You know you’ve been in China too long when…

I’ve arrived in Montreal, which means the first leg of my long and somewhat winding road (it just doesn’t make sense to have to fly from Boston to Washington D.C. to get to Canada?!) from China to North America is complete.

Along the way though, I noticed a few funny things that made me realize my time in China is not lost on me.  I’m sure there’ll be more moments of comedic “cultural shock,” but for now, here are a few reflections I affectionately title, you know you’ve been in China too long when…

Chinese coke, also traditionally served room temperature!
  • You’re shocked, completely shocked, when beverages come out of vending machines cold! (In China, they drink room temperature water, which I now prefer, and I don’t think I’ve ever stumbled upon a vending machine, except in the Beijing (PEK) airport.  If you end up there, fyi, the cheapest water (5 kuai) is out of the vending machines, so don’t be suckered into paying 15 or 25 yuan in the gift shops.  The vending machine water is cold, but they also have free water dispensers which dispense the comforting lukewarm water we’re all used to!)
  • You find the wine on your international flight excellent.  And I really did, but then I stopped in my tracks, and realized that the wine in China is just that bad.  Not that they don’t do a lot of other things well in China, but wine (red or white) is not one of them.
  • You walk just a few blocks from your hotel in Montreal and find yourself none other than smack in the middle of Chinatown.  I don’t know what to chock that one up to, but I must have radar.  Oh well, I made the best of it and grabbed some yummy little coconut balls from a Chinese bakery with almost Chinese-low prices. 
I hope to find my way to other places besides Chinatown here in Montreal, and report a bit on the meeting, and the local culture.  But for now, rest assured that China’s still very much got its hold on me, and I can’t say, besides the jet lag, that I mind all that much.
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