After pretty much begging my wonderful wife for one more year in China, this is it. It’s my final year in China, so I better enjoy it. Since coming here in 2003 I’ve had the pleasure of calling Shanghai my home, while also bashing it fairly consistently. I’ve had a lot of good times and a lot of lost time. Where did all those years go? The lost time I can’t account for really bugs me. What did I do in 2005, I wonder, beyond (some) work? There was some bowling, I remember. But in all this time there’s not a lot that I’ve accomplished. I certainly haven’t traveled nearly as much as I’d anticipated, I’m still not fluent in Mandarin (though starting to catch on a little with Shanghainese), and I haven’t done ‘stuff’ – i.e. projects like this blog, another blog here, one here, and a travel website here, the video show that died, and another that didn’t get started. I started a few things over the last couple of years, but haven’t followed through enough.
This post is turning into a pep talk. Which it most certainly should.
Well, that’s it. I’ve got one more year in China. Actually 10 months, it really took me too long to write this. Actually today is my Chinaversary – the anniversary of the day I got on a plane and started this adventure. Now there’s only one year to achieve as much fluency as possible, study everything I can find on China, take pictures and video of all the cool stuff, manage to keep in shape, and then grab the wife, take the last month or so here and see as much of this great country as we can.
Doesn’t seem like that will be too difficult, but eating, drinking and sleeping seem to take up a lot of hours. If anything, the last year or so has been encouraging. From last September to this past summer I worked, took four courses online, actually did my taxes for 2006 and 2007 (a major accomplishment since I’d never done them on my own before) and even had a bit of a social life.
This sort of non-couch potato activity should be praised and fostered.
I need to make some sort of list – a big ol’ to-do list. Although mostly it will be a to-go list of all the places I need to see before checking out of here.