Things I will miss in China

Here’s the second part–despite the truth of the first post, there are many things that I will truly  miss after I leave China.  Here are some of them.

  1. Having restaurants and markets within short walking distance
  2. Cheap and delicious restaurant meals
  3. The shopkeepers who line the block around the school and let me practice my Chinese
  4. My kindergarten kids!
  5. The fun middle school classes who ask questions, use English in class, and do hilarious skits to practice their English
  6. My apartment, despite its plumbing flaws
  7. The man and woman who make the chicken sandwiches across from the school
  8. The man from the fried chicken and french fries place that always chats with me and patiently tries to understand my Chinese
  9. My weekly lunch dates with my girls from class 22
  10. Playing rambunctious games of Settlers of Catan with the foreign teachers and dishing about our week
  11. My students that I’ve tutored to study abroad–Volcano (Aiden), Chris, Eileen, Echo, Victoria, and Peco
  12. Seeing my kindergarten kids walking together to the playground and having them all shout my name at the top of their lungs and hug my legs as I go by
  13. Walking into class 5 (middle school) and having the kids run up to me and ask what we’re learning today
  14. Pretty much every student in class 18 (middle school)
  15. Learning random Chinese words from hearing students say them in class
  16. The cheapness of taxis
  17. The sushi chefs from our weekly sushi restaurant who chat with us as they prepare the food
  18. The adorable couple who own the Taiwanese restaurant and the staff there that laughs when we order the same thing every time
  19. Kenneth, the man from Hong Kong who owns the honey shop and chats with us when we stroll past his store.  A kind, wise person.   He was the hardest so far to say goodbye to.
  20. The guy who gives us haircuts and talks to us about his dream of opening a hair salon in Los Angeles
  21. Being able to go home and take a nap at lunchtime if I need to
  22. Making coffee for my tutoring students
  23. Being able to take a train to just about any other city
  24. Street food
  25. Countless milk tea shops
  26. The old man and woman who sell us fruit at the outdoor market and always sneak extra fruit into our bag as a gift
  27. Chinese babies
  28. Sharing and hearing travel stories with other people
  29. Making friends unexpectedly
  30. Hot Pot on cold nights
  31. The Muslim restaurant with the little boy that always runs around the tables
  32. Julia, the kindergarten teacher from Xiao class 5
  33. Watching people ride on their bikes with strange objects, like trees
  34. The thrill of a fast, frightening taxi ride
  35. The familiarity of able to call any older woman I’ve just met “Auntie”  (ayi)
  36. The mojito place in Beijing on a hot summer day
  37. Letting my cat out at night to go gallumphing down the empty hallway and back
  38. The guard at the east gate who always smiles and waves at us as we go in with our grocery bags, and sometimes asks us what we’re making for dinner
  39. The pretty girl that we buy fruit from just down the street
  40. The lady who used to have a restaurant next to the school and gave us food from her own table so that we could try new things
  41. Eating the amazing meals that Jerry’s mother makes
  42. Hanging out with Jerry…but, maybe we’ll be hanging out with him in the U.S. as well once he begins university there!
  43. Peking Duck
  44. Meeting people from so many places in the world
  45. Those moments where I recall, again, the excitement I felt about being in a different place when I first stepped off the plane in Beijing

About Laura

An English teacher in China. View all posts by Laura

8 responses to “Things I will miss in China

  • Sharon


    I have really enjoyed your blog this year, especially to get a female point of view.I believe that teaching is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and even if you don’t continue in that field, you have had a great experience and opportunity to influence hundreds of children in the two years you were there. And then there is Motherhood, the Ultimate Teaching Experience!

    Many, many thanks for you and Elijah being there for Alan. It was very comforting for me to know that there was someone there with a year’s experience, to be able to give advice on money, travel, and much more, I’m sure.

    May the Lord continue to direct you in His plan for your life, and may you find much joy in the journey..

    Sharon Krall

    • Laura

      Mrs. Krall,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I’m glad that you enjoyed my blog, and I’m glad I got to experience teaching here in China. We miss Alan and we’re glad we got to hang out with him too…it was sad saying goodbye to everyone when we all parted ways. I am sure you’re enjoying having him back, though!

      Thanks again for your comment, I really appreciate it!


  • Luke

    Wow, this was longer. By the way, what’s the difference between Taiwanese food and Chinese?

    • Laura

      I haven’t managed to figure it out exactly, because they serve a lot of the same food at this restaurant as other Chinese restaurants. The only difference is they have a ton of different fried rice dishes…most restaurants only do egg fried rice, but this restaurant does chicken curry, eggplant, egg and spinach, and a ton of others. That’s one of my favorite things about it.

  • sybaritica

    Sounds like an incredible experience!

  • travelisfree

    Man… I miss it already. I’m sure you will too. Instantly! 🙂 (Ya, know. But bitter sweet).

    Speaking of 16. I paid $30 in NYC the other day and I’m thinking, “Oye! There goes a week in China.”

    • Laura

      There are definitely things I miss already! But, the wonderful feeling of being home has definitely overtaken those things for now, and I am so happy to be home.

      Except…YES, spending $30 in one go is pretty depressing after living so cheaply in China! I miss being able to get a meal for 80 cents, or even a meal for just $5 dollars is still pretty good.

      Have a good respite in the U.S. before you resume your travels! 🙂

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