeah, it’s funny, no matter how much quitting my job/country/life won’t automatically fix things (and can, in fact, make things worse) it doesn’t stop me from wanting to do it… again and again. After all, isn’t change supposed to be good?

  15. On May 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm Lois said:

    You really crack me up Sally! I love love love your sense of humor! Glad you found some floss. It’s a must in every relationship..

    • On May 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm Sally said:

      Most definitely, Lois. Floss is very essential for a successful relationship — who wants to make out with someone with gunk stuck in their teeth? Ewwww.

  16. On May 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm Lu said:

    Sweet Sally, I don’t want to go all shrink on you, but for a long time I was saying to myself, with so much travel what is Sally really running away from? I’m happy that you took time to start figuring it out yourself.

    As for the burnout… Boy do I feel it! There’s really nothing that can help us teachers except choose another profession. If only I knew what else I want to do in my life. I mean, I’m not good enough as a belly dancer to make it my next career.

    Good luck and best wishes on writing!

    • On May 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm Sally said:

      Lu,
      To be honest, I really don’t think I’m running away from anything. I travel and live abroad because that’s where I feel most creatively inspired (even though it can be challenging at times — but I find the challenges often make my writing better). If anything, my last year of taking time off to travel was a chance for me to run towards something — towards taking my writing more seriously.

  17. On May 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm Ali said:

    I think it’s good that you’re staying if you realized the problem was you weren’t making enough of an effort. I’ve definitely been in situations like that. Although I was looking forward to reading about your life in someplace like Oman! Maybe next year!
    Ali recently posted..Round the World Travel Plans

  18. On May 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm ayngelina said:

    Wow Sally this could be one of my favourite posts from you. Not the funniest but the most heart felt. I am sad I won’t see you in South America but I think you are doing the right thing.
    ayngelina recently posted..The Tower of Babel…in books

    • On May 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm Sally said:

      Aww, thanks, Ayngelina. Mind you, I still haven’t given up on South America — I just won’t be there for a while. So you still better be there when I get there!

  19. On May 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm Andrea Martins said:

    Sally, I loved this! FB liked it, FB noted it, scheduled it for a tweet. Good on you! Andrea, ExpatWomen dot com 🙂

  20. On May 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm Evi @evitravels said:

    Aw man, I wish Cambodia had brought his A game. He can be quite charming. Though he has issues with providing cheese as well. We’re hoping he works that out in the next few months, since we’ve just decided to stick around Phnom Penh for a while. Seems like the expat scene here is pretty fun, would’ve been great to meet you! (Your blog always cracks me up, and I really appreciate all you’ve done to alleviate cookie guilt.)
    Evi @evitravels recently posted..Two Short Days in Byron Bay

    • On May 30, 2011 at 5:11 am Sally said:

      Yeah, Cambodia’s totally going to need to step it up a few notches. But now that I know I’d already have friends there (you’d be my friend, RIGHT?), I may have to give Cambodia some bonus points.

  21. On May 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm Linda said:

    Sounds like you have unfinished business with China. Isn’t travel part learning about others and part what it teaches you about yourself? Sometimes things which you never would have know had you stayed home. Congrats for figuring it out, and for accepting the challenge of living differently. I don’t doubt for a minute that you are moving forward positively and not running away, and I look forward to hearing more about it all.

    • On May 30, 2011 at 5:10 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Linda. I do think this is a positive step in the right direction. Since making the decision, I’ve been a lot happier & calmer & already started working on my plans for the next 8 months.

  22. On May 30, 2011 at 12:05 am Ceri said:

    I’m happy you’ve made this decision, Sally, because I really believe that another eight months is exactly what you need. It’s not a whole year which would be too long if you ended up regretting it, and it’s just the right amount of time to really figure out what you want to do or where you want to go next. 🙂

    Plus, I only just discovered your blog just after you moved to China and I can’t wait to read more about it. 🙂 Then again, I can’t wait to read more when you move countries. 😀
    Ceri recently posted..Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot- and Never Brought to Mind

    • On May 30, 2011 at 5:09 am Sally said:

      Thanks, Ceri. I think, like you said, 8 months is a good amount of time — enough time to get myself organized but not TOO much time. Now to figure out where I’m going next! Ugggh, these life decisions are tiring. 🙂

  23. On May 30, 2011 at 1:51 am Lu said:

    Well, it’s good that you’re running TOWARD something. At least you know what to run toward, which I don’t. 🙂

  24. On May 30, 2011 at 2:19 am Erica said:

    Good luck with finding a good selection of cheese. While I know Japan was NOT China I won’t say how much we spent on cheese to make our host family enchiladas… that is when I learned about the lack of cheese in the culture.

