Hello everybody !
First of all, I wanted to thank those of you who’ve shared some good vibes, of friendly messages and support. As I’m writing this, I’m in my Airbnb, in Shanghai, for a few more days, before hitting my next destination.
It’s definitely fascinating to be in this city, so far out of my comfort zone, and learning to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable” as I tried to explain it to some of my friends, recently.
This past (almost-) month has been very interesting. I’ve definitely felt outside of my comfort zone, in a different culture, but especially more so when it comes to being unable to rely on my English, or speaking with the locals here — in Shanghai, people will only speak English in the touristy and expats area. And even then, it remained a fairly basic exchange, for the most part — not quite a conversation.
It’s also a city where, strangely enough, expats and locals rarely mix. There’s no animosity or conflict, but each enclave seems to live separately from the other.
It’s been hard to keep my vegetarian diet here. First of all, because I do not speak the language. Thankfully, my friend Lincha wrote a line of text, in Mandarin, that I can show when I go to restaurants to look for someplace that will accommodate my diet.
But the biggest challenge has been because I couldn’t get myself to tell my Airbnb hosts. See, they’ve welcomed me into their homes and offered me so much food during this entire month. They cooked breakfast for me every morning, and took me with them on a road trip with their friends and family. And the last thing I wanted was to offend them or put them in a bad spot, feeling like an asshole of a tourist, and refusing their food.
In any case, this has been a great experience, and I think that my blog posts and vlogs reflect that properly.
Thanks again for reading all the way to the end! I’m gonna start packing for my next destination — it starts with an S.