My summer holidays began on June 15th…that’s right, I’ve already successfully completed 2 semesters of Chinese Language.
11 months ago, I had the greatest plan in the world to stay in China for 2 years before returning home to Jamaica in 2013. I would spend my summer 2012 soaking in all the historical sights of Beijing and travelling Asia, all while perfecting my Mandarin. But, in March, after I returned to Beijing from Japan, homesickness hit me hard, so hard I had to buy a return ticket to Kingston, Jamaica. I spent so many days in class, staring out the window at the aeroplanes in the sky, imagining what it would feel like to be sitting on one of them heading back home.
The night before I left Beijing was one heck of an adventure that ended with me staying up the entire night, saying goodbye to many of my friends who would not be returning and moving from a smaller room to a bigger room (still on the 9th floor). Two of my friends, Theo and Cynthia stayed awake with me the entire night, and walked with me to the the University’s front gate to get a taxi at 3:30 AM. All the way to the airport I kept thinking, “I don’t want to leave” “Jamaica must be so different” “How am I going to readjust?” But once I stepped unto the aeroplane and began my 26 hour journey, the doubts went away bit-by-bit. Finally when I stepped out of the Norman Manley International Airport and met my mother, it felt as though I had only been gone a week, and I thought, “What were you thinking, saying you didn’t want to leave Beijing?”
Coupled with the celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence and the 30th staging of the Olympics in London, I think this was a good year to have come home. I don’t think I have ever appreciated the idea of carefree summer days as much as I appreciate it this summer. This is exactly what summer should feel like