Published February 2nd, 2009 by Mliesie

Welcome back to home!

‘Welcome back to home!’, ‘Welcome back home’ were among the first messages I got when I set foot in China again; about 3 weeks ago now. Indeed, it immediately felt as if I had never left. The familiar faces, the sounds of the language, the numerous people doing jobs 1 person could do, the people sweeping the highways, the Chinglish, the dirt, the holes and the bump in the roads, the honking horns… Yep! I’m home :-) I actually even get to live in ‘my’ old apartment. What more could I wish for to make me feel at home?

Three weeks have gone by now and they were busy weeks, with many visits to my friends and their families, visiting the orphanage and some fosterfamilies, learning to play mahjiang, celebrating Guo Nian, travelling back and forth between Yulin and other places and still much more ahead of me!

My first week here I spent with my friend ZD and her parents as ‘my’ house was still occupied at that moment. It’s always interesting staying with people, as you get a wonderful insight of their daily lives. The nice things and the nasty things. It’s a nice but simple house they have; a proper toilet, no shower and central heating that doesn’t work well. Pretty hard when temperatures are down to -25C during the day! The windows are beautifully decorated with ice ’paintings’ in the mornings…. You live with your coat on in houses like that and you wash as fast as you can in the morning to make sure you don’t freeze to the bones. But…. at night you share a bed and that’s really comfortable and cosy. The good things definitely outweigh the bad things.

It was actually a bit sad to say goodbye and move to my own house after a week.

Walking around Yulin, visiting the orphanage, the fosterfamilies, my friends’ families; everywhere I meet people for the first time since my return, they start smiling, look happy (haven’t got a clue why ;-) ), say hello, shake my hand or even give me big hugs and of course… the food comes out! Even the people at the supermarket or at the outdoor market and the restaurants recognize me and seem to be genuinly happy I’m back. One student of mine we unexpectedly bumped into actually almost started hyperventilating! It took about 15 minutes to calm her down and before she could talk and breath properly again. Goodness, it’s really weird to see what impact one can have one people. Ridiculous! I’m glad I’m not a celebrity with people fainting in front of me ;-)

Anyway, I’m home and I have lots to tell. That’s for another time though….

Take care!

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