Thanks for the Memories!!!!

Perhaps the hardest thing for me to do–whether it is to people, places, or things–is to say goodbye.  Having spent almost four months in China, I feel like I have made Shanghai my second home.  Not only that, but I have also made some wonderful new friends that I know I am going to miss once I have returned to the United States.  For the most part, China has welcomed me with open arms and even though many people continue to have no idea what a 墨西哥人is, China has been nothing but hospitable towards me!  The people, especially my Chinese friends have all taken me in as one of their own and wish I didn’t have to go back so soon!  I know they probably won’t read this blog post, but I would like to dedicate this blog post to each and every one of them for making my stay here a more memorable one!

王宇(Shirley): We met through the language buddy program offered at Fudan University.  Since she first reached out to me via email, she wanted to become more than just a language partner.  She not only helped me practice my Chinese, but she also took me around Shanghai and introduced me to some of her favorite places around the city.  Also, she invited me to some of her school events like a Folk Rock concert being held by her boyfriend’s public speaking teacher.  Although I wish we could have met more than just once a week, I am grateful for all the she has done for me!  She helped me to better understand cultural differences between China and America as well as assisted me in correcting my Chinese intonations and character writing.  This Sunday will mark the last time I will see her this year but I hope our paths will cross again in the future!

刘欣宏 (Leo): Shirley seemed to have told Leo a lot about me once we first met at the Guanghua Cafe that he wanted to meet me for himself.  Shirley and Leo are what people call 男女朋友 (boyfriend and girlfriend).  At first I thought it would be awkward for me to hang around both Shirley and Leo at the same time since I was still getting to know Shirley at the time and I knew nothing about Leo, but those feelings quickly went away.  Leo was just as kind and inviting as Shirley.  In fact, both of them wanted to travel outside of Shanghai with me and act as my tour guides.  Unfortunately, we never had enough time to organize any trips since our schedules conflicted a lot.  I see meeting Shirley and Leo as a blessing.  While our time together was short, we have spent a lot of time talking to each other via WeChat that it feels like we have hung out more than just the 4 times we have met.  If I ever come back to China, they will be the first people I try to reconnect with.  Also, they plan to travel to the States shortly after they graduate from Fudan at the end of this year.

粱馨元 (Shaine): As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, Shaine was an unexpected surprise!  She is my only Chinese friend outside of Shanghai.  Even though she does not reside in Shanghai, we remain in contact through WeChat.  Much like Shirley and Leo, Shaine has also been instrumental in my development of my Chinese language.  Even though she has less free time to chat (due to her commitment to dancing for her school in Chongqing)she has promised to never forget her 第一个墨西哥朋友(first Mexican friend).

Yoshi and Wendy:  Mina Yoshi and Wendy are a 男女朋友that I met through Alex.  Alex and Yoshi are roommates and Yoshi introduced us to a card game call 三国杀(Three Kingdoms Kill) which he and Wendy really like to play.  So, almost every weekend we would get together, along with some other friends, and play several games of 三国杀.  Yoshi and Wendy both helped me understand this game since it is entirely Chinese.  They also assisted me with some Chinese homework since they lived right in Tohee campus where I lived.  Even though I will no longer be in Shanghai after Wednesday the 17th, they have made it their mission for me to learn all the Chinese vernacular needed to play 三国杀.  So, even though we won’t be able to play face to face, there are online versions of the game where they insist they will continue to teach me and help me improve my Chinese.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, saying goodbye is the hardest part!  I will spend the remainder of my days here thinking of how to say ‘adios’ to all of my new friends.  Rather than say goodbye, I want to say ‘see you later’ cause I really hope that I will get to see each and every one of them in the future, whether in China, the States, or some other part of the world.  After all, life is a mystery full of surprises.