Thursday, 11 June 2009

Last Days in the Shiz

I am now into my last days in China: next Sunday will (providing the gods are willing) see my flying back to the chaos of Heathrow. As I am going to Beijing this weekend and the next, that is only 6 more days in Shijiazhuang, and so everything has taken on that heightened awareness that comes when you are aware that a clearly defined period of your life is ending.


It is strange to walk the streets that have become an everyday backdrop to my life here, and realise that very soon taking in the barbeques, people eating and playing cards on the street, the motorcycle cart men, the kids running about, the building sites, the cranes, will all be over and done with and the greatest probability is that I will never set foot in this city again once I leave it next Friday.
A note in answer to a question from my last post: I have been reasonably adventurous in my eating habits, having happily chowed down on sparrow and donkey, but I found I drew the line at sea cucumber and duck heads. I couldn't bring myself to eat dog either, although it is an uncommon foodstuff here in northern China and most of my students were horrified when I told them that a widely held stereotype about Chinese people in the West is that they all eat dog.


  1. 'heightened awareness'... good way to put that.

    For me too, it was all the everyday stuff I noticed upon arrival that before I left realised will no longer be a part of my everyday anymore.

    Strangely, what I miss a lot from my everyday life in Britain are the 'clean up after your dog' signs with the vapours rising off the, obviously fresh, turds. lol... silly... but those signs always made me smile and I saw them everyday... sigh....oh, the memories....

    Enjoy, your last Shizzy days Jane and your forthcoming reunion with your toaster, ah bliss. :-)

  2. WOW! I just this as I left England for the last time! It was so bittersweet it wasn't even funny. Good luck on your next adventure! Jenni

  3. I felt the same way in June 1969 when I left Dublin after a year's study at Trinity College...everything took on "that heightened awareness that comes when you are aware that a clearly defined period of your life is ending." It is bittersweet.