just spent two months in beijing and i realized that this short stay has helped me answer some of the most important questions of my life.
and when people ask me about the internship, i can only tell them about the superficial stuff. maybe i’m just too lazy to get into the nitty gritty parts of my life. but for you, i will make an exception.

i realize who i am.
being only responsible to a job, i only did things outside of work that i wanted to do.
there were no arranged dinners with family friends, aunts, uncles. i arranged my life from morning to night.
i like going around, exploring.
i like walking everywhere i go.
i am impatient.
i am stubborn almost anally so about getting to the place as quickly as possible, by the minute.
i like eating dinner with people, but only one at a time.
i like meeting people who can understand me, especially those who i can learn from.
i realize that being alone is lonely sometimes.
being alone is a privilege but also a burden.

i reached out for help and found a hand also dangling in midair.
i held that hand.
on that cold night in the dark, it was the only hand that was offered.
i grabbed onto the first thing that i found.
i have yet to decide whether it was right or wrong, maybe in the light, maybe looking back.

i realize that having family around is important.
i realized it sucked to have no one to comfort you when you learnt of terrible news.
i realize that at some point in time, at some age, i started missing home for the first time.

i realize how western people look at china, how i look at china, how chinese people look at china.
some western people only want a piece of china so they want to come to china.
some western people like china only because the western luxury they get in china at a cheaper price.
some western people like china because they wish they were actually chinese.

some chinese people want to leave china.
some chinese people want to leave china but can’t and will never leave it.
some chinese people yell at china because they think they deserve better.

i look at china like both of the above.
it’s opportunity, like western people see it but also home, more home than usa.
i can imagine myself living here in Beijing in the future. the smog, the traffic jam, the people, the lifestyle.
i can imagine myself here.
i realized that this already made me a lot different from so many other people with western education.
many people see it as an escape.
i see it as a way to come back.
i am the bridge between the two worlds, between one’s fear and the other’s doubt.
and as this bridge, like my mother, i can make a living
i realized what i have to do to in the future to take advantage of this advantage
what i have to do to know the right friends on both sides of the river to be able to connect the different sides.


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