It’s been some time since I last wrote something, but this is not because I did not wish to do so, but because I did not have the time. I wrote down some phrases on various notebooks, however I cannot develop them now, since I am no longer in that mood in which I was when writing the same.
I’m on the train. I left from Shanghai to Beijing. I started to like China, therefore I wish to see more, to find out more about them, about their culture. In my last days, my mom was here with me, therefore we walked the town and got deeper and deeper into its misteries. In the morning, at noon or in the evening, there was always something new, something interesting or a certain building which would come out from nowhere, although I had been there several times before. Heat has been and still si daunting, it even reaches 35-40 degrees, but with my bag on my shoulder, light shoes and light clothing I have walked from one place to another. Some places already bring back memories. We’ve been a wonderful group here, some of them I already knew, some of them I have got to know. I can consider myself lucky for having had this opportunity, and most of all for having adjusted and integrated quite easily. Within the last few days they have started to leave one by one. It was as if someone broke the puzzle we used to form when we were all together here. By every piece that went away, its charm was not the same any longer. Now even the hotel buildings are empty, the streets are deserted and the only thing left for us who are still here are the memories. We’ve been like a family, every single one of us being away from his home and relatives. We didn’t even think that these days would come and, most of all, we have never thought that there was the possibility of not being together within the same group. Everyone got back to his own business, his own life and routine, in a different corner of the earth. Just like I’m telling my story here, I’m pretty sure they are telling theirs, to their families and friends.
Following any one given experience you draw a line and see what you have got left. I have learnt from them and they have learnt from me. And most of all, China has taught us all a series of things we did not know, things you cannot read about in books, feelings you feel inside you and which you might never explain to anyone else.
I’m the type of person who is pretty cold at the beginning, I do not start any conversation, I keep the distance and analyze a lot. That’s exactly what I have heard from everyone’s mouth as far as the people who knew me here are concerned. But once I have overcome this barrier, I can say loud and clear that we are friends for life. I found out more on some people and less on others. So many different personalities, forced to live together. I do believe sometimes it can be a real disaster. Tradition, culture, family, religion, political affinity, all these can be different to people around you and your group. You get to adjust, listen and digest. That’s how you learn to be calmer, more diplomatic, more casual. I remember even now the first day we all got here and wanted to get back home, we could not find anything we liked, we were completely dissatisfied, disappointed by everything and anything, nothing mattered, the words on our lips were: I don’t like… And after only 1 month and a little bit everyone left feeling sorry to leave, with tears in his eyes and with a devastated heart. They were leaving behind something that they had struggled to build, namely the friendship with someone they did not know.
And just like every summer has a story, this summer story is China. Crowded, heated, agitated…it has been a wonderful experience and I still have a lot to discover. Beijing, here I come!