Last Day in Changchun

Before last night, I had gone out with Tim, a classmate of mine, and three girls he met at a massage and hair cut place. I didn't go out last night, because today was the day of our big test, worth 90% of two classes. I just got back from writing the test, and the written part was easier than I thought, and the oral part was harder than I thought. I think I did okay, but I learned more than what was on the exam. I met a lot of people, and had a lot of fun in Changchun, especially this past week.

A few nights ago, we walked out of Beiyuan hotel and looked upon Renmin Dajie (People Street), and noticed something was different. Then it clicked: streetlights. The whole street was lit up, and it was beautiful. For almost two months, Renmin Dajie was dark, we were used to the street lit only by the dozens of cars. Now, you can see everything. At first when we came to Changchun, we believed that the city wasn't anywhere near Beijing in being developed, but after that night, we figure that in a few years, Changchun will be a gem of Northeast China, a place worth working and living.

Of course, in two years, none of our Chinese friends will be here. Sophie, the woman who practices her English, the three girls that Tim knows, and most of the International students will have moved away, because they all want to go somewhere new. But I think when I come back to China, I will be able to email them, or give them a phone call, and we'll be able to meet up.

As my trip here winds down, a lot of people ask me if I want to come back to China. I tell them that I want to come back to work, but for now I would like to "hui guo" (return to my country). I miss my family, my friends, and Canada in general. But when I return, China will be a different place: more developed, more confident, more comfortable.

The plan for the weekend is as follows. First, tonight, we have our closing ceremonies in South Campus, which means dinner, beer, and gift-giving. Then tonight, maybe clubbing, maybe just hanging out, but we'll definitely be with our Chinese (and International) friends. Tomorrow is a rest day, but I meet up with Sophie one last time before going home. Then an overnight train trip to Beijing, where we meet up with William, whom we met when we were first in Beijing. He works for the government, and found a hotel for us to stay at. Saturday we rest and shop, stay overnight, and leave Beijing for a 12-hour flight to Vancouver, stopping over in Tokyo for 2 hours.