Saturday, August 20, 2011

Reminders and last resorts...

So here I sit. Well, squat.
Stomach pains? Check.
Uncontrollable bowels? Check.
No toilet paper? Check.
Yep. I'm back in China. A little panicked that I may have a heat stroke at any moment in this sweltering mall bathroom stall, I remind myself I've done this all before. Am I crying? No. That's my eyelid sweat blurring my vision. I didn't even know my eyelids could sweat.

Traveling equals creativity. What do I have in my mini backpack I could function as toilet paper? Which item would be most palatable for my ass? And where can I buy tissues when I finally escape this hot ass bathroom? How could I have forgotten this aspect of traveling and left myself so unprepared?

Ah, an article by a Jonathan Swift in a magazine I swiped from our hostel will have to do. I wonder how he would feel if he knew that instead of reading his article, a foreigner somewhere in a hot mall bathroom in Shanghai is wiping her ass with it.

Walking out of the bathroom, I feel lighter, violated and one potentially interesting article shorter. Thank you Jonathan Swift, you really helped me in a bind :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

China: part deux

Walking up the stairs from the subway, I am hit with the smell of something spicy. It’s a foreign smell but is all too familiar. The harsh aroma of Chinese spices and stir fried something or another slaps me in the face. Stinky tofu and roasting nuts vendors align the streets. Obnoxious entrepreneurs hastily walked up to me throwing there goods in my face trying to get me to purchase. Am I back so soon? Or did I just never leave? Was my 7 month sabbatical back home to the states a dream that I am just now waking up from? I will never know for sure. I lost my consciousness somewhere on the plane. That 11-hour flight seemed to drag longer than they usually do. I swear with every hour that ticked by, I lost an hour of my life. When I waddled off the plane (and I do mean waddle, my legs swell up like a fat infants’) and cart my 100 plus pounds of luggage, I realize time stopped when I left. I live two alternating lives. Here, on this side of the world, I am one person. A person that loosens her grip on control, lets things happen. No plan, no worries. But the other girl, the one that lives in the US time zone…She’s scared. She tries to hold on tightly to her ever-slipping grip on control. She panics, worries. Tries to amount to unrealistic expectations but fails.

As I lay awake here in my wooden bunk (top bed!) I grow excited to see what this foreign (but familiar) land may offer me. Its 4 am, is Starbucks open yet??