What everyone asks is health supplements. 6 bottles of supplement A for my aunt, 4 bottles of supplement B for a friend, 3 bottles of supplement C for my dad, one bottle of supplement D, E, F for my cousin, uncle and mom. How many bottles of supplements are there already? 16? Oh, and grandma wants some American Ginseng. "How many?" I asked. "Let's do one lb." she said. "Total of $80 US dollars." I told her after went to NY's Chinatown searched for it and also compared the price online. $80 USD is the cheapest for one lb of Ginseng. "$80 USD is how much Chinese yuan?" She asked. "About $480 yuan." I calculated in my head quickly, and thought to myself $480 yuan doesn't sound as expensive as $80 dollars. "Less than $500 yuan. That's not bad. Ok." She said.
Why everyone wants health supplements? Chinese people are very realistic. So the simple answer is because they are cheap in the US. My cousin asked me to bring him the supplement E, a female beauty supplement. He sent me a picture of the bottle. It was a screenshot from a website and the price shows $280 yuan. That is $45 USD. I went to the Costco and found the supplement that he wants. $20 USD after tax.
16 years ago, when I just arrive in US, I tried t calculate American dollar to Chinese yuan before I buy anything. Often times, I would give up buying the item because it was more expensive in US than in China. But now, things have changed. Everything in US is cheap. Clothes is cheaper, food is cheaper, housing is cheaper, etc. When I went back to home 2 years ago, I was planning to buy some clothes back. I remembered how cheap clothes were back home. However, one nice dress would easily cost me $600 yuan which would be around $100 dollar. I ended up only buying few items and some of them were on sale. So, this time, I am planning to pack 2 months of clothing (included shoes).
I am getting a little bit more nervous when the date closes by. It's not a vacation. It's a 2 months life style change event. At same time, I am exciting too. I never lived in China as an adult which means I don't know how the society works. But this time, I would have chance to experience that. Since I am gonna be my parents' right and left hands, I will be able to experience daily life tasks. Maybe I will even ride a bike again. I do feel happy about that. It's like I have a chance to pick up a part of my life where I dropped off 16 years ago.
Life in China is gonna be very different than life in US. It is a life changing experience. But I am looking forward to it. Like, I told Mr.Rabbit that I will miss America when I am in China, but I miss China when I am in US. I can't have it all. China is a cup of black tea that is smooth, flavorful and have the taste of home; America is a cup of black coffee that is bitter, strong but addictive. With sugar and milk (family, friends, beauty of humanity), both tea and coffee taste wonderfully amazing. I can have either one for long time, but I can't only have neither one forever.