It's still not a good time to go back to blogging but I've got a 3 hour stoppover and none of the duty-free looks appealing.
It's such a waste to look Chinese but not be able to speak it. People expect me to burst into Mandarin but I only know how to say hello and Hong Kong. I've never appreciated my non-Asian colleagues as much as I do now. They exhude such a strong Aura of Foreigner it infects everyone within conversation radius, piercing my own Asianness as the locals try to accommodate for the Caucasian.
There are several stages I go through whenever I have to go overseas for extended periods:
1. Toilet Shock - Everyone's got their overseas toilet story. I could go on for hours! The building I'm working in has ONE FEMALE non-squat toilet in the whole building, the depravity. :( On my first day I discovered the 2nd one was out of order; as the flush water level rose (in slow motion) my life flashed before my eyes. I considered hightailing it out of there then remembered the dangerous 'step' on the raise and wet floor. I'm sure many a foreigner has met a damp toilet end with a deathmask of grossed-out horror. I never venture more than walking distance from my hotel or workplace. Yes I'm that much of a citygirl I can't pee in awkward positions.
2. Faking good habits - Getting up early, using cutlery properly, punctuality. You know, all habits I wish I had in my normal life but couldn't be bothered. Somehow when I go overseas it all comes naturally, at first.
3. Bright Side - Eating out here costs 1/5th what it does in Sydney. Every night I return to a tidied room and cleaned ensuite. There are no water restrictions - baths everynight! Then there's the public transport. I'm in LOVE with this country's high speed train network. They must be making a loss, I paid the same price for my intercity ticket as I did for the stupid tourist bag with the train logo on it! Look, I had to immortalise that life-changing train ride somehow and I didn't have a camera with me.
At this stage I start to think I could get used to living here if I could shake that anonymous drifter feeling.
Does anyone else go through similar stages?