Jul 6, 2016

China: adaptation phase & food

The study abroad handbook we give our students describes moving from initial excitement, to confusion, to adaptation. For me adaptation phase revolved around food access.

 Though I would love to eat yummy Chinese breakfast every morning (noodles, dumplings, etc), I teach at 8 AM so I needed something quicker. Instant coffee + bananas from fruit stand + bread and peanut butter.

 I love noodle dishes in broth but I had trouble ordering it. Finally I figured out that the lady with the stand had a cooler of toppings that you can just pick and she will make your custom soup for you! No language required! This was exciting for me.

The last weekend of the trip, I was to the point where I could go by myself to a legit Chinese restaurant and get something I wanted. Of course this involved a lot of pointing, but still a success.

Other adaptations were figuring out how to use Bing to find the bus route to get somewhere in town on my own and knowing which nearby stores had decent, cold beer. By some miracle, one western restaurant had Rogue Dead Guy Ale and I was more than willing to pay their extravagant price for it a few times at least.

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