Welcome to China, foreign friend, your honorable presence is really cherished.
You wish, ah.
Things started pretty badly as I was waiting half a day (literally) in Rome airport, trying to find something or someone to enjoy my long wait there. My wish never come true, so I ended up waiting three hours in the most boring hall ever, trying to speak to lame strangers. I could never wish this pain even to my worst enemy, ever. Till finally the time came, and I rushed to China Airlines to check in and... wait another half an hour, tasting a bit of China as I was the only Westerner in a long queue of Asians. Welcome back to Asia babe! Oh no wait, you're still in Italy.
As the departure time approached, none of my fellow travellers had appeared. Surprise surprise, their flight from Heathrow was half an hour late, and I was going to fly by myself. Laaavley.
Eventually, Z. did turn up 30 mins before the take off, and I expressed all my relief screaming a loud "OH MY FUCKING GOD", so loud that everyone turned around; some laughing, some visibly shocked. What a poor choice of words, but nothing described better my feelings. What happened to the other eight brave comrades? Well, they lost their flight, had to stay one night over in Rome, take a flight to Tokyo the morning after, fly to Shanghai from there and discover that Alitalia had lost all their luggage, which was delivered to the hotel four days later. Alitalia has indeed new loving costumers.Plane full of crying children, annoying mothers who would constantly try to squeeze me into a smaller space; you know, loving mothers often have the brilliant idea that their condition would allow the to do whatever, even completely lay down to relax and sleep. Careless of the poor passenger behind her seat, forced to live twelve hours of his life in barely twenty square centimeters. At some point I lost all my patience, and started to kick back the seat everytime she tried to squeeze me, ending up in a endless flight that prevented both of us from sleeping. Worth it.
I admit, I was starting to think again "why the hell did I decided to go back to China". Long ago I forgot all China's vices to embrace a pleasant memory. And BUM! Here it is, China is back with its tons of totally uncivil behaviours. Don't get me wrong: I don't care if they spit all over the street, eat as if someone is going to steal their meal, be annoying and loud and stalky since 7 am in the morning. I really don't care. But I genuinely hate cultures that overestimate themselves, do no efforts in welcoming "aliens", let free people without the least respect for others (read: motherfucking lazy mothers on planes. Make your baby shut the fuck up, and make him stop kicking me!) I didn't remember a China so similar to America; what's the use in pretending that every foreigner speaks perfect Chinese, and ignoring the poor guy if he or her has no means to make himself understood? I did remember street vendors and little shops trying to rip you off, in Shanghai is only ten times bigger.
Still, the sense of relief that I had imagined actually came when once again I saw my first dawn in Asia; and was worth all the efforts and troubles I'm going through now. I should stick on that thought for harder times, when really that awesome and perfect feeling will be the only thing stopping me from close myself up in a shell and make the same mistakes I've already committed three years ago. Keep up with the Asians, be strong, be smart, be awesome! At least as awesome as this place is (even when I get lost and need nearly two hours each time to get back. Shanghai ain't the place for me, I get lost too easily).
With Chinese love,
a constantly lost but happy misfit.