Today, something is on my mind. I feel homesick, homesick about China! I was as surprised as you are.
Today, I wandered around Brighton with a good friend, and enjoyed the independent galleries, vintage and fancy dress shops that make up the best part of Brighton, North Laine. Despite having fun browsing the place, something kept nagging at me, which I couldn’t quite put into words. (If you know me personally, you know I can talk rubbish sometimes!).
I felt something was missing, I was conscious that most of the people here were tourists, and that the shop assistants and waiters we met were unwilling to talk. When a person speaking Chinese walked past (quite a few!) my ears cocked up, and the peddlers selling handmade jewellery made me grin. Otherwise, the lively backstreets felt inexplicably lifeless. If you’ve ever been to Brighton, you’ll understand why describing North Laine as ‘lifeless’ is unheard of! It’s one of the most colourful places in the South, not to mention incredibly open-minded. And yet, beyond all expectation. I missed Beijing.
In Beijing, I felt I had a purpose. That purpose was to explore, to practise the language and to absorb enough Chinese culture to blab about on my blog. Could this be culture shock, a sign, or an omen? Could it just be the pain of losing the thrill of being in a new place? I can’t say. I can say that being back in Brighton right now, I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I couldn’t speak it out loud, what I’m feeling. The word that springs to mind is ‘aimless’. I feel passionless, unskilled and , most of all, bored. If you were to ask me what I liked, I could not tell you. If you were to ask me what I felt strongly about, I would say ‘nothing’. It is for this reason that I feel homesick, as if I were in a new place, rather than the other way around. I wouldn’t go so far as to say China is my ‘home’ but I would say that I feel more ‘at home’ there at the moment. Perhaps it will pass, who knows?
I truly believe I could not express what I have just expressed in speech! Thank god for blogs!