Though life has provided ample content to write over the past five months, I do not have the willpower to so publicly “bare it all.” However, writing can not be a mere hobby as I pursue a career in publishing, and what better way to announce my return to blogging with a new WordPress template and a proclamation: I miss Xi’an.
In the last year or so in Xi’an, I longed for home. Those tables have turned now and it is Xi’an I miss. The sights, tastes, and even smells taunt me, attempting to entice me to return. There are a handful of people I miss, and I have not made good on promises to stay in touch.
I am working on rectifying that, trying to schedule Skype dates and find ways to keep Xi’an in our lives.
One of those ways is telling anyone willing enough to listen to anecdotes about teaching, living, and working in Xi’an. Coworkers go great lengths, particularly when they ask me to teach them Chinese words. Some of the words I taught them, and I left many out because they are not very blog appropriate : 星巴克，咖啡，咖啡豆，摩卡，欢迎观临。（如果你知道任何一个，我给你点赞！） They also let me vent or ramble on about nonsense.
I have had countless exchanges where I likely come off combative, because, so far, most people in the US are grossly misinformed regarding China. I am tired of answering stereotypical questions related to censorship, graft, corruption, and even my intercultural marriage. These have subsided, though, thanks in part to bantering with coworkers, friends, and family.
As for coming to terms with missing the sights, tastes, and smells of Xi’an, ZJ cooks when he can, and a local Chinese restaurant somewhat satiates me. ZJ and I ventured to Xi’an Famous Foods in NYC months ago, but left dissatisfied. Weeks later ZJ made his own 肉夹馍, bread and all its pulled pork-like goodness. He has since made 稀饭，很多种菜和米饭，炒豆腐，炒饭，菠菜臊子面，饺子，油泼面。
We rang in the Chinese New Year at Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Edison, an hour away. ZJ invited a few coworkers and my best friend and her boyfriend joined us. Little Sheep is a chain from China that I do not recall if we dined at or not, but they had a location at 小寨 I passed on my way downtown.
A less obvious way I deal with missing Xi’an is to use Timehop, an app that combs through past social media posts and desktop photos, and then gives you the option to repost the content as memories on various social media. Timehop has not only breathed new life into my social media accounts, but given me a window back into that world.
How do you stay connected?