Why I’m Coming Back to US
An Puruo modified from the original article by George Ding on Dec 5, 2012
Two months ago I decided, like countless Chinese in US before me, that it was time to leave US. Well, after spending two months home in China, I’ve decided to come right back.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t I just go to this guy’s going-away party? How the hell did he get his old job back? Didn’t he just sell me his bookcase?
I don’t have time to explain all that right now, but whoever bought my bookcase: I’m going to need that back.
Since arriving back here, I’ve had many people ask me, “I thought you were sick of US. What convinced you to come back?”
First of all, I never said I was sick of US.
Second of all, I’m even more sick of the China.
So why did I do it? Why did I come back after leaving with such fanfare（炫耀，嘹亮的吹走声）?
This is going to sound crazy but I missed not having to use fake money. Buying a pack of gum and getting three fake bills of change back is just crazy. Plus they make you look stupid.
Another reason is that I couldn’t find a job worthy of my extensive resume. Most employers didn’t give a lick how much US experience I had, and those who did were surprised that I didn’t speak Queen’s English in the five years I spent in New York City. As if a language made up of mew and cheep is that easy to learn. In the end, I couldn’t even get a job teaching English in China, because apparently you need some kind of Guanxi to land a job.
Honestly, I thought I’d feel more at home back home, but let’s just say that home wasn’t exactly where the heart is. In fact, being home is downright unbearable when your parents are constantly nagging you. When are you going to get a job? When are you going to make a big money? Did you borrow 200 yuan from the next door’s girl?
If I’m being perfectly frank, I also missed people leaving me alone just because I was foreigner. I hadn’t counted on the fact that going back to my home country meant that I was not going to be a foreigner at all.
I hadn’t anticipated the reverse culture shock of going back either. Cars trying to run me over at crosswalks made me feel self-conscious. I’d talk shit about people in Chinese, forgetting they could understand the language. More than once I was laughed at and looked down at Xiushui Street for not knowing how to haggle（讨价还价） and not even being aware that their clothes were knock-offs（假货）. And the prices. 38 yuan for a cup of capuchino at Starbucks? 5,000 for a pair of Levi’s jean? 70 yuan for a Bugger King’s double cheese bugger, not even have Diet Coke?! Financial crisis my ass.
Then one day, after my mom made me blind date some stupid girls who happen to be some big shot’s daughters, I delved deep and asked myself: Sure, you can get diet coke everywhere, but what good is that when you can’t have your own life and do whatever you want to do yourself?
So I told that that stupid boss in the English kindergarten, Qu Ni Ma De, took 500 Yuan from my parents, and bought a one-way ticket back to the only place that could handle a motherfxxker like me.
And what can I say? It’s nice to be back. It’s nice to have those waiters harangued with me just for 5 bucks tip or get a free tiny birthday cake at the restaurant by the maître d’（服务生领班）. It’s nice to legally download French AV movies and Sola Aoi’s naked pictures and don’t have to worry cops show up at your doorway. It’s nice to not have to use fake money.
Go ahead, call me a Loser Back Home. Just know that this LBH makes 300 US dollars a day waiting table. I wouldn’t trade that for all the free private software and a 5 kuai’s American blockbuster’s DVD in the world.
If this trip home has taught me anything, it’s that the country you live in is like a wife. Sometimes, when you’ve been in one place too long, you start to wonder what else is out there. So you flirt with other countries and realize that, holy shit, they are all crazy or super high-maintenance.
What I’m trying to say, US, is that those other countries didn’t mean a thing. It’s obvious we still need each other. No more running around, I promise. No sir – this time, I’m here to stay.
This article was modified from the original article appeared on page 92 of the December issue of the Beijinger.