Chinese tourists come into the library and I get a chance to practice my Mandarin. Xiè xiè. Kuài diǎn!* I realize how much I miss hearing it and speaking it.
Later in the day, a tour bus drives by and there are Chinese characters on the side. My chest hurts and I realize how much I miss being surrounded by Chinese writing. It's what I'm used to and it feels comforting when I see it.
Later still, I'm driving home across the bridge and tourists are taking photos. I have to slow down so I don't hit a Chinese man with a camera around his neck and I start to cry. I realize then, I'm homesick.
I get home and I talk to my Nan. I tell her, I miss Beijing. Yah, I miss Tony and my friends, but it's more than that. I miss the people, the food, the language, the walking and buses and subway. I miss my home. I can't wait to go back.
But I know once I'm there, I'll miss my home here. I'll miss Canada. I'll miss the fresh air, the blue sky, the fields, the food, my friends and family, how easy it is to live here.
I really screwed myself by moving overseas!, I say. Now, no matter where I am, I'll feel homesick. And I cry some more.
Almost two weeks later, I look out the window and see the sun setting. My stomach clenches and I think, I won't see this in Beijing. I'm going to miss Canada.
I think, I'm destined to be homesick for the rest of my life.
And then I realize: How lucky am I?
*"Thank you" and "hurry up!"