    So glad to hear you are giving it another go. Sending good thoughts your way!
    Erica recently posted..Cholula- Mexico – More Than Just Hot Sauce

    • On May 30, 2011 at 5:08 am Sally said:

      Ha ha! I remember taking a shopping trip in Japan one time where I bought 2 sweaters and 1 block of cheese at the international store, and the cheese cost twice as much as I had spent on the sweaters… and those sweaters weren’t cheap!

  25. On May 30, 2011 at 4:40 am Jerry said:

    Yay…(cheese is over-rated anyway).

    This way you actually get BOTH.

    You can stay in China AND you will (maybe) leave in eight months, so it is a win-win. Or at least a win (…pause…) win.

    Or maybe even a win-when you leave you will win again.

    Or a win-wen…which is kiss in pinyin (at least one of the meanings) so maybe true love will show up in China.

    Maybe you will fall in love with a cheese vendor.

    Your life seems filled with endless possibilities, Sally.

    In the meantime, we are glad you are you no matter where you might be. 🙂

    Jerry

    • On May 30, 2011 at 5:05 am Sally said:

      Jerry,
      Thanks much! Since making the decision, I have been much happier & do think I made the right choice… now to find that cheese vendor you speak of!

  26. On May 30, 2011 at 8:40 am Anna said:

    Excellent piece, and VERY funny! Not only that, but your story is my story. I also have only just realized that I’m the problem (mostly) for my unhappiness in my adopted country. So my attitude is finally getting a makeover. Good luck these next 8 months and keep up the flossing! (Do you need me to send you a care package?)

    • On May 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm Sally said:

      Aww, thanks, Anna. Luckily, I’ve found a reliable source of floss here… but, uh, you can’t send cheese via international mail, can you?

      Good luck with the happiness makeover! We should do some before & after photo shoots, like they do for other makeovers.

  27. On May 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm Rease said:

    I love this post. I am always a big fan of letters haha. I think you really made the right choice and it was big of you to be able to admit that you were partially at fault for your unhappiness. I say partially because the cheese and floss thing is totally not your fault.
    Best of luck with your continued relationship!
    Rease recently posted..An Amazingly Awesome Tale of Train Chasing

    • On May 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Rease. Glad you enjoyed the post. And, I agree, the floss & cheese thing is so not my fault. China could really do a little self-improvement too, if you ask me.

  28. On June 1, 2011 at 3:57 am Megan said:

    Congrats on your decision! Now you can spend your time figuring out my life for me. Thanks.
    Megan recently posted..Challenge- Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

    • On June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm Sally said:

      Hmmm, let’s think… I know! Your life plan should be to move to China to make me chocolate cream cheese cupcakes! Best Life Plan Ever!

  29. On June 1, 2011 at 10:42 am Oneika the Traveller said:

    Cool! I’m breaking up with Hong Kong after teaching English and French at an international school for the past two years… Sad I didn’t travel as much as I would have liked in China, though! Great blog, just found it via Jeannie! I like your writing style, chica! And as somebody who has been an expat in France, Mexico, Hong Kong, and a soon-to-be expat in London, I totally get you on the wanting to move/work elsewhere thing!
    Oneika the Traveller recently posted..Should I get a DSLR camera

    • On June 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm Sally said:

      Thanks, Oneika. Glad you’re enjoying the blog & it sounds like you may be even more restless than me. Oh, it is fun the whole picking-up-and-moving thing, isn’t it? Best of luck in London!

