Hi! You can call me PL. I moved to the U.S. nine years ago. Yes, spelling out the number nine is even a surprise to me! Has it been that long? Although I was born and raised in China, the U.S. has tailored me into who I am in many ways. I landed in Auburn, AL for school and got my first job there too. Two years ago, I moved to the Mid-west and started the next chapter: city life. I love it! The choice of living in another country is one of the best decisions. I am pretty well adjusted to everything here, however, there is one thing that never fails to remind me that I am Chinese, my taste in food. Chinese food will ALWAYS be my favorite!
(Left photo) I would love to start with saying I am a morning person and wake up in the early sunshine, but I have to be honest, I have chronological procrastination in getting up. The phone screen is the first thing I see in the morning. And then, after five snoozes, that is the real time I roll out of my bed every day. Breakfast is typically never the most exciting meal for me like everyone else. I envy all the people who tell me the stories of how much they get done in the morning, but I hope you also envy that I have this capability of ignoring my alarm in any conditions for at least three times.
(Right photo) Second task after getting up is the choice of clothes. My beloved closet! The reason I show you my closet is not only for you to see how many clothes I have (and these aren’t even all of them), but also showing you my love of the walk-in closet. This is a luxury for me since I grew up with a chest of drawers, which is common in China. I have a love-hate relationship with my closet space, as it makes organizing clothes much easier but it also exacerbates my hobby of shopping and my decision-making disorder in the morning.
Rushing out of the door to the subway station is my routine exercise for the weekdays. I am very accustomed to public transportation, as I started to use it when I was in elementary school in China. However, after my first year living in the States, I realized public transportation is absolutely not a common theme here. In Chicago, the subway is called the “L”. It takes me to where I want to be in the city without worrying about traffic. In addition, it is the best place for people-watching and a great place to rest my face at “please do not talk to me” mode. The train is rarely crowded– by my Chinese standard 🙂
A typical work day for me will be many hours in front of my computer until I realize that sitting is not resting, it’s a health hazard. In the picture, you will see my daily good friends at my desk. The hippo is my peace-maker. I love to look at his cute face. My Starbucks tumbler is literally part of me. I don’t use it for coffee. Rather, I use it to drink the thing that most Westerners just never seem to understand. Yep, warm/hot water (If you have lived in South or Southeast Asia, you know what I am talking about. WE DON’T LIKE COLD DRINKS, NO ICE PLEASE.). After nine years in the States, people still tease me whenever they know I am drinking warm/hot water. What can I say, I am Chinese.
After-work life in Chicago is probably the best. I love to walk home, but only in the summer. Just in case you don’t know, Chicago’s winter is brutal and horrific by most people’s standards. I walk over the bridge every day to cross the river. Along the river are the best parts of Chicago’s architecture
I am not a good cook but I love my veggies (stir fried veggies). So, if I am not hanging out with friends, I typically cook in my small kitchen. I don’t have fancy kitchenware…just some regular stuff. My most used utensils in the kitchen are the chopsticks and my wok. My undeniable Chinese character has to be shown in some part of me. That part, no doubt, is the food.
Skyscraper apartments are a popular choice for living arrangements in this city. Most people hate apartments because they are too small, too narrow, too cold, and have too many awkward-silence-moments in the elevators. But everything has its pros and cons. Here is my little perk for ending the day — this beautiful view outside of my window. I love a skyline view of the city.
Despite all the dirty corners, rude attitudes, inconvenience of grocery shopping, lack of space and loud noises in the city life, I still absolutely love it here! I am so proud to be one of the troopers to enjoy what a great city can offer. The gorgeous Lake of Michigan, the beautiful theaters, the breathtaking skyline and so on. I love the diversity, the activities, the randomness, the difference among people, the lights, the convenience, and the fighting for life. Watching people making their living here touches me. I wonder what the story is behind him or her or them. It presents me the possibility in life. Often, those stories strike my heart and remind me to appreciate God, appreciate life, and appreciate the moment I have. I enjoy seeing and hearing how God unfolds the stories in so many ways. Although I have not traveled as much as I’d like to, I often feel the world is coming to me in this city — with all the people coming from various parts of the world and carrying their stories with them. Who knows, one day I may hear yours.