Today was my first day back in Beijing after being away for three months, and as is always the case following an extended stay 'outside,' I had to spend a good deal of time and energy figuring out how to 'do life' all over again.
Here is my list of the top ten things that I found myself having to re-learn today:
1. How to cross the street. Yikes!
2. That I need to take my own bag to the supermarket or pay to get a plastic one.
3. How to breathe in coal dust without coughing.
4. How to gracefully (or not) get out of the back seat of a taxi.
5. How to use the automated electronic kiosk to pay my electricity and phone bill. (fortunately there was a sweet bank worker to offer assistance).
6. How to stand in line. (don't — just gently push)
7. How to say 'hello' and 'thank-you' in Chinese sign language. (my housekeeper is deaf)
8. That the bathroom light switch is OUTSIDE the bathroom door.
9. How to use a vpn to connect to the internet.
10. How to make a call to the US when my cell phone is out of minutes and my landline has been shut off because a bill hasn't been paid in three months — USE SKYPE!!! (it took me about 12 hours to figure that one out)
Leave a comment and tell me what things you find yourself having to re-learn when you return to China after being away?