Every so often, someone from home asks me, "What's it like?"
But what does that mean, really? Do you mean, what's it like to live in China? What's it like to live in a communist country? What's it like to be a foreigner in a strange land? What's it like to live far away from your own country, from your friends & family? What's it like to be a single 40-ish American woman teaching English to adult Chinese students in Shanghai?
These are all good questions, & many of them are answered here on this blog, but the true question that you're asking when you ask, "What's it like?" is "What would it be like for me if I did what you're doing?" This is the question that I try to answer every time I write a blog post.
A while back I read an interview with a man who travels the world climbing mountains. I thought: How exciting (that would be for me)! When he said that most of the time his life is pretty boring, I was disappointed. It didn't fit my idea of what it would be like to travel around the world climbing peaks.
But I guess that's true of anything that seems exciting from the outside. Sure, there are plenty of interesting & wild & unbelieveable things that happen to me here in China, but they come in spurts. Most of the time life here is pretty normal.
Of course, my idea of normal might have evolved over the last year & a half to include things like crossing the street among a throng of motorbikes & dodging projectiles of phlegm as I'm walking down the street, but I try to take that into consideration as I'm adding my two cents to the blogosphere.
So, what's it like? I can only give you a glimpse of it here. If you really want to know what it's like, you'll have to take off on your own adventure. & be sure to send me a postcard.