It’s officially 2019. Sounds a little weird saying it or reading it. They say it’s a good time to reflect on the year passed…
…For me, most of it was spent in China.
Here are a couple of takeaways:
Spending many hours a day hugging adorable children, listening to them serenade me with lullabies in Mandarin and learning that Chinese babies are way too cute for words.
Being okay with not really knowing what I was eating. A combination of language barrier, and that the locals just eat everything and don’t question a thing. I will say they somehow make the simplest dishes taste incredible and Sichuan “hot pot” is now one of my favourite meals ever!
Developing patience (or diminishing the small amount I already had) for the amount of people that could squeeze beside me on one sidewalk square whilst waiting to cross the street or being bulldozed over trying to exit or enter the metro.
Having blonde hair and blue eyes in China meant you were basically an alien descended upon this earth. You quickly learn all the different sly angles people think they can hold their phones in without you noticing so they can take a picture or video of you… and the completely NOT-so-sly angles as well. You also quickly learn how to avoid being in their range of shot when they decide to video call a friend or family member to show them the alien they’ve encountered on their daily commute or morning stroll or trip to the mall across the street.
Learning to speak and understand Mandarin (I tried, but man is it a difficult language!). However, knowing a little really helps get around and live life a little easier because very few people speak or understand English.
Being in awe of the of the freeways that run above Shanghai! It feels like your literally driving above it all. You can drive from one end of the massive city that is to the other without actually driving within the city.
… and so much more, but I’ll save them for Chapter 2 :)
P.S. If you ever wonder where you’re supposed to be, just look down at your feet and celebrate!
Happy New Year, everyone.