Only 3 and a half more years to go.

With one final left, I’m quickly winding down my first semester at college and preparing myself for beach weather, clean streets and blue sky. That includes getting rid of the 包子 weight, as soon as possible. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten through four months in Shanghai, with a few bumps and bruises (both small and large), gotten rid of calculus forever, cried in the library during finals, didn’t have to pull an all nighter for work, ate street food at 2 in the morning, ate watermelon with a room key, used chopsticks to eat cereal, and so much more.  But before I (temporarily) say goodbye to the streets of 上海, I’d like to reflect a little bit on the past 122 days here. And describe some of the relationships I’ve made here – both good, and some a little 不好.

Family Mart. I feel as though we’re in a little bit of a rough patch at the moment, because I just don’t think you can give me what I want anymore. A 包 in the morning if I’m really desperate, but you need to stop calling me late at night. Maybe next semester we can pick things up again. And your coffee just makes me 哭 a little. China coffee makes me 哭 a little.

Street noodle lady. We’ve developed a pretty great relationship, pulling me through all my nights of hunger, teaching me how to say peas and corn (豌豆和玉米) and laughing at me when I say no, I really don’t want MSG today. And 少油, please.

Taxi drivers. You make me laugh, at all the right times. From our conversations about chicken eggs and laying chickens and asking me if Australia had chicken fried rice and me saying no, and then asking if we ate chicken. Me saying yes. Them saying, then why on earth do you not have chicken fried rice. I really don’t know, take that up with Australia. Me shoving bikes into taxis. Chloe and I giving a man this ugly bag we bought in the fake market for his daughters. Taxi drivers in Shanghai are 太好了. 我爱你们.

The fake market. Stop taking my money. Please. I’m a student. I have no money. But everytime, I end up buying some beautiful Givenchy bag and weird DVD’s. And five phone cases. And a bad scarf.

Dorm room. Thanks for providing me with limited heat and never staying clean. I guess you just like to make me work a little harder.

Muse, M2, all the other ‘M’s’. Mansion included. Thanks for hating me so much, making me realize clubs are gross and I really don’t enjoy not sleeping. Our relationship is definitely full of regret and pressure. Maybe one a month. Maybe not. We’ll see how things pan out.

Shanghai. Thank you, for a wonderful 4 months, thank you for teaching me so much and making me laugh, cry, spit on the streets a little and appreciate everything your beautiful city has to offer. But I’m not going anywhere yet, this is just the beginning.

再见, 下个学期见。

Now, home.

Bella 冯茵


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