China Wears Me Out

Today, life in China is exhausting. Actually, every day in China is exhausting. Somedays I am just more capable of battling through it. A Finnish gal (who has lived in my apartment building for a year now) explained it to me this way: “When you go out of your apartment, you have to prepare to be stared at by everyone. If you don’t have your shield up, you don’t go out. Or, if you do go out if you don’t have your shield up, you will be bruised by all the stares.”

It’s truth.

Yesterday, I spent all day outside. All day being stared at. All day pantomiming. All day with my shield up. Today? I don’t have the energy to put up my shield, and I definitely don’t want to be bruised, so I stay inside.

It feels like failure, hiding on the 21st floor when there’s a whole city to be explored. I mean – seriously – it’s not like I’m here for a year! (for that reason, among others, my friend from Finland is my hero) And – hey – if I at least go to the grocery store today, I will be able to say that I biked 80 kilometers around my city in just one week!

But the energy just doesn’t exist.

So, eventually I will go buy groceries. Eventually, I will hit that 80-kilometers-in-a-week mark. Eventually, I will brave the streets.

But for now? I will treasure the victories, all the fun adventuring that created this exhaustion.

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  1. You put it so well. I tried explaining to family and friends what it was like to be a gringa, always highly visible, always expending energy just to be. And then, when home again, how disconcerting it was to be invisible.

    Enjoy the adventuring and the resting! You really can’t have one without the other.


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