These days, when my students chide me about my milk tea addiction, when everyone who visits me tells me I ought to keep my windows open for good health (it's 20F outside!), when my girlfriends insist I only drink hot tea during my time of the month (or as they phrase it: "When my Aunt is visiting"), and every single one of my students insists that I don't wear enough clothes (meaning they don't think I don't dress warmly enough) I wonder how life will be post-China: How will it be when I'm back in a place and people no longer are concerned about the clothes on my back, my health, and the foods I ingest; when cute little store ladies don't tell me what to buy, and certainly don't switch goods from my basket without my permission; when my bike won't be latched onto someone else's by the time I come back for it, should I leave it unsecured; when none of my friends are tossing food into my bowl throughout a meal, whether I want it or not; when most people in polite society won't ask me the reason why I'm not married; when random strangers on the street aren't asking me how much money I make, and telling me I should demand more; when a small comment about being tired doesn't incite questions about what time I go to bed, and instructions on how to get a good night's rest? How's it gonna be? (Cue Third Eye Blind song)
I'll miss you, Mama China.