Just one more day until I leave California for Asia. It doesn’t matter that this is my 8th trip to China; I’m still all butterflies, nerves and giddy excitement rolled into one.
So, this is the deal: As part of the International MBA program, I’ll be studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China from September through December. Tsinghua is The Holy Grail of elite Chinese universities. I’m so thrilled I get to go.
This is the first time I’ll be in China purely for me. I’m no longer an English teacher, project lead or aid worker. I’ll just be me.
It's time to peel back the onion, dig deeper, plant some Chinese roots … I haven't done enough of this on my previous trips. I need to find myself here. Who knows? I could end up living and working in Asia one day.
In the spirit of setting goals and all that jazz, I’ve made some lists for the next few months.
Angela’s Serious, Legitimate Goals
- Study Chinese like mad.
- Familiarize myself with Beijing, intimately (or as intimately as an expat can in 3.5 months).
- Become more comfortable with the social ambiguity of being Chinese-American.
- Explore what being an expat in Beijing would be like.
- Become friends with a few local Chinese.
Angela’s Silly Goals
- Shop. Custom tailored suits and 1-2 qipao. And everything else in sight. I will single-handedly boost the Chinese economy.
- Fall in love with an Asian pop/movie star.
- Eat disgusting amounts of food. My winter fat layer is just dying to come back roaring.
- Smush in a wee bit of traveling here and there.
So, it's T-minus one day, and my first stop? Hong Kong, from 8/31-9/5. Ah yes, Hong Kong: the land of sky scrapers, multiculturalism … and those bowls of roasted goose and noodles that I’ve been lusting after for the last month.
My dearest USA, till next time!