Well, it’s been three weeks, and I’ve tasted a plethora of different foods, smelled odors I didn’t know even existed, and watched a heartwarming moment as a father helped his young daughter take a crap in the middle of the sidewalk. So . . . how is everything?
Actually, everything’s awesome. Better than anticipated, and the whole getting-used-to-things hasn’t been as difficult as I previously thought it would be.
So going back to the beginning, before my China travel experience began – the flight and arrival. Minus the woman beside me practically lying on me to sleep, it was good for an uber long ride. And I was finally able to see The Martian! Thank you, Air Canada! The final flight, though, Beijing>Wuhan was all luck. In America, I wasn’t given a ticket for my Air China flight. And when I attempted to check in with the Chinese airline, my ticket didn’t come up.
So all I had on me was a confirmation page saying that I had purchased the flight. Baggage let me through and the security officer had me stand to the side, repeatedly asking for a boarding pass, until her manager let me slide by. The worker at the gate looked at it for a good minute before just waving me onto the plane without having to scan anything. So yeah, I consider myself lucky.
Things moved pretty quickly once I arrived. I met some people from the school, was taken to my apartment just across the street from work, and after a few hours of sleep, was taken to the hospital for a standard medical checkup. And I’m very happy to report that I did not pass out when getting my blood taken.
I learned almost immediately that when people said not a lot of people over here speak English, hardly ANYBODY speaks it. And that’s understandable. That would be like everybody in America or the UK speaking Mandarin (only in a perfect world). So I have been teaching myself some of the basics. And even then, it’s hard to be understood thanks to the many different tones in Mandarin.
So if you’re considering China travel, it would be a lot easier to learn the basics before arriving, maybe even while on the plane. It is a long flight after all.
Continue to part 2 here!