Man. I’ve been really struggling, and frankly, I’m surprised by why.
I upended my life and moved from Austin, Texas to Suzhou, China six months ago fully expecting to have some problems with adjusting, but also optimistic that they were things I could handle. Turns out, the things I thought might be a problem, weren’t, and other things I hadn’t considered, were.
I’ll explain. When Rebekkah first moved to China, she had problems adjusting to the food, the language barrier, the lack of her own family around, television censorship, and stuff like that. I was fully prepared for those. Turns out, I think food here is a million times better than ours in the United States and with my daughter and grandchildren here, I have family. WeChat keeps me in touch with DJ and Facebook Messenger works for Caitie Bug. The television censorship is kind of a pain in the butt, but surprisingly easy to get around. Honestly, it seems kind of half-a$$ed censorship anyways. The language barrier does make me feel like I’m stupid, and I spend a surprisingly depressing amount of time looking like a simpleton trying to understand what people are trying to tell me. Yes. I’m learning the language. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be able to have a mild chat about the weather in about 3 years. Right now, I know the very basics – hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me – barely. That’s a month or so of studying, ya’ll. I’m the opposite of a prodigy when it comes to learning another language.
My health took a nose dive when I got here. I quit smoking in January, and a week ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. As such, I now have to quit sugar. Let me just say – I’m pretty sure quitting sugar and carbohydrates is harder than quitting cocaine, heroin, and meth all at the same time. I’m sucking at it. Hard.
I’m really trying, and only cheat like once or twice a day, but still. I’ve lost some weight, so I know I’ve cut back, but the idea is to have none – no sugar. Period. What point is there to living, really? Oh, the grandkids. Right.
The other thing really scrambling my eggs is not making my own money. I’d like to work, collect a check, then spend my money on whatever I want. That is hopefully going to be happening for me soon, as I’ve been offered a position here, but it hasn’t happened yet. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m trying to collect odd writing jobs in America to beef up my bank account there. Writing jobs tend to not pay much, so it’s slow, slow going.
I have zero complaints about China. They handled their opening after their zero tolerance policy for Covid-19 was dropped like a boss. Their hospitals did not almost crash like ours did in America, and they turned a ton of those little mobile testing sites into Covid clinics in all of our neighborhoods. I was impressed. It’s odd to hear China’s spin on things like the “spy balloon” or police shootings in America. They never say anything on the stories about police brutality; they just play the videos in silence. It’s effective. Every citizen I meet hear asks me about America’s guns and our cops. I wish we were known for something better these days.
So, that’s about it for me. Hopefully, I’ll be back on here soon for more updates.
~ Bird in China