The other day Margaret asked what I had left to do in China. Being that she’s another English speaker and not one of my students I tried to answer the question with a modicum of thought.
I started out by talking about some of the practical things I still had to do to get ready to leave Wanzhou – the mailing and packing and fretting about my computer. But she was all “no no no, what do you still want to do in China?” As if those leaving kinds of things weren’t focused enough on the place that will be left behind.
Which, I suppose, they aren’t.
The thing is that I’m pretty pleased with the amount of China I’ve seen. I’ve been most places that people who don’t live here know about (except for the whole southwest bit of Kunming and Tiger Leaping Gorge and such out there, but do people in North America know about them?). That’s also not entirely true since I haven’t been to Xian yet. But I will in a couple of weeks.
But what about the things I want to do that have nothing to do with location? I haven’t been arrested, I haven’t had a good talk with a Chinese person about the Tiananmen Square massacre, I haven’t witnessed a movie being made in Hong Kong. But I have had hotpot with police officers, ridden trains through deserts, and hung out with a Tibetan monk as he wrote prayers in gold ink.
There really isn’t that much left I want to do.
And then I read an article like this: The Train to the Roof of the World. And I go “Damn. That’d be super cool.”