I’m still in that kind of limbo situation as I’ve returned from China and am getting ready for my final year of uni. I’ve been meeting up with friends that I haven’t seen in seven months and next week I’ll be seeing coursemates that I haven’t seen in over a year as well as meeting new people. There are so many questions I’ve been asked that now I just can’t stand and I’m sure some of my fellow post-year abroad students will agree with me.
1. So how was China?
This is the most boring question of all. Do you realise that you’re asking me to sum up a totally different country and five months spent there in a few seconds? It’s like me asking you how was sixth form? The only acceptable answer to this is something like “fine” and that will be the answer you get if you ask me – at least ask something more specific like “how was the weather in China?” give me something to work with.
2. Can you use chopsticks now?
Yes I can, I could use them before going to China and now I’m just better. It’s true that only Western restaurants had western cutlery and I chose to eat in local Chinese restaurants where there would be a tub of chopsticks on the table or a special chopstick cleaning machine.
3. Where were you staying in China again? Beijing?
No. I was staying in Qingdao and I think it was a great decision and a fantastic opportunity that the university gave us. It’s the home of the best beer in China (Tsingtao) which can be bought in plastic bags on the street.
4. How was your summer?
This is clearly a question from somebody who had no idea where I was this summer or what I was doing. If you’re really interested, at least have a quick Facebook stalk and see what I’ve been up to rather than ask such an open and vague question.
5. What are you going to do after graduation?
I’ve already heard this way too many times and I’ve only just registered for my final year. I decline to answer, stop asking me please. I don’t know and you don’t really care either.