After the most amazing and challenging year of my life, I waved goodbye to Beijing. Bye bye to Central Park, my mummy friends and those precious little babies, who I have seen almost daily since birth, for probably the last time.
I never imagined I would feel so sad. I had been ready to leave for some time, but Beijing really turned things on for me for those last beautiful weeks. The pollution was constantly low; like never witnessed before. The weather was perfect & balmy, ‘spectacular’ wouldn’t even describe it, and for some reason things finally seemed like they clicked into place.
Although leaving was the only thing to do for our family, it made saying goodbye really hard. I had a few tears as I closed the door on our 32nd floor apartment. The same apartment that I cried when I walked into 8 and half months pregnant, (because it didn’t feel like a home), go figure.
So I found myself pondering the question I was once asked by my Beijing hairdresser Scarlet. “Would I be bored after Beijing?” Will life ever be so strange again, so exciting, so crazy, so wonderfully weird after China?
Goodbye to Beijing, the city that changed my life for the better. Bye bye to the city where 2 of us became 3; the city that made me really, truly appreciate clean air, water and food; the house where I walked up and down its darkened hallway a thousand times with my tiny new baby.
It was a year of firsts, and one that was crazy, mad, incredibly challenging but so happy.
Here are just a few things I have taken away from China.
-Shoes will always come off at the door.
-Bartering, I now think it’s worth asking for the best price!
-“bye bye” is stuck with me.
-I can mime a lot of things to overcome any language barriers.
-I look every which way when I cross the street, you never know where a tuk tuk is going to appear.
-Hand sanitiser is always with me.
-I understand (but can’t speak) some very basic Mandarin e.g.. Would you like a bag?
-I probably question the authenticity of many things now
-Recognise kindness more but be careful whom I trust
-Have become pretty damn good at travelling alone with a toddler
-Like tea a lot, love dumplings more, question meat often
-Nothing really surprises me now
-I know that my little family can move anywhere in the world and make it feel like home with one pre requisite: good coffee.
-Appreciate the simple things in life, clean water, safe food, clean air.
“Bye, Bye China”