All things come to an end and good things even faster, so does my time in China. It is crazy when I look back on nearly a year that passed, and although I really dislike phrases that are most commonly quoted in situations like this, sometimes we cannot help but use them!
Let us just say, I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. Sad because I must leave a city and people that grew to be my friends and home, happy because I return to my homeland and family.
When I look back on what I experienced, on what I have seen here, felt here, tasted here and gone through here, the impact on me was/is strong. Stronger than I would have thought or guessed in the beginning. When I arrived in February this year in Qingdao, expectations were low. And surprise was therefore even bigger, as I got positively surprised in so many ways!
I have already shared some of these positive experiences in my blogs so far.
I will also never forget my first encounter with the InternChina crew at Mama’s Noodles. I was completely lost and unnecessarily took a cab to get there from the university. The driver just smiled, when we got there I knew why (it was literally 500 meters, and he got his 10 RMB basic charge for only 1 minute of driving). And then I ate the best noodles in my life, joining the first Thursday dinner with meeting the interns and participating first time in the quiz (scored 2 points).
After my time at Qingdao University I started my internship, keen to get some insights in the work of InternChina and keen to use the knowledge I earned over the years in university. After all, I really must say I could do so, and even more.
I got my daily workload but also time to fulfil my own personal goals. If you think now I sat every day at work in front of the computer, then you do not know InternChina. Every Thursday I helped to organise dinner for our participants. Saturday was reserved for trips and activities, which is a task for interns like me to plan and conduct.
With these activities I saw many different and cool things that I otherwise would not have seen. Furthermore, I could show other people activities and places I like to do and share some of my favourites with them, and try to share my experiences and make new ones.
Climbing up the hill to Qingdao-TV tower in 35℃, or having tough times translating at a tea ceremony. With all these out of work experiences, and also living together with other interns, you start to develop a matey feeling which comforts you.
“More than just an internship” is more than true!
Time to Leave China
So now this time of learning living and traveling in China comes to an end. There are uncountable things I will take with me – moments, impressions, experiences, memories. Too much to be able to write them down on a paper when asked, but never forgotten.
Maybe a few years from now something will trigger a flashback from a small impression which then will make me think back to a moment I went through, remembering the people I was with. And suddenly having someone around me asking what it is with me, “because you were silently focusing your eyes somewhere else?!” And you put the memory back in your bag of memories. Where it rests until you take it out once more.
Finally, I just should say the following! Come to China no matter who you are! I will guarantee you will witness two things.
First: The people here are the same as everywhere else on this planet. No heartless working machines, they have the same feelings, fears and hopes that we have!
Second: China will surprise you not only once! Be it food, be it daily life or the people. You cannot be prepared. But this is also what makes it so appealing to go abroad.