As I languish on my bed in the hour between classes allocated for dinner, I notice the sounds. Sometimes I miss them, you know? The music of the world. The scrape of my spoon against my bowl as I eat Frosties, the Chinese Frosted Flake. The sound of the city 20 floors below me. It’s such a welcome sound after living in the country and suburbs for three years. I love living in the city. The creaks of the building as it settles in certain places. And the rush of the wind as it rustles my towels on the drying line.
There are things I took for granted in the US. Like the internet. The internet is hard here because it’s not consistent. My dad made sure the internet was super fast and awesome back home because he was striving to be a chess master that specialized in the online blitz games. High speed internet = more wins = higher rating. Now that he has an empty nest (almost) maybe he’s winning more. We always disturbed him in one way or another. It wouldn’t be home without Dad glaring at you and asking, what did you want that was so important that you had to shout and ruin his concentration and force him to lose? Whoops.
Another thing, the never-ending supply of exactly what you wanted. Tonight it was unsweetened, undiluted cranberry juice. Sour. Bitter. Perfection when married with the sweetness of apple juice. China doesn’t understand the concept of unsweetened. Or at least Shanghai doesn’t. So I bought Turkish cranberry juice that cost me 18 yuan. It was sweetened. Damn it. But still delish. And how delightful is it that I’m drinking Turkish cranberry juice? Ha.
Or how about a dryer? Some people here have them. They are blessed among people. Dryers are magic and I never realized how much I loved them until it turned cold and rainy and drying clothes became a game of how hot can I handle the temperature of my room and is there a place that I can hang these socks? Because clothes dry faster indoors in heat than outdoors on the line. Facts of life. I do feel super domestic when I bring my laundry in from my balcony to fold though. Sometimes I sing opera or swing music because it seems appropriate.
Workspace is something I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted again. Right now I use one half of my room for work and the other half for sleeping. Not ideal. But I’m starting to get excited about moving somewhere and acquiring a new desk. I renovated my old one and ended up giving to a good friend as a wedding present. She’ll take marvelous care of it, I know. I want to do that again. Make something beautiful and then maybe pass it on. I’m surprisingly good at it.
Every sound I make as I type this seems amplified. The skittering noise of typing. The deep intake of breath. The small sips of cranberry juice. Sometimes life is beautiful. And I wouldn’t want my life any other way than it is right now.