There’s an small price to pay for living on an Island that is so green and lush with gorgeous vegetation. Rain…and it’s ok with me, because I love the rain.
Umbrellas are a big thing here. When it’s sunny, people carry them to protect their skin from the sun, and when it rains, EVERYONE keeps dry with an umbrella. Aside from our giant size compared to short, petite Chinese bodies, we stand out like sore thumbs because we love to walk in the rain and get wet. At first I thought, wow, these people are so prepared! They have a sixth sense of when it’s going to rain and happen to carry their umbrellas with them…and then I saw them…
Umbrella dispensers! You forgot your umbrella today? It’s ok, there’s an app for that! Scan your phone and Bob’s your uncle!
Malls are everywhere here in China. Every mall has many floors and each floor is specific to either adult clothing, shoes, children’s clothing, specialty stores like make up or skin products or medical practices or spas, and finally, a floor for the eating establishments. What ever it is you’d like to purchase, no cash needed…there’s an app for that!
How about if you’re thirsty for freshly squeezed orange juice…just scan your phone…(yes those are fresh oranges that get juiced right before your eyes!)
How about picking up mail? You receive a message on your phone, go to the location and scan the app, and open sesame!
Even the little toy and candy dispensers require the scan of an app to deliver the goods!
Taxi’s are ordered, bills are payed, appointments are booked, food is ordered, goods are purchased, bicycles are rented, flights and trains are scheduled and contact is made through various apps. Living here we are finding that everything is calculated, organized and orderly. Even communication is short or abrupt with no frills like the word, ‘please’, and as I’ve walked the streets and kindly smiled at people who stop and stare at our towering bodies and odd jabber, and I smile and great them in Chinese, ninety percent of the time their look of disbelief widens, their silent stare continues, and we walk on.
Don’t get me wrong, we are enjoying it here, and are fascinated by the Chinese culture. We love the way that every so often at construction sites, water sprays out in a fine mist to keep the tidy, enclosed sites from being a dusty mess.
We find it curious the way we are often offered a glass of hot water to drink when we enter a store to look around. Ice water seems to be undesirable, and even the drinks in the convenient store coolers are just slightly cooler than room temperature. Water from the faucet cannot be drunken because of the presence of cyanide, so we purchased large jugs of purified water.
Every few days or so, someone will surprise us and all of a sudden excitedly wave or raise a high five and say “Hello!” In a happy voice, and we respond with equal enthusiasm, and I often wonder what makes the difference. Why are the tiny handful of locals so much friendlier than others? Regardless of their reasons, we are grateful, and make a mental note to always be friendly and kind to foreigners when we are in our home country. It makes a big difference.
Another beautiful day comes to a close and we feel so privileged and grateful for the opportunity to explore more of the world. Though our family seems so very far away sometimes, the world really is a small place, and we cherish each new experience and embrace each new culture – learning as much as we can and acknowledging that regardless of race and country, we are all doing the best that we can.