So I've been here for two months now?! I can't quite believe how fast it has gone already. I am still loving every second of it and meeting new faces everyday. However, of course, I am missing the obvious luxuries which China does not have.
Although I have lived in cities half my life, I will always be a country girl deep down. As you can imagine, Shanghai definitely does not have any peace. It really is a city that never sleeps. The amount of horns and moped alarms I hear a day is unbelievable.
I miss the beautiful English nature, the wildlife (I actually miss seeing cows everywhere), the people (the friendly faces who don't stare at you whenever you go out), and the tranquil environment. Going from a small town to a huge city like Shanghai takes a lot of getting used to.
At the university here I live in dorms and they don't exactly compare to what I am used to back at home. We have four rooms per flat with two bathrooms and a living area. However, the 'living area' involved a table, two chairs and a sink; not exactly luxury. I miss going downstairs to a living room or a kitchen. I'm not one to stay in my bedroom for long periods of time (except when I sleep of course); I like having a change of scenery. So when living in dorms, I make sure I stay out for as long as possible so I am not just hanging around in the room (it's not the most glamorous of rooms either). Since getting a job I am now out and about most days so it keeps me away from my dorms until later in the evening.
As much fun it is shocking people that a white person is in China and actually exists, it isn't much fun being stared at wherever you go. I miss the slightly friendlier faces as Chinese don't exactly give you inviting looks. Although they are so much more approachable once they realise I can actually speak their language. They will make conversation so easily and it is very common for younger people to exchange WeChats with foreigners after just a 2 minute conversation. I love how confident they are, but it is the norm to do that here.
I love Chinese food so much and there are always restaurants around, plenty to discover throughout this year. But, a good English breakfast or fish and chips by the sea would go down a treat right now. They have quite a few Western restaurants around the university but, as expected, Western food here comes at a price. Of course, I have tried a fair few Western restaurants and they don't compare to the real thing but it's close enough so I can deal with it.
Those amazing Sunsets
Something which is unbeatable are the sunsets we get back at home in the country. You don't get these sunsets in any city with the hills and trees in the distance, especially Shanghai. Unfortunately because of the pollution, the sunsets are never very good, and since being here it has mainly become cloudy in the evening so the sunsets are non existent. I have seen a few but nothing compared to those beautiful colourful ones back home.