Fall. It’s a four-letter word in my book.
I know masses of people love fall more than anything, but I am not one of them. Yes, I can appreciate the beautiful colors of the leaves changing (although, in Chengdu the leaves just go from gray with a green undertone to gray with a brown undertone, so there is no rainbow of earth tones to stomp through here), and I get that some folks love the cooler weather (again, I’m a fan of a cozy hoodie- for about three days and then I am ready to go back to tank tops and shorts), but overall, fall is just not my thing.
Fall means Halloween, which you don’t even want to get me started on. (Least favorite holiday-ever. Non-event “holidays” like Arbor Day and Presidents’ Day are a better use of a line on my calendar than one that includes creepy costumes, teenagers asking for candy and way too much of the hideous orange/black color combination.)
Fall also means summer is over. I love summer. Even now, when I’m not teaching and don’t get the whole thing off. I love the when it is dark and still warm enough to sit on the deck at a restaurant. (Or, more fittingly for my current situation, on a plastic stool on the sidewalk.) I love getting an ice cream cone and going for a walk after dinner. And I love cute sundresses and sandals, neither of which is practical when I can see my breath in the morning air.
But, as much as fall is not one of my favorite things, this year, I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy every minute of it, as it will be my last fall for…well, who knows how long. For at least two years, in Kuala Lumpur, there will be no need to pack away the skirts and sandals, and then 2016 could bring anything from the bitter cold of Nuuk or Ulan Bator to more time on the equator in Antananarivo or Nairobi. With KL only a few months away, I’m contentiously avoiding sweater shopping online. Old Navy and Maurice’s send me tempting emails on a nearly daily basis, but I’ve been diligent about deleting them without opening their percentage upon percentage off deals.
To that end, I’m looking at all the great things fall in Chengdu has to offer. I’ve already ordered several new pairs of fun colored tights to brighten up the hazy days that have settled on our basin and this weekend I’ll make the dresser drawer transfer, moving my long-sleeved t-shirts and sweaters into the regular rotation and putting the summer clothes to rest in the spare bedroom. I’m guessing there is hotpot in my very near future and the fruity teas have reappeared on my desk at work.
Fall is here, but it is going to be okay. I’ll wait patiently for the fan-shaped leaves of the gingko trees to turn yellow; I’ll throw a big Halloween bash at the consulate and have my heart warmed by the adorable toddler costumes; and I’ll enjoy the coziness of snuggling up in a hoodie, fuzzy sock and a throw blanket to watch hours of Netflix in an attempt to avoid death by pollution.
This year, fall is still a four letter word, but no longer a “four letter word.”