Checklist

Eight things I didn’t prepare enough for this trip.

  1. The language. Try as I do, I still find myself feeling compelled to answer Chinese queries with Spanish responses. Dios mio.
  2. Living with men for two weeks. While the perks include never having to wait more than three minutes for the bathroom, the downside is the snoring. BEWARE THE SNORING.
  3. Claustrophobia-inducing tight quarters.
  4. Traffic “regulations.” More like widely acknowledged, yet collectively ignored, suggestions of the road.
  5. Being a pedestrian in a place that everyone is in a scooter gang. Where are all the sidewalks?
  6. The humidity. It may not be 100+ degrees here in the city like it is back home, but the humidity is equally as stifling. The other day I stood in the parking lot and could feel the moisture condensing on my shoes. In a matter of minutes, I felt like taking an hour-long shower.
  7. The toilets. The toilets. THE TOILETS. No. For those of you unfamiliar, many of the traditional toilets here are essentially holes in the ground. It’s not ideal.
  8. DELICIOUS FOOD EVERYWHERE.  This one I (and my taste buds) can deal with. My stomach will catch up later.
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