The squatter. I was expecting many cultural difference before hopping on my plane to Beijing. I figured I would not be accustomed to the food, the plethora of people in such close proximity, and the time change. However, I did not even think about what a Chinese restroom would look like!
You’re probably thinking “Why a squatter?”. China honors their heritage and traditions by incorporating old patterns of society into their daily life. Finding a western toilet was a rare gem but the experience of assimilating to the Chinese standard of living only reinforced how appreciative I am for my blessings in America.
The toilets weren’t the only thing that was unfamiliar to me. My classmaes and I had to wash our clothes by hand and hang them up to dry outside! It was fun to adjust to another way of living because it definitely opened my eyes to another perspective. When we live in our little American bubble we don’t even realize how grateful we are to own washing machines and dryers.
One of the greatest adjustments for me was the food. It was exciting to try new things I have never seen before! I can now say I have tried snail, squid, and dragon fruit, which I would never have thought about eating in the States! Rice became a staple immediately and sometimes you didn’t know what you were eating. At first I was hesitant to try anything unless I knew what it was, but now I will try anything to find out for myself! Our teacher took us to a restaurant where we ate a traditional Chinese meal. It was interesting how all the plates were brought out and were meant to be shared. We developed our chopsticks skills pretty quickly since a knife and fork were nonexistent! Overall, the meal was delicious!
My favorite part about traveling is diving into another way of living. There is a lot to learn from living life through another set of lenses. Stepping outside of our comfort zones only makes us aware of how much more there is to see and experience in our beautiful world!