let's start by explaining my title.
a: singular, Angela
muse: to reflect upon, contemplate, ponder
ment: [suffix] result of, act of, means of
amusement: a feeling of delight and enjoyment
So I'll be going back to the mainland next week. My homeland, but is it really my home?
There have been so many crazy thoughts flying around in my mind lately. I haven't seen my grandparents or spoken to them in ages. The last time I saw my cousin, he was 9. Now he's a teenager and apparently taller than me. My friend Robbie that I met last time goes to Peking University also, where I'll be, but I haven't seen him in 4 years, and the last memory I have of him was pretty bittersweet. Not to mention, I think I've forgotten all the Chinese I so faithfully kept up with and memorized in the fall. Making the technical details work out for this trip to happen has also flung some obstacles in my way. Trying to get the Chinese Embassy to give me a visa was a bitch. I ended up writing a sad story-letter explaining my plans to visit my grandparents and not stay in Beijing after the program (only partially a lie!). But hey, I got the visa, didn't I? Being jobless right now is quite painful, and my program costs upwards near 10 grand...
...and the bathrooms over there will stink.
But it's time! It's been too long, and I need to do this.
Last year, studying abroad in Italy was probably the best decision I've ever made in my life. To be so independent in a foreign country, for an extended period of time--it really does make you reflect on your life, and the kind of life you've lived. While in Italy, I began to wonder if I've ever actually used my eyes before, or my ears, or my tongue. I felt like I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough or wide enough to see it all. I wished to trap the sounds from the street outside my apartment and the crashing of the waves on the rocks at Cinque Terre and the beautiful language into a bottle for me to drink at my will like the wonderful sangria from the vineyard at La Torrazetta. And don't get me started on the seafood in Monterosso. (the most divine swordfish and the most flavorful pesto sauce) This is cheesy, I know. But before then, had I realized such powerful experiences were possible? Such camaraderie to be made, such stories to tell in the future? Perhaps not--until I was forced to better engage with this big world in which I so luckily inhabit.
And thus, hopefully, I'll keep all this in mind when I go to Asia.
This trip will be different. I always daydream about what kind of person I would have been if I had grown up elsewhere and hadn't lived this Plano, TX lifestyle with these Plano, TX people. Although I won't ever be able to see my life as 温馨 growing up in 中国, I can't wait to be in China for the summer. This is the best and worst time to go. There will be record numbers of people in Beijing (even for Beijing), and the Olympics will be there, but so will I! Who knows what I'll be like when I get back. Maybe I'll come back and greet you with "herro" instead of "hello", or have a hacking cough from lung cancer, or weigh 10 lbs heavier because of the great food...
but despite all of my griping and anxiousness...I really can't fucking wait!