January 30th marked my 6 month Chinaversary (see what I did there?). I have to say most of the time has flown by, sometimes blurred by. It has been a great experience and I’m excited for what the next 6 months bring. Hopefully warmth and more margaritas. Here are the 10 things I have learned in Beijing so far.
1. Chinese people think it is okay to stop walking in the middle of a crowded walkway
The number of times I have run into people because they decide it’s a good idea to stop walking on a staircase is ridiculous.
2. Kids are gross
Sometimes I mentally weep over the number of fingers I have pulled out of kids’ noses to hear them say something in English.
3. The expat community is wonderful
Things that happen in the expat group don’t leave the expat group. Unless it’s too embarrassing/funny not to share and then everyone knows.
4. It’s okay to spit out food
I’m not ashamed to admit that I have spit out food the moment it hit my tongue because it was gross. And in public.
5. You learn to zone out how gross a bathroom is
Squat toilets rarely get to me anymore. I have a “Don’t look, don’t think, don’t breathe” mantra that kicks in as soon as I have to go into a public toilet.
6. My ayi (cleaning lady) doesn’t mind cleaning my room with me still hung over in bed.
I have slept through her cleaning my room a couple (most) times. I like to think she finds me amusing.
7. Fake alcohol gives the worst hangovers
Will I never learn?
8. Hot water cures everything
“Feeling sick? Drink hot water.” – Said every Chinese person ever.
9. WeChat is life
Everyone here uses the WeChat app to text. No one uses regular texts or call each other. The best part of the app? Stickers. Which are basically GIFs. The majority are incredibly inappropriate. Here are my Top 3 favorite WeChat stickers that won’t mortify my parents.
10. I love KTV
I might be as tone deaf as a dying cat, but karaoke in China is magical.
And for a little bit of balance, here is the 1 thing I haven’t learned in Beijing.
My god, I can barely say three words in Chinese. But I can point like a mofo.
Thanks for all the support these past 6 months. I wouldn’t have made it without the love from my friends. Staying in touch with everyone at home keeps me going more than you can possibly imagine. I miss my friends and family more than anything. Including Chick Fil A.