Bye Bye - Zai Jian

Publié le par Elo

Apres 2 ans ici, j'ai passe toutes les etapes de l'initiation a la Chine et je crois bien que si la raison ne m'avait rappelee en Europe je serais restee encore un an, et puis peut etre un an et puis....

Je pars dans 2 semaines pour retourner me goinfrer chez les Belges, je suis heureuse et triste, excitee et nerveuse...
Mais je suis sure que je reviendrai, en vacances pour sur mais certainement pour en finir avec this damned Chinese ;-)

Je vais peutetre encore publier quelques photos et albums pour "terminer" ce blog. Et puis voila un petit texte tellement vrai sur la vie d'expatrié en Chine.

Traveling in China is one thing, but deciding to live here is another thing entirely. During my rather lengthy time in China, I've met a huge array of expatriats that all go through the same process on their route to being psychologically adapted to life in the PRC.

All of them. One for one. Every single. Each and every. Myself included. Same process. I call it “The China Curve”, and I'm curious to see who else has had the experience, or, strangely, if anyone has not. And it goes like this:

Months 1-3:
Fascination. Your mama taught you that you live in a big wide world, where all people of all nations should hold hands in peace and harmony. There is so much beauty buried in the cracks of this exotic nation! So much fascinating culture, so much that is different. Every day's a new adventure, and you're damn proud of yourself for your spirited nature and culturally tolerant behavior. You don't understand the bitter rantings of those who've been here longer. That will never, ever be you. If you leave now, you'll never come back, and you will forever think of China in wistful, unrealistic terms.

Months 3-7: Somehow, you've become a borderline racist, and some of your days are spent in states of rage, your nights in misery. You don't know how it happened, and you really don't care. The mere thought of going to buy a pair of socks fills you with defeated dread. The shoving and pushing, the haggling. You scream at someone in public and feel first justified, then vindictive, then stupid. The simplest things are so *difficult*. You cling to the few friends you've made, though your social circle hasn't solidified, and you know in your heart you'd never be hanging out with these types of people back home. No one here knows how to eat breakfast... god, you'd kill for a decent breakfast. You tell all your friends you're going home, and you can't bloody wait. If you leave now, you'll likely never come back.

Months 8-12: Here, the path splits. You either:
1) Go home with the intention of never coming back only to discover that while your life has been upturned, your friends are doing exactly what they were doing the day that you left. Their lives, you think, will always be this way, while yours... well, you don't fit in anymore. All your sentences start with “In China..”, but no one's really listening to you. It's like you unwittingly joined some kind of brotherhood, and however hard you try, you can't break the ties you made. You start plotting your return, and wonder if you're a masochist.

2) Stick it out like a real veteran, waiting excitedly for your one-year visit home. But after the first week back, when you've eaten your fill of butter and cheese, you realize that your friends are all doing exactly what they were doing the day you left. All your sentences start with “In China...”;, but no one's really listening to you. You realize you can't wait to get back on the plane, and wonder if you'll ever feel at home anywhere in the world ever again.


You set foot on Chinese soil. At the airport and around town, you watch all the first-timers and tourists with hidden self-satisfaction and a little pity. You easily navigate the hustle and bustle, speak a few words of Chinese to your cab driver, and experience a deep contentment. Somehow, the friends you made and never really expected to keep have solidified into life-long pals, while your friends from highschool and college recede into sameness and nothingness. After so much emotional investiture and hard work, somehow, this has become Your Country.

And wherever you go from that day onwards, China will be in your blood.

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<br /> chère Elodie, mon anglais est un peu light pour traduire correctement votre texte mais avec un peu de courage j'y arriverai.j'en ai compris le sens global et bien que je n'ai pas vécu en Chine,<br /> c'est assez bien vu. les liens qu'on tisse avec ce pays sont passionnels et votre façon de voir le monde en est changée à jamais.<br /> j'espère que votre retour en occident sera heureux et pas trop dur...vos yeux erreront à la recherche d'enseignes en chinois(heureusement il y a les restaus), vous savourerez avec délectation les<br /> petits déj occidentaux (le petit dej en chine est une monstruosité) et vous gouterez le "calme" et le silence relatif des villes européennes...<br /> je vais bien sûr regretter votre compagnie, j'aimais vous lire, nous avons failli nous rencontrer IRL et un hasard étonnant nous a réunis.<br /> ( au fait, est ce que votre pied va mieux?)<br /> Si votre blog a une suite,(en Europe ou ailleurs) je serai heureux de le lire. merci pour ces instants très agréables.<br /> <br /> <br />