The Countdown Has Begun

Saturday, 7 March 2009

We’ll soon be on our way home

I have avoided this topic for some time now, because, like everything in life, the moment you say it out loud, it tends to become reality. And I’m not sure reality is something I want to deal with right now.

In fifteen weeks, we will be heading back to Australia. That’s around three and a bit months – roughly the same time it takes to walk the entire length of the Great Wall and back, or make it to the cash registers at IKEA.

Fifteen weeks isn’t a long time, but we’ve actually been preparing for this reality a lot longer than that. Like, six months or something. It takes that long just to stock up on items at Ya Show and Liangma flower market, not to mention the myriad places we need to experience just “one more time”.

Thankfully, we’ve just waved goodbye to a month’s worth of visitors and this made the perfect opportunity to do all that touristy stuff we tend to backlog. It also allowed us to showcase the delicious array of restaurants we enjoy in the capital, and the quirky everyday life that makes Beijing so unique.

But now we’re shifting into high gear. We have a life to pack up, a house to sell, a house to buy, a school to locate, friends and colleagues to bid farewell and an incredibly lush, culturally rich, deeply emotion-clad existence to leave behind. I can’t even bear thinking about it. Leaving this place behind – it’s going to be shattering for our family. We’re probably going to need wild horses to drag us to the airport, not a mini van.

Even though we don’t feel quite ready, part of us is also excited to be going Home. Australia is a beautiful place to live, despite the fact that a bunch of bananas will cost the same as an entire cart of bok choy at the wet market. It’s going to be wonderful to be back in the arms of our homeland, experiencing all the things we hold so close to our hearts.

But now we have another place to hold close, while we still can, and the next few months will be filled with gathering as much of Beijing as we can fit in a suitcase.

But the fact remains – very soon our family’s life will never be the same again.

First published on the City Weekend Beijing website.

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