Libraries across the world smell like home. Leading me through the stacks, Taylor takes the role of teacher for a while,–timidly, humbly, quiet. She has a hitch in her step, and her walk sounds uneven down the cold, concrete isles. I search for English books, only to find that the “foreign” section is closed on weekends. Taylor proudly shows me the psychology books, architecture, chemistry. We stop a while in the art section and she mentions a few famous calligraphers, opening to weathered pages with their respective work. I’m starting to grow accustomed to life here. Though China is not the adventure I intended, it is becoming routine, a place I can say I lived. It will never be home, but it will be familiar.

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