Ashley / Chengdu

It’s the Little Things

Living in Chengdu can be pretty frustrating. Working in Chengdu can be pretty frustrating. There’s a lot of things you can find to not like about this place. But, there are a lot of things you can find to like. So through the clouded frustration sometimes the more positive aspects to living here break your mood and often they come in the form of the smallest, insignificant moments.

I was sick this week. My mood was less than stellar towards pretty much everything. But a few things happened to remind me why its good to accentuate the positive.

1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was playing in the grocery store Thursday, the whole album. It’s a pretty uncanny to be in a grocery store in Western China and to hear music that was familiar AND in English. The grocery store is usually a stressful experience, chaotic with people, noise and less than stellar hygiene, but for some reason listening to an album from Middle School, knowing every word, made it enjoyable. I was also hopeful that someone at the store selected the background tracks conscious of what it was, although I realize that it was probably just a random cd that had a cool looking cover. The reminder to lighten up and just sing along was much needed.

2. I think my classroom is finally about done. My pin-up boards are covered and colorful with things on them. It’s amazing how much covering a corkboard with colored butcher paper changes an environment. From this angle it actually looks like a pretty fun room, or at lot more fun than what I started with.

3. It’s been raining a lot, and because of that rain the shroud of pollution and mist that usually covers this great city was lifted yesterday and left gorgeous blue skies, our vitamin D intake for the month and giddiness among the general population of Chengdu.

4. We had kids this week! Finally. Learning routines, making new friends, singing new songs, giggles, bus routes, band-aids and criss cross applesauce. Kids make everything better at a school.

By the way. The above picture is of the fine arts wing. My room is the one with the balcony on the third floor. I plan on doing my own rendition of “don’t cry for me Argentina” sometime soon. The buildings look more like a campus in New England than in Sichuan, huh.

So hip hop in the grocery store, covered pin-up boards, sunny Fridays and students at school. If you look for the little things, they add up.


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