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5 Reasons Why I’m Flying Home to London

After 5 months on the road, I’m flying back to London on 25th January. Coming home at this time, albeit temporarily, was in my plans.

Leading up to heading home, I’ve been asked if I’m looking forward to it.

In truth, I am. Not because I “miss it” as such. I don’t feel I need my own space back, a wardrobe full of clothes or a currency I don’t have to do math with. I’ll enjoy having any of these things, but I still consider them as luxuries rather than necessities.

These are the 5 reasons why I’m actually looking forward to it:

Yearly Tough Guy Pilgrimage
Planning My Next Steps
Catching up with Friends and Family
Examining London Life Again but Through a Different Lens
Build up of Small but Important ‘Maintenance’ Things

 

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5 of the Best & Worst Things I Learned About China

Best

Bodily functions like burping and farting are considered the norm. It’s fine to make such noises during moments of silence.
Almost everything these days is “Made in China”. If you can find the factory for what you’re after, you’re bound to get it cheap.
If you’re a Westerner outside of Beijing, you can see what it’s like to live the life of a celebrity… in terms of being stared at and asked to be in photographs. You may find next time you see a celebrity you won’t ask for their autograph or a picture.
Land transport is very very cheap in China. Buses 1 RMB (~10p), Subway 2 RMB (~20p) and high speed trains dirt cheap compared to planes.
Getting a local sim is easy and cheap. There are mobile shops everywhere and txts/calls are negligible. Data plans are common on pay-as-you-go sim cards too.

 
Worst

Entering into the country is too difficult. You need to have flights, accommodation and an itinerary proof in order to get the visa. If the visa gets declined, you’re stuck with (probably) non-refundable bookings. Having it arranged in Hong Kong by an agency is known to be the simplest way.
Kids have the right to pee and defecate anywhere on the street. So much so, they’ve even design trousers to make it as easy as possible to do it without a parent needing to be around. Careful where you tread.
The language is difficult to learn. Regional variations (Mandarin, Cantonese etc.. and thick accents outside of the cities), an alphabet of pictorial characters instead of letters, a heavy reliance on context with exact sounding words meaning different things, words spoken with varying tones meaning different things and difficult pronunciation even with a word written down in western letters.
Snorting […]

I Don’t Miss Home, But I Miss My Washing Machine

<< Blog updates should come more frequently, because I found an easy source of wifi here at the school. However, like the rest of the Chinese population, I don’t have access to Facebook >>

Since the wet weather over the weekend, it’s brightened up in Dengfeng. But not just the weather, more of the techniques and teachings are coming together now.

Firstly, after I looked up numbers in Mandarin, I realised that the thing the kids were shouting in the morning were in fact numbers, i.e. they were doing a headcount. Knowing the numbers up to 10 is good enough for the row I’m in. I ended up surprising the guy after me in the line by shouting “Ba” (8). After “dropping him in it” and making him shout the wrong number, I think we’re still friends though.

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