Sun Wukong, The Monkey King, enjoying the AC during my ride in a Didi across Chengdu.
Now that I am determined to take a sabbatical from teaching for one or two semesters, a debate ping-pongs within my mind about whether I even want to return to China or not! There are aspects that draw me, numbering less than those that repel, but the positives have greater weight at present. For too long I've beaten the drum of what drives me nuts in China; all that which increases misery and stress, but I need to remember what gives me pause and makes me want to stay. The advantages seem mostly related to the financial aspect included in quality of life. Unfortunately, this aspect holds much sway. In no particular order, aspects that are appealing-- and possibly lacking in other environments, include:
In reviewing my list, I see many items originate from my fear of not being able to afford them elsewhere (definitely not in the US). That and the lower salary to higher COL ratio in other parts of the world. Hmmm. I'm keeping the future open and being flexible. Who the heck knows what's in store after my UltimateKhamTrek2019!
POST IN PROGRESS
You know you're in a Chinese public toilet when you'd rather be peeing in the middle of the woods and squatting between thorn bushes.
At the Wanfu Flower Market, my friend suggested I buy this dried up bunch of twigs. She claimed that once put in water, in two weeks they would sprout leaves and fill with beautiful blooms. "What the heck!", I thought, and bought a bunch. And wow! Watching this bunch of twigs turn into a brilliant bloom has been like watching life unfurl in slo-mo!
Prices are crazy inexpensive for most commodities and services. (I'll convert all Chinese Yuan (RMB - ¥) to US$ for ease.)
For instance, everything I bought at IKEA last week I had delivered, so I could join friends for dinner that evening. Delivery cost $11 and boxing/wrapping $6 (!!!).
In the morning, when I'm huffing to work nearly late, I stop at a spot on the ground floor of my apartment building to by steamed buns and a hot, sweet, rice drink: $1.25. I ate a "western" style dinner last night at a cafe nearby, which is much much more than you'd pay at a little sidewalk Chinese restaurant. I think the most I've paid for dinner at a Chinese place is $2.25 for a huge meal--if that much. Dinner at the "Italian cafe" was $19 but I had wine. The difference is this: a meal at a Chinese sidewalk place is 10¥ and my pizza last night was 59¥. That's a $7.50 difference LOL.
What else... bus fare is .15 cents with a card and .30 cents cash. Subway tix are .30 cents. Household necessities are also very inexpensive.
The crappy Walmart-quality stuff from China must only be made for export, because I just don't see a lot of low-quality goods here. Even inexpensive items are decent-to-good quality.
I like it! More soon!
...loves living in China