English: This flag is for the Chinese communit...
English: This flag is for the Chinese community in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day I was reading an article and it was giving you 5 signs you know you are in China for the long run.   It was quit funny until I started identifying with what they were saying and then it got scary.

One of the reasons they said you know you are in China for the long run was that you get a pet.  Now, I am not a big pet person it tend to forget to feed it; I can barely keep a plant alive… and lord knows how my kids made it to adulthood.  So I didn’t fall in this category and I laughed to myself to think how attached some people are to their pets that this would be a major issue.   Another was that your boss keeps giving you more money to stay in your job.   This started to hit home… every time I start considering leaving my job my boss will give me more money or another opportunity for a business connection will pop up. Every year we go to thru the bargaining process and my money usually gets higher but I get locked into work myself to an early grave.  Until you just have so much career stuff going on here that going back home doesn’t sound as profitable.  Actually, with the economy in the states going back home would be a bad career move.  Here with the cost of living being so cheap and your salary being 3 times the amount of the average worker it is very hard to leave.

They also mentioned that your friends at home stop believing that your coming home. This had me cracking up because my friends have kind of stopped believing me.  They keep telling me that I say that all the time and I keep changing the date and timeline of when I am moving back.   Well, it is difficult to make such a big move and start all over again.  Something is always coming up to have you change the time.   As my family say that is just excuses because when I came to China I just left and went.   It is not that I love China so much but I think more the fact that I have established things here that I might never be able to do in the states.  There is always some kind of new or interesting opportunity popping up.  I am a kind of small town celebrity and get use to that attention.

They also said that your own country feels like a vacation destination and that you take more photos of your home country than of the China.   I really felt this.  Since, I can’t get back home so often it does feel like I am on vacation when I go back to the states, not like I just came home.   Funny how that happens?  I go home and I feel like a tourist.  I go and visit things and people I have not seen in a while and want to take photos of everything to show the folks back in China.

The last think they mentioned is that you marry a local Chinese person.  Welp, I guess that seals the deal.  I have married Michael and we have been here married for about 3 years and I have lived in China almost five; the Chinese would say that I AM Chinese and that I am” local people”.   It seems I may know more about our little city and more about the people in the city than the people who have lived here their whole life.  My ex-husband that is Chinese said to me on the phone one day that if you stay there for 5 years you will not be able to come back to America it won’t be the same and you will have changed too much.  It made me think.

So as my daughter asked me one day “When are you REALLY leaving China?  I had to honestly tell her I don’t know.   Here I am financially stable, I have a place to live that is decent, I have networked with many people to the fact that I have a little power I even dine with the mayor, and I have been crown the Ambassador of the Foreigners in my City.   I have been offered partnerships, business opportunities, to do TV shows and even entertain at weddings and parties.   I have been deemed the resident expert on American Culture and Chinese Culture for that matter.  I have met so many people from so many other countries and helped them adjust to life in China that they have become some of my best friends all over the world.   I have really created an interesting life here.

I have actually started my life over in Another country… and it is okay, more than okay it is really nice.   Maybe they are right in the article I read; if you have any or most of these signs .. your stuck in China and probably will never leave…. When I really think about it maybe it isn’t a bad thing.

until next time.