Having been in the Netherlands for a month now, there are many things I am already used to again. I also miss some big things quite a lot. Of course there is the food and snacks (#bubbleteaforlife), the subway convenience, and digital payments.
Living in a metropolis made me realize I actually am the city girl I pretend to be. Not that I am actually living fully in the middle of nowhere, but getting pretty close. So this is a list of small things I miss a lot and that you should enjoy if you are in China.
- Singing on the top of my lungs (even in heavily polluted weather) while biking and listening to my favorite songs.
- Shouting loudly in Dutch while biking because nobody understands.
- Hearing random shouting in my complex because the walls are paper-thin.
- Scanning QR codes.
- Everything being open 7 days a week.
- An excuse to not google something because I need to use a VPN.
- Less focus on food culture.
- Standard refills of hot water.
- More people on the streets.
- People being awake very early.
- Confusing people anymore with my local-foreigner status.
- Being loud (but not really for Chinese standards).
- People understanding the emotions of “AIYOOO” and “WASAI”
- Biking and walking around very randomly, regardless of traffic, traffic signs or traffic lights.
It is most certainly not going to end here, but I guess the good thing about returning is that I do appreciate stuff I have here a bit more. Especially with the current situation of course, I am very grateful and happy to be where I am in now.
At the same time, I will be more than happy to return to China (semi-)regularly and surely going to miss even more than the small things mentioned above. That is the thing about going places, you learn to appreciate and discover what you will miss. My journey has only just started.