Maria Holland

Countdown: 30 Days

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Today was Lester’s second dance competition, and after the fiasco last time, I was really paranoid about missing it.  So when she told me that they were at 1, and I didn’t get up until noon, I ran down to Baicheng and caught a taxi up the island to the Sports Center.  I arrived just before 1, but it turned out that XuLei meant the entire thing started at that time.

Four and a half hours of dancing followed.  There was no discernible order or structure.  I couldn’t understand the program either – the characters actually weren’t a problem but they didn’t seem to be following anything that was printed, so I gave up and played dumb.

The dancing was really good, though.  Even the tiniest kids dance better than me!  There was perhaps too much glitter and too many bare chests, but I guess that’s what ballroom dancing is about.  Ah, it will be nice to go back to America where men have shoulders.  Just sayin’.

I hadn’t eaten lunch because I had been in such a hurry to get there, which meant I had gone nearly 48 hours without a real meal.  Luckily, Lester gave me a Snickers bar, and it really hit the spot.  Nutritional information is printed in metric here – so the Snickers had 707 kJ of energy!  I think this is awesome.  Calories are bad and make you fat, but kilojoules are awesome things used to move kilogram blocks over meter distances and all.  I felt so powerful after consuming it, and managed to stay awake to watch Lester and LiXiang compete.


I returned my library card while I was over in that part of town (most worthless piece of plastic ever) and then came home.  While I was putting some stuff away on the balcony, I discovered that one of my suitcases is covered in fuzzy white mold.

This was the last straw; I’m now ready to go home.

It’s about right, as I have one month left here.  I think I can only stand 30 more days living in this room.  The thing is, a lot of the things that I’m excited about back home are balanced by the things from here that I know I’ll miss once I get there.  My friends, my church, the food, the weather, etc. – there are very good arguments on both ends.

The only area in which home completely dominates Xiamen is the living situation.  I am fed up with this stupid dorm.  The moldy balcony with the kitchen that really isn’t and the clothes line that constantly dangles underwear in our faces.  The sauna of a bathroom, with the perpetually wet toilet seat; the shower that runs either scorching or freezing with no in between; the towels that never dry; and the faucet that runs like, well, a faucet.  My bed, so hard that I often awake with one entire half of my body numb from sleeping in the wrong position.  My desk, which apparently houses a small colony of mosquitoes that feast on my blood while I study.

And I’m so ready to have my own room.  I don’t think my roommate has come to terms with the fact that she doesn’t live alone anymore, so even after nearly 10 months I don’t feel quite at home in “her” room.  The space is divided unevenly and the cleanup duties even more so.  Plus, our sleep schedules are completely opposite – ridiculously so – and while I don’t mind her coming in 4 or 5 a.m. or using the blender every morning at 7, she apparently really hates me showering at 1 in the morning.  It will be good for both of us when I go home.

So yeah, I frequently find myself dreaming of my home in Minnesota – all three stories of it – and my royally appointed apartment at TU with a decadently soft bed, fully stocked kitchen, and living room.  Cannot come soon enough.

Also I’m out of my asthma medication and all my clothes are falling apart.

So start the countdown from 30 days.

  1. It’ll be good to have you home! Just sayin’

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