Nostalgia only gets worse the further you get from when things took place. Granted, it has only been half a year since I moved back to the Netherlands. It is probably a mix of being afraid I am stuck somewhere I tried to escape and being asked about China a lot (I am an expert after all).
I am also again in a bigger city which makes me probably see the differences a lot sharper. So here is some other stuff I noticed I am missing.
- Feeling no remorse about ignoring people on the street who want to sell me something.
- Blending in with the crowd.
- Mobile payments being quick and easy.
- Big shopping malls with food courts.
- Being high and having a view of a sprawling city.
- Parks with older people exercising and being way too good at tai chi, wushu or stretching.
- Chinese chess, mahjong or playing cards on the street.
- The variety of vehicles on the road.
- Zooming past people biking as fast as you can walk.
- Asking for something to get repaired and having someone come over the next day (even though it probably will not really help).
- Stores being open 7 days a week until 22.00 in the evening.
- Going to the newest restaurant because new stuff opens every month.
Conveniently, this is also a great way to remind myself of all the things I will be able to look forward to once I have a chance to go again. On the other hand, there were many things infuriating and frustrating about life in China.
Life in your own country just does not seem really exciting somehow. But I know very well that I am also very spoiled. Luckily, the good thing about having lived abroad for a while is being able to deal with spoiled people. Even if it is just yourself.
I remember that wanting to tell people the expat life has its glamorous moments, but in the end local life is largely the same anywhere. Something I should also tell myself now.