I find it curious that I have an internet connection more often than running water. When I turn the handle of my kitchen sink and watch the last drops of water fall it makes my day to remember taking a shower within the last 24 hours. That means I am cleanish.
I eat out a lot. The truth is that it's cheaper and easier, but I justify it by saying that my stomach needs conditioning for the periodic, inevitable bacterial assaults (which is also true).
I get frustrated when I can't communicate. So many hours are poured into learning the language and sometimes I find myself struggling to understand words and phrases like "Sunday" and "Most of the time."
I think it is possible to make good friends in China, but I am skeptical about making close friends. At times the language and culture seem to be insurmountable obstacles.
Last week a restaurant owner told me his grandfather was Bin Laden, and it was a shame about Saddam Hussein. The people I was with tried to downplay the incident and I felt the need to communicate my thoughts to the man; I also felt constricted and unable to explain my views. When I left I was angry and confused.
I have difficulty understanding how people get by sometimes. Poverty is everywhere. The people are so friendly and always smiling. I wonder why people who work a hard 12 hours farming each day make a fraction of people who work a 9-5 selling books at a bookstore in America.
Every day I take another step deeper into China. I think I'm becoming more "Chinese." Every day the differences are highlighted too.
Every day I feel the weight of my ignorance and I am trying to make it lighter through listening.
Tomorrow we are going to see masks created by an ethnic minority population (maybe the Miao, but I'm not sure). Guizhou has a 40% minority population (one of the largest in China).