On Not Having Taken Any Photos

posted in: Culture Stress | 2

I’ve been in China for two full days now.  I haven’t taken a single picture.

Perhaps you are as surprised as I am.

It isn’t because I haven’t had my camera—I took it with me both days (and it is heavy!).

Someone told me that you usually take your best pictures in your first year in a new place.  I put “photography opportunities” on my list of things I’m looking forward to.

I even thought about taking a picture or two, but somehow, it didn’t seem right.  I just left my camera in my bag.

In many ways, life here doesn’t seem new.  The every day fragrance, the rising and falling rhythms of Chinese, the sound of fireworks going off early Saturday morning, the street sign design, the lamb flavored with red pepper, the snacks in the grocery store all seem so familiar.  After being in the U.S. for six years, I wasn’t sure what I would and wouldn’t recognize in China.  China changes so quickly that I didn’t want to have the expectation that I would just fit back in.  I’m sure that as I live here longer, I will find more and more things that have changed.  I’ve already noticed changes, like having to put bags through an x-ray machine to enter the subway.  But overall, in the little every day things, things feel relatively normal.     

For these days, I’ve just been soaking up the normality and not worrying about taking photos of it.  Eventually, I will actually pull out my camera and tell the story of what this normal is like in photos.  Until then, I’m just going to enjoy these “everything is awesome” days. 

2 Responses

  1. Brian

    Welcome back to China. I trust you’ll have a smooth transition and enjoy meeting new people.

    Take it in as time sure flies…

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