I left Beijing a couple of months ago after nearly seven years. Coincidentally, several other expats left around the same time and decided to publish acerbic/brutally direct open commentaries justifying their decisions (see: You’ll never be Chinese, Why I’m Leaving China, even an NYT round-up, this hilarious parody, etc.). Don’t worry though. This isn’t a Why I Left China post.
This is a post simply to note an unexpected way in which I found myself missing Beijing this morning. I awoke in San Francisco to find a classic SF fog enveloping the city. When I arrived at my office, I looked out the window, beheld the soupy gray view, and instantly, viscerally felt transported back to Beijing, where I spent so many days gazing out the window onto a similarly apocalyptic, hazy scene. I immediately felt this rush of, well, nostalgia. Which is crazy, of course – of the many wonderful things I miss about Beijing, pollution is not generally one of them – but nevertheless, it took me back for just an instant to the amazing experience of living and working and experiencing China right now. And it felt great.
Behold the evidence; BJ vs. SF:
One is fog; the other, “fog.”