Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Faces and faces

This weekend I went through all the contacts in my cell phone, looking for someone's name I'd half-forgotten... In the process my inner monologue was as follows:

No, no, no, no, left the country, no, no, left the country, no, no, Julie?! Who is Julie - every third Chinese person I meet is named Julie, no, no, left the country, left the country, left the country, Kevin?! (Same problem as Julie), left the country, no, left the country...

I had someone saved as "mexi chris," "music dude," and "expo tanya."

Part of my crazy phone list is being a journalist - you call a lot of different people. But I was struck by how many numbers were in my phone of people who are no longer in Shanghai.

The adjustment to Shanghai has been really different than in Taiwan. I didn't really have friends besides James when we first moved (until I started Chinese classes). But we had his family, and I had the people I worked with.

Coming here on my own, I've had a much stronger motivator to meet people. Sometimes you meet cool people, but they've already been here a couple years (or more) and they're getting read to leave. A few people I deleted from my phone that night were people I met who told me they were going to be in Shanghai for quite awhile, but changed their minds.

There are plenty of students in Shanghai, but those of us who live here don't really make friends with them - because we know they'll be gone soon. However, most all of us will be gone eventually.

It's a strange place to try and build community.

I just started watching True Blood. I buzzed through most of the first season this weekend. Maybe I'll move to Louisiana next.

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