The trip is coming to a close, and I am sad.

It’s been a brilliant three weeks, filled with Chinese food and late nights and struggles to get to grips with a completely alien language. I’ve tried to start my packing early and hated every minute of it so have retired and decided to write something instead.

Things have been winding down a bit in this last week; classes descended into essentially games and songs (Chinese ones, but still), and everyone’s been spending a lot of time going shopping for bags and bags of crap (I mean souvenirs) to take home with them.

It’s a shame that we have to go back to uni now, it would be so nice if i could have a bit more time in China to travel around and see more things and more places and spend time with the people I’ve got to know on the trip, without having to cope with lessons and scheduled activities (appreciated though those things have been).

The last couple of days especially have been brilliant: the weather’s perked up and I’ve had an absolute ball wandering round the “cultural market” and buying whatever I can lay my hands on (I went twice in two days). They had all sorts of delightful things there – scorpions in tubs, crickets in cages, dried shellfish if you fancied a snack – it was brilliant.

This afternoon we were treated to an excellent closing ceremony, complete with songs, dances, a set comprised of a stage with the words “sparkling encounter” in glittering tinsel sellotaped to the curtain, and continuous and manifold rounds of applause. ┬áHundreds of photos were taken, goodbyes were said, and the first people rushed off to catch trains.

We are our last meal at our favourite restaurant, our third time there, and savoured our favourite sweet and sour pork, strangely delicious aubergine dish, and something very much resembling chow mein. The weather too seems to be sad that we’re leaving, for the first time in three weeks it’s tipped it down – very UK.

My bus is at 5am tomorrow morning, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to write more between getting on it and getting to the airport. Should be an enjoyable 28-odd hour journey home. It surely can’t be worse than the one coming out here!

Famous last words.