再见

All my Chinese kids are gone.

It’s bittersweet — I’ll have way more time on my hands now, but I’m going to miss this job.  Not for the free trips to amusement parks or for the joys of public transit, but for the kids.  I had the opportunity to meet and talk and become friends with almost sixty Chinese students — some of which were only a year or two younger than me — which is something not many people can say.  And even if they weren’t by any means typical Chinese teenagers (they were all ridiculously rich — one lost a wallet with a cold three thousand in cash in it and coolly remarked that it was fine because he had two more wallets, similarly loaded) — I feel like I still learned about a very typical Chinese mindset from them.

It’s hard to say goodbye to these kids when, deep down, I know I’ll probably never talk to them again.  Today was like the last weeks of high school all over again — a group of kids I met solely because of geography, who I became friends with, and who I may never see again.  I might complain about trying to get them all on a bus or about how they replied to my English questions with Chinese answers, but I’m going to miss them.

On a positive note, I got to use about half of my Chinese vocabulary yesterday when two of them were eating a banana and an apple.

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