It’s been a while…

A very long while. & whilst I have no real excuse I have a lot of (luckily) fun reasons why I’ve not been writing. 

Since my last blog post I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to six countries (three of which were new to me), had our families visit us in China for the first time, and confirmed that 2016 will be our last calendar year with Beijing as our home. 

I’m excited for what this last year in China has in store for us. And, what more I’ll learn from my time on this side of the world. I’ve read a little about how living in China changes you. In my last year I suppose it’s inevitable that I start to reflect on how this whole experience has impacted me. A few thoughts:

I have more patience. Anyone who has sat in Beijing traffic knows you have two choices: be frustrated and angry or chill and wait it out. I most definitely adopt the second approach – now. 

I’m more assertive. With a queuing culture (or lack of) alien to most Brits I’ve learnt to assert myself, or lose valuable time allowing people to push in front of you without giving way.  This of course doesn’t apply every time, but I know when to switch it on when it does(!).

I smile more. And it makes a huge difference to my day to day life. In a city where I still greatly struggle with the language (despite inconsistent lessons for over two years) when you smile people’s whole reaction to you changes. I always knew this but never have I seen it happen so blatantly before. 

I definitely love BIG cities. I always knew this but Beijing reaffirmed this for me. I’m definitely not a country girl (much to my husband’s disappointment). Vast urban landscapes are calming to me. I love the chaos and vibrancy and noise. I’m comforted knowing I have access to anything I might need at anytime. I can’t clearly put my finger on why, but I love this city. 

Maybe it’s how different each part is from the other. Or how I can lost in it and discover new places. Perhaps it’s because this is my first home with my husband and where we started our lives together. 

Or is it just because I now feel like a Beijinger?  I’m not sure I know why and I don’t know if it matters, but, so far so good. & that’s all that matters.