One of the things I get asked a lot is if I will come back to China, and the answer is no. I'm glad I came here and the people have been wonderful, but my impetus for student teaching here was never a love for, or really even an interest in, the Chinese culture. It was a test for myself, in several different ways. One, I wanted to plan something that actually came to fruition for once. I know I've mentioned it before here, but I'm really bad about saying I'm going to do stuff, then... not. Two, I'm thirty-two (in response to the question "How old are you?" I answered "Thirty-three" today. Then I really had to think about it), and had never been out of the country. Three, I wanted to see if I could do it. Could I go to a country where I speak little of the language and get along? And I did. Of course, I was not alone at all (the "Can I go to a country alone and survive?" question will have to be answered somewhere like France where I know some of the language), but as homesick as I was, I never seriously entertained the idea of coming home.
And I have been homesick since we got here. Some of that is normal, but the intensity and duration of mine has to set some kind of record. I didn't lock myself in my room sobbing when I wasn't teaching, but I had to really lecture myself some days to enjoy China while I'm here; in general I try really hard not to wish my life away, but this trip really stretched that ability thin. I think eleven weeks away from home is too long for me.
I lost a friend on this trip; I suppose some relationships weren't made to withstand lack of constant exposure to another person. It's not as if I hadn't known this friendship wasn't ideal, but no one likes to receive an email full of judgments that clearly had been germinating for some time. That's life, though; some friendships have lifespans.
I was going to get a QQ (the instant messenger program the students here use) so my students could IM me when I get home, but they have my email; to spend time IMing them strikes me as living in the past.
We will be traveling for about 24 hours once we leave Shenyang, and I know that's going to be exhausting, but I look forward to it. If there's one thing this trip has taught me, it's that China is not the place for me. I'm 100% glad I made the trip, but I'm 100% glad it's drawing to a close.