So far all I’ve been writing about is how much I love China, how big it is and how China has everything anybody could possibly want. But then I started to miss Jamaica and I realised, if China had everything anybody could possibly want, then I wouldn’t miss Jamaica. So here goes:
THINGS I MISS…
1. Steel Pan – I miss Panoridim Steel Orchestra. I miss my double tenor pan. I miss the sense of accomplishment I get after learning a song (especially a hard one) perfectly. I miss how any problem or stress I have disappears when I start playing. I miss the music. I miss the camaraderie that Panoridim has…I am still trying to find a Steelpan group in Beijing.
2. Family and Friends – This one goes without saying. After spending a lifetime with family and friends, nobody understands you as much as they do.
3. Sunshine – It’s always kind of cold here. The sun does come out occasionally, but it’s mostly cold.
4. Blue Skies – The sky is hardly blue here, most times it’s greyish and you never really see clearly defined clouds.
5. Clean Air – Yesterday, for the entire day, there was an obvious haze that decided to take a permanent seat all over my university, maybe it was all over Beijing too, I don’t know. But everything just looked hazy. My poor lungs.
6. The Beach – I’ve heard that there is a beach in Beijing, but I’m sure it’s nothing like the beaches in Jamaica.
7. Music Playing on the Road – This is just something I noticed, not necessarily something I miss that much. A friend asked me what kind of music China has and what kind of music I hear on the streets. I had to tell her that I didn’t know because I don’t hear music on the roads. I hear hustlers playing music in the subway and music in the restaurants, but it sounds like the music in Jamaican Chinese restaurants. The few pop songs that I have heard sound like American pop music.
8. Access to Reliable Internet – Using the Internet here is extremely annoying because of the speed of the Internet and the continuous loss of connection.
THINGS I DON’T MISS…YET…
1. The Food – I like Chinese food so I don’t miss Jamaican food that much, but I’m sure I’ll be eating my words in a few months.
2. Being Employed – Being a student is a lot less stress than being employed.
3. The Prices – The exchange rate is 15 JMD – 1 RMB. When I work out the Jamaican dollar equivalent for most things I buy, I would never get it for that price in Jamaica.
4. English – I don’t feel as lost as I thought I would be. All my friends speak some level of English and now that I’m learning Chinese, I can use it a little to get around.