China. China. CHINA.
China is a red bug that has crawled into my ear. Or it's a crimson butterfly flapping its wings in my face. In between the shutters I see glimpses of home, followed by tracers of flame. It gets closer to my face and I swing and I miss.
Inherently I know my vision will be altered when I return to the States. So will my hearing. I'll notice the change when I stare at tattoos, obesity, or multiple gas stations on one road. I'll notice it when I eavesdrop a conversation I'll wish I was unable to recognize, when I hear top 40, or when if someone honks their horn. For a second I might wonder why no one else is honking too.
There's a clever way of saying "See you later" in China. Man zou, pronounced "mon zoe." The literal translation is "Walk slowly." That is the pace of life I've grown to adopt here in the Big Red, and I find it much more comfortable and relieving than that of the fast-paced race on American soil. Yet, as I sluggishly lift each foot, I either find myself sinking to the floor or unable to run away from the mass of people gathered around. I know their scent better than I know my own. It punches, makes me move faster just to avoid it. Soap and other hygeine products are some of the more expensive things to buy here.
Just what are we racing for in the States? An unknown prize called "Success" or "Happiness" or something else completely lacking any tangibility? Why can't we walk slowly? Just who are we in a hurry to meet?
I'm lost inside myself, and China is the red cloak around me. Stepping one foot in front of the other, my heels are repelling magnets. This world is the woods, scary one minute then beautiful the next. I miss home, I want home, but will I hate home the moment I step foot on its soil?
China, you've baffled me. I knew you would. I'm glad you did. You're like a lover with bad breath and cunning red lips. You leave me wondering if I'm capable of leaving you long enough for me to move on, or if you will whisper and beckon for another dance. China. China. CHINA.
China. China. CHINA.
lawd knows i like to ramble. thanks for reading.
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