so it has been 20 days since i landed in shanghai and i still havent really talked about my feelings about this place. ok actually i was avoiding having to write this post because feelings are messy and erm ya i have a tendency to run from my feelings haha. but i have been thinking alot lately and i feel like its time for a word vomit:
during my first few days i think i had abit of culture shock cos shanghai turned out to be a lot less developed than i thought it would be. also cos the level of hygiene here isnt very acceptable for a cleanliness freak like me haha. plus i hate the food here and erm the locals arent particularly friendly either. but slowly, as i travelled to different places and witnessed different things, i felt like i got to know this city and its people better. i honestly get impressed by so many things on a daily basis – its amazing how interesting shanghai is and how it has so much to offer.
but at night my heart longs for the things that shanghai doesnt have or cant offer me (i go out during the day so the feelings usually dont hit me that hard). like food that suits my taste buds. the sound of the living room tv from my bedroom. bathing in a clean toilet. feeling safe when i go out to buy supper at 11pm. using google / instagram / dayre etc without vpn. quiet buses. menus in english. access to boiled water and ice. fridge that i can actually use. familiar faces and surroundings. the list doesnt end so yes, i feel that even though i would enjoy being a tourist in this vibrant city, shanghai isnt a place that i would want to live in or be a part of.
i thought that coming to a foreign country alone would make a person more sociable but i guess that isnt always true. i came to shanghai thinking that i would love to have the chance to interact with people from different cultures & background.
now that i have been here for one full week, i have come to the conclusion that i would rather do things alone than engage in meaningless social conversations with people i dont give a shit about. like right now, in this very moment, im sitting alone in a restaurant having dinner. the street outside is dark and deserted and im perfectly okay with that. im also perfectly okay with travelling alone and navigating my way around a country ive never step foot into. this, despite the fact that china doesnt believe in streetlights and despite the fact that i sometimes fear for my life when the streets are too quiet and despite the fact that i am in freaking china and half the time i experience some form of communication barrier
i shall say that i have come to be very comfortable with being alone. i think part of the reason why i chose to come to shanghai is so that i can ‘find myself’ (i know right, fking mainstream) and i think im achieving some progress in that 🌱
so.. i know i complain a lot and i sound like an ungrateful bitch half the time but really, it doesnt mean that im not thankful. in fact, i am super thankful to be where i am today and have what i have. let me share my little academic story ok haha since i have the feels to write today.
3 months ago i didnt even dare to dream abt being able to go into a local uni but today i have gotten into my dream uni (nus). just 3 months ago, whenever ppl ask me which uni i want to go, i would just give a half-hearted reply like ‘ill go to any uni that wants me’ or simply just ‘i dont know yet’. truth is, i know and i have always known that i want to get into nus, just that it always seem like such a far-fetched dream that i was embarrassed to tell ppl (lol)
rewind to jc.. i rmb i was struggling to freaking pass my subjects even until prelims. i shall talk abt the subject i hold closest to heart (lmao) which is chem. i think i didnt even pass chem once in my entire jc life and i was feeling damn hopeless abt it cos its the subject i put in the most effort in, but my results never ever showed that. U grade after U grade.. i kinda lost hope in it as a levels were nearing. and then i screwed up the a level paper by not seeing one page (and hence, not attempting it) wtf that incident made me feel like the biggest idiot on earth. so naturally i wasnt expecting a good grade for it.. but alas i somehow managed to get an A. till today i still feel like a miracle happened (maybe ill start believing in miracles hmm). was so damn happy abt my chem it felt like my efforts paid off for the first time in 2 years (how pathetic tho). ok la my result slip isnt the prettiest one out there, i have subjects i did badly in too, but truly, i feel like i got what i deserved (whether in good ways or bad)
(i feel like such a failure rn but anyways) im damn grateful for all the opportunities that life has given me. i think i complain too much sometimes (its healthy ok) but nts:
remember to count your blessings