I haven’t really felt homesick so far in Beijing. I’ve missed friends. Our dog. Clean air. But no melancholic bouts of longing. Until this week. Andrew and I have both been sick this week. And the virus seems to have brought with it a bout of homesickness.
Andrew was homesick for the familiar. And for me? PaknSave. That big yellow barn of a supermarket. With everything my recovering from sickness heart could desire! Ginger beer. Rice crackers (gluten-free, baked not fried). Tamari-roasted almonds. And just knowing that everything else we might need or want in the way of groceries was pretty-much there. Gluten-free self-raising flour. Fair-trade sugar and cocoa. Frozen boysenberries. (yes, that does sound like a recipe for chocolate-boysenberry brownies!).
Actually, you can have almost anything if you’ve got the means to pay for it here. Not that I’ve seen boysenberries. But we did find Whittakers chocolate at a supermarket near our language school subway stop. (Not Almond Gold though). And you can find all sorts of things that would be harder to find in Aotearoa. Tonight’s dinner will be organic snowpeas, lotus root, garlic scapes, water chestnuts… fresh and delicious.
Mostly we experience contentment in our life here. But this week, a little bit of longing… I couldn’t have predicted missing PaknSave in all it’s fluorescent-lit glory – sometimes ex-pat life suprises you like that!