Saturday, December 20, 2008

As of late (pardon the depressing tone and cheesiness)

I haven't found much to do in Dalian anymore. I truly resent hurting my foot because I had to rebook a trip to Guilin, that ultimately was cancelled by the airline. My traveling partner has since decided to go there by himself. If I ever do see Guilin, it will be in a few years' time at the very least.

The weather has gotten extremely cold. Luckily I'm off the cast and off the crutches, for the most part. I have a limp though, and use a crutch every couple days or so to ease the pressure on my foot. China's extremely crutch-unfriendly though, so I try not to use it too often.

I had a coat, a dress, and two skirts tailor made at Erqi Square for 640 kuai (little over 90 USD). The skirts and winter jacket turned out quite well; the little black dress not so much. I didn't really give it much of a chance though; perhaps if I had let them refit it a little it wouldn't look that bad actually. It was just so different from what I had in mind for New Year's...not really fair to the dress now is it? The quality of everything in general though is fantastic, and fits perfectly to me. I'm still debating having a suit made, and a blouse to go with it.

As of the last week, I've become very intent on a project I've been working on. I have a lot of free time and if I didn't have this to focus on; I'd go mad. I'm alone now a lot. In the past week, I've gone from absolutely dreading going home to --> not wanting to come home but knowing I need to, to --> actually starting to get excited about coming home. I actually resent the events of late a little, because I don't want to be excited- it's such a drastic change in attitude in ten days- but it's better to be excited than still miserable, right?

I've actually started a list of Things I Will Miss and Things I Won't Miss about China. Some of it's quite amusing! I may post it after New Year's.

I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason; I try to regret as little as possible.
That being said, I've finally seen who my real friends are, and gotten the chance to hang out with my good friends that I'd been neglecting quite a lot for the Aston teacher group.

The next two weeks won't fly by, but I have enough plans that they won't drag like the past week has. I'm going to Harbin on Monday night, spending a day there, and coming back Wed morning by sleeper train. I'll try to find a church service for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning...but I will be waking up alone on Christmas, with no family, no tree, and no presents. [It's not really a terrible issue though because Dalian has not been terribly Christmas-y, I mean it IS China, and my attempts at blasting Christmas music feel cheap and American.] Sigma is finally coming to visit Dalian on the 29th, to celebrate New Year's with me, and I return to Shanghai the 3rd or 4th.

The in-between days are really all I worry about, since every day for the past week I have been waking up every day at 7 am, regardless of when I go to bed. The days therefore are really long and sometimes difficult to face.

Overall, I know I will be okay. I still don't regret much of anything I've done here, including my decision to stay another semester. I know it's not just the ups, but the downs as well, that are part of the growing experience that has been this year, of being 19 and abroad...nothing could really ruin the memory of the life-changing year that has been 2008. I'm coming out of this a stronger and better person; and after all, the greatest gift of the Christmas season is the prevalence of Hope, and I am brimming full of it for my future.

Again, apologies for the cheese....sometimes you need idealism to get you by.

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