tianxia meiyou busande yanxi
In this world, there is no endless banquet.
That saying is the Chinese equivalent of “All good things must come to an end.” And my time in China has been a Good Thing. Sadly, but not entirely unexpectedly, it is coming to an end soon.
One of the major topics of conversation here, as everywhere, is 全球经济危机 (quanqiu jingji weiji or Global Economic Crisis), and I suppose I can consider myself a victim of the Global Economic Crisis. Every day in Beijing we hear stories about businesses that cater to foreign residents falling on hard times. The number of foreigners living and working here seems to get smaller and smaller as companies conserve their resources by not supporting expats. Admittedly, we are expensive. Our packages generally include housing and living allowances that are quite generous.
As it stands today, my departure date has been set at July 31, but beyond that very little is clear. I’m taking things a day at a time and trying to enjoy what is left here, checking things off that list I kept in my head of things I wanted to do in China.
Like so many things in life, this is a mixture of good and bad. I love Seattle, and will be happy to return to family and friends there, as well as the clean air and all the wonderful things the city has to offer. But I will certainly miss Beijing, this crazy, crowded, incomprehensible city that I have also come to love. The experiences I’ve had here, and the friends I’ve made, have been such a benefit to my life that I can’t put it in words. Yes, me, the one who always has words, is left with no way to describe this. But one thing is certain: I cannot imagine that my life will not bring me back here sometime, somehow. Whether it is business or pleasure, I will be back.