Chapter 36- The 3rd and Last Year

1371600-champagneRaise your glasses/mugs/tea cups with me! We are two-thirds done people!

How bittersweet…No, must not cry now! Plus, there’ll be plenty of tears in the third year.

So without further ado, let’s begin my third and final year in Shanghai.


The summer was filled with wholesome times spent with family and friends. I think the past two years spent in Shanghai, filled with exciting new experiences, actually made me realize how important the “old” stuff are. Old friends, old…parents,  genuine relationships, and home.

Although I always fancied myself a wanderlust, a globetrotter, a girl that never sleeps. Turns out that at my age, sleep is important. And constant uprooting can take a real toll on your health.

At the beginning of each year, I would get really really sick when I come back to Shanghai. The third year was no exception. I don’t know whether it’s the pollution or being surrounded by germy kids all the time, but I was bedridden for a month this time.

“Why did I come back?!?!?” I screamed at no one.

I felt the loneliest in Shanghai when I’m sick, because there’s no one to bring me chicken soup or make sure I don’t die.

Last year John watched me when I got sick, this year I had no one. The school did not renew John’s contract, but fortunately he found another position in Beijing.

I remember one particular sad night when I was half delirious from fever, I started crying…no, BAWLING.

“God!” I’d yelled in between sniffles “Are you there God???”

God how cliché…girl only seeks God when she’s hit rock bottom.

“God! My mom told me to talk to you when I’m sad!!!” I sat up on my bed “And I’m SAD now!!!”

“I said before that I just wanted to have fun… I wasn’t ready to settle down, or have babies…” I somehow managed to speak somewhat coherently while sobbing.

“But I think now I am! Not the babies part…I’m still not ready to change diapers…But I’m ready for a real relationship now! I’m want a form a genuine bond with someone! Not the superficial kind you get in Shanghai, but the hand-holding, snuggling in bed, no makeup and he still thinks I’m beautiful kind!”

My ex used to think I’m beautiful without makeup… all of a sudden I thought of Bob for the first time in a long time.

“I wasn’t ready for a long term relationship then, but I am now!!!” I yelled, “ I’m ready for …”


“Ahhhhhh!” I was startled by a loud sound coming from my balcony.

I looked out, and saw that a bird had flew into my glass door.

Oh it’s probably dead, I thought, then continued to pray “Where was I?”

Bang! Bang! Bang! It wasn’t dead! It was very much alive and now tapping its beak on my door. Repeatedly!

“Do you mind???” I yelled at it “I’m having a moment here!!!”

I don’t like animals. A dog tried to attack me as a child, so not a fan of dogs. I had a chicken before, but it died in a day. Once a bird almost pooped on me, but that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to birds.

But here it is, this little bird was only a few feet away from me.

I was scared shitless.

“What do you want?” I yelled at it, expecting a human voice to reply.

Fed up with the noise, I got up to take a look. Maybe it was injured and needed help? Nope, it was healthy enough to keep banging on my door. Loudly!

Now that I was up close, I couldn’t help but admire how beautiful it was. Seriously, it was so freaking blue! Like it was wearing a deep royal blue jeweled colored robe. I don’t know how to describe it, but it was very….blue!

Close enough...
Close enough…

I was still too afraid to open the door. What if it came flies in and poo on my stuff?

I yelled for it to go away, but it wouldn’t leave. It just kept tapping, like it was sending some sort of morse code. At one point I thought I heard Mary had a Little Lamb.

So I just stood there and stared at it for half an hour.

It was real therapeutic.

Then I got tired and fell back asleep.

When I woke up I felt much better. Like Amy Poehler said in her memoir “crying let’s the sad out”.

I half forgotten what I was crying about, but I did remember the little blue bird.

I wonder if it was a sign from God. Maybe if I opened the door, he would have given me a message from the Lord himself. Or maybe we would have kissed and he would have turned into a prince. Maybe he was The One sent from God!

Guess I’ll never find out.

So I got dressed went to meet Julien for brunch.


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