My e-buddy Arianna (and fellow Seattlite, though we’ve never met that realm some people call real life) is spending a year in Europe having her Grand Adventure. Hey! I’m in China having my Grand Adventure! Relate! I can do it!

Late last month she posted a hilarious entry on her blog highlighting what was going through her head as she prepared for her trip. I thought I’d do the same. I arrived in China 6 months ago, so I might have to make the hamster on wheel that is my brain work overtime, but here’s the jist of my internal dialog:

Deciding I’m going to China:


“Wait, is it?”

“Yes, you dolt. It IS! You get to live in a foreign country. +1 for culture.”

“I’m totally gonna get fluent in Mandarin and will impress everyone! +1 for Jen.”

The day before leaving.

“I don’t wanna go.”

“I’ll miss my family, my friends, my CAT.”

“You will keep in touch.”

“But I won’t get to play with P.Kitty.”

“I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.”

“What do Chinese people think of western women?”

*Googles ‘Western Women in China’*

“Ok, that’s not what I was looking for.”

*Googles ‘What do Chinese people think of Americans?’

*Freaking out.*

“They’re gonna hate me.”

“No, Jen. Remember, not everyone feels that way about Americans.”

“Do visitors go through the same worries when they come to America?”

*Always be kind to visitors. It’s hard being a foreigner, especially if you can’t communicate with anyone. And it never hurts to be kind.*

At the airport with my sister.


“I’ll miss you!”

“I love you!”

“I don’t wanna go!”

“Come with me!”


On the airplane.

“Coach for 12 hours sucks.”

“But Korean Air has awesome food!”


“Crying babies.” >=/


“Really dude behind me, you’re gonna sing at the top of your lungs while we all sleep? Really?!”

“Hmm, Korean Air flight staff are good looking.”


In Hong Kong, overnight.


Leaving Hong Kong in the morning for mainland China.

“This is really exciting! Think of all the stories I can tell me future kids!”

“I bet the food is delicious.”

“I wonder if I should have gotten my hep shots…”

“Ok, no street food then.”

“Unless it’s delicious.”

“Wow, there is a lot of construction going on in China.”

“I wonder if I’ll make friends.”

“When I go back to America, I’m gonna be fluent in Mandarin!”

Entering Changping.

“OMG, I’m here. This is it. This is my new home.”

“Oh crap, what did I get myself into?”

“Oo but look at all the great food!”

“I’m so excited!”

“But I’m also scared.”


nom nom nom