  30. On June 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm choi kum fook said:

    Miss Sally, I am glad you have made your decision. Please, be happy always and don’t worry too much, taking things easily and wisely, balancing your body mentally and physically.STRESS IS KILLER. Always think out of the box, learn out out of door! Wisely think over the articles I passed to you last year from my former teacher. Take a rest when you find exhausted. Nevertheless, you sacrifice quite a lot of time in writing-well done and awesome! I salute the splendid work and effort you have done so far. Your energy is great and powerful and endless! It might probably can light up the city of Wuxi! When is your story book be inscribed out? Ha ha! Always try your best!!!

    • On June 2, 2011 at 4:51 am Sally said:

      Thank you, Mr. Choi. I’m happy to have your support. And, of course, one of the reasons why I decided to stay was to see you & your family when you all come to visit!

  31. On June 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm Vago Damitio said:

    Someday I will go back to China but your writing makes me feel how much it has changed in the decade since I’ve been there. At the time we pretended to be part of the Olympic committee and we got wined and dined by bigwigs all over the place. I doubt that would work now, but the sweet ribs sound as delicious as ever.

    ~vago
    Vago Damitio recently posted..Five Far Out Wildlife Retreats in Costa Rica

    • On June 2, 2011 at 4:50 am Sally said:

      Yes, I imagine pretending to be part of the Olympic committee won’t get you too far these days — especially not where I’m living. I doubt anyone would believe me if I tried to tell them I’m scouting out Wuxi for the next Games. 🙂

  32. On June 2, 2011 at 2:17 am Aimee said:

    Glad to hear you’re staying Sally, maybe we’ll get a chance to catch up for those G&Ts after all!
    Aimee recently posted..China Through My Lens- Seeing Chengdu with Tyler Krohman

    • On June 2, 2011 at 4:49 am Sally said:

      Yes, definitely! I’m always up for a fun girly get-together weekend in Shanghai with G&T (or margaritas… I feel it’s important to diversify!)

  33. On June 3, 2011 at 10:48 am Angela said:

    I think you made the right decision, sometimes I feel the same about China, but then I realize that I feel like this at times anywhere I am, so maybe it’s not really China but me. When I feel lonely or bored, I go out and change my mind immediately, Shanghai is such an exciting city that only going to take photos somewhere makes you feel better 🙂

  34. On June 10, 2011 at 4:33 am Sasha said:

    A relationship with China is like a complicated relationship with a lover that you can often be at loggerheads with but at the same time you just can’t seem to let go. You letter summed up many of the feelings I’ve had in regards to staying in China. I just find it so hard to leave yet I don’t see my entire future here. I don’t know what it is about you China but just like a first love It’s impossible to ever completely let go of you but yet one day I too will want to escape you and venture out to discover new non-Chinese things!
    Sasha recently posted..This is China- Xiaonanmen- A Changing Neighbourhood

    • On June 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm Sally said:

      Oh, don’t I know it. I think my relationship to Asia in general is like some weird dysfunctional romance. I keep on saying I’m going to leave, but, yet, I come back for more.

  35. On June 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm Kelly said:

    Yay, Sally’s sticking it out in China for a bit longer!! I’m glad to hear it, especially since you haven’t come to visit me yet, so this gives you a little more time to work on that. 😉
    Oh, and the whole running-away-escape-plan thing? I totally tend to do that too, even with little things in life. I’m a work in progress too.
    (By the way, saw in a a comment something about sending cheese in the mail…I don’t know if you are ‘supposed to’ send it, but my family has occasionally sent me a block from Canada and they’ve come through [they may not have specifically declared it on the customs form though, and you’d want to make sure it’s airmail, and winter is usually better than summer for sending it]. Just sayin’!)
    Kelly recently posted..Contributions to the Greater Good

    • On June 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm Sally said:

      Yes, must definitely work on getting myself to Hebei. Just as long as you get your husband to work on setting me up with one of his cute hip-hop pals. 🙂

  36. On June 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm Alex said:

    I must say I’m surprised by your decision to stay… but impressed! Good for you for challenging yourself. It’s not an easy thing to consciously decide to do. And people say travelers are running away!
    Alex recently posted..Dressed to Kilt- A Scottish Wedding Story

    • On June 21, 2011 at 2:14 am Sally said:

      I was actually pretty surprised by my decision myself! And I’m still not so sure I made the right choice… but I think it will pay off in the end. I hope!

  37. On September 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm Priya said:

    China is lucky to have you!

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