As of yesterday, it is two months I am in China.
I woke up this morning and it was snowing. In fact, it is still snowing. When I arrived in Beijing on September 23, the temperature was 26-28 C and now it dropped to -5. Quite a change!
Yesterday, after two months of being here, I met the first expats living in China. I stayed at Andy’s and Charlotte’s apartment in Jining. They both work for America’s English Town English language school. (what a bizarre name, isn’t it? Also, the school’s logo has Australia’s map on it and ABN which decodes to Anglican Baptist Mission or something like that. To be honest, all of those English language schools here have such funny names. The one I work at is called “Washington English Life”…)
Anyways, it was such a joy to be able to talk with them and share our experiences and life stories. Most of the time I spent with Andy. He is a musician who has been in and out of China for two years, so it was great to have a person nearby with some insights into Chinese culture/customs and habits, and who also knew how to converse with locals. (Very helpful, especially if you don’t know where is what). We cycled around town, walked along the canal and in the Muslim quarter. And we chatted along the way. One of the comments that he made, struck me, it was something like ‘most of the people don’t want to leave their homelands at any price and only if their security is threatened they choose to leave. Why was it so easy for me to leave Australia?’
I also told him about Lithuania’s huge sorrow – emigration. He asked me, why people leave, ‘is education system bad, is something else not developed?’ I could not really find any valid reason except that people earn much more in the West for doing the same than in Lithuania. It is just money.
It made me think – what is it that I want for the future. It is easy to be in China because I know that it is temporary and I understand that even if I wanted I would never fit in this society. However, I never felt like this when I was in the U.S. or in London. In both of the places there is such a diversity of people from anywhere that one can perfectly fit in and nobody really questions why they are there. So I just wonder what do I want/or what should I do with my future.
It also made me question if I am taking things for granted. My family, my language, my culture. I so much want to learn about other cultures, other languages, not to forget English…that I might be just forgetting to invest in my own family, culture, speak the language. I guess my next post will be in Lithuanian
Just today, one friend posted his article on Facebook about Lithuanian emigration. Food for thought: http://foxhedgehog.com/2015/11/working-to-reverse-lithuanias-brain-drain/