Here’s a brief observation: our friend Rachel’s blog is far better than mine. But here’s by far the best thing she’s ever written: http://funkychickeninchina.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/the-saddest-thing-about-being-an-expat/ (warning – for those of a sensitive disposition, may contain swear words).
Yes, a little self-indulgent.
Rachel is right though; Shanghai has this weird way of making you feel comfortable and then all of a sudden reminding you you’re in foreign place with no right to feel that way. We’ve had a couple of friends come and go, with a couple (Marcel and Hannah) about to leave. Fortunately, Marcel’s heading to London so we’ll no doubt catch up over that side of the world. We know people that have been here for 11 years and we’ve met people that have stayed here for 3 months and gone. It’s hard work, getting comfortable in Shanghai. And you’re never sure when that reminder is going to come.
Rachel – we’re British and so don’t do sentimental (especially when not in airport lounges). But we’ll miss you too, without a doubt. No idea how we ended up coming all the way to China and becoming great friends with an American though.