China the Indescribable

6 Mar


This is a scholar’s desk at the museum of Old Shanghai at the Xintiandi shopping mall in–you guessed it, downtown Shanghai. Nearby was a Haagen-dazs that served the most ornate ice cream plates I’ve ever seen. (I spent the rest of that day wondering if Haagen-dazs was secretly a restaurant in America, too. It isn’t.)

Last year, for those of you who don’t know, I spent 10 months (September through June) living in China. I did orientation in Shanghai (no orientation jokes, please…ha, ha), then I was placed by CIEE in Changsha, Hunan Province. Described by neighboring Chinese provinces as a city with “Nothing to do, nothing to see, and nothing to eat,” it wasn’t…the best place to be for a year of my life. But I made some awesome friends.


(Guess which one I am?)


The above were my students. Yep, that’s right–they were 18 and 19-year-old college students! Right after I’d graduated, myself…it was very intimidating teaching a group of such intelligent young women and men, but they were gentle with me. 😉

Plus these excellent non-student friends:


The above are: my tutor xiao Sarah, my China mentor lao Sarah, my fellow writer CJ, me, Hong Kong friend Dora, random baker friend Ede, and my sitemate Faye.

I’m really starting to miss these folks. My current coping mechanism is Chinese class…which doesn’t work very well because Chinese is really hard, despite the fact that I spent a year immersed in it. I started Nine Circles in that city, and I have been terrible at keeping up with my students. It’s extra hard since Facebook is blocked there. But I miss them all…

Happy Spring Festival, y’all, on the off-chance isn’t blocked! ❤


One Response to “China the Indescribable”


  1. Welcome to Changsha, the Newark of China « Feisty Notes - March 16, 2012

    […] China the Indescribable ( Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterMorePinterestDiggStumbleUponRedditLinkedInTumblrPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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