I can’t say that it has been an easy/healthy start into living in China for a month. Just getting to Hobart’s airport for my flight out last Wednesday saw the car’s radiator hose blow up with a huge pressurized “bang” that sent clouds of steam into the passenger compartment fogging up the windows. Luckily, being 4:30 in the morning there was no traffic on the road and I managed, somehow, to blindly steer the car off the road onto the grassy verge. Without too much panic, but with some regret, I left my friend, Miche, with the broken down car and hitched a ride to the airport in time to catch my flight.
Such was the beginning.
I’ve now been in China for seven days. Four of these days have seen me in bed; first with a pulled lower back muscle (the result of the cramped conditions on the plane) and now with a sinus infection (the result of the persistent air pollution).
The good news is that, with Sally’s knowledge of Chinese herbal medicines, I am on the mend. Before, when I developed sinus infections in Russia and Hungary because of their air pollution, these infections were always much worse and, in the end, required antibiotics to cure. Now, the black liquid that Sally has formulated is working and by tomorrow I should be up and about and exploring the town of Jinan that I arrived in on Sunday night after four days in Beijing.
I’m excited. From the little I have seen, it has all been fairly amazing. One first observation is that the people are consistently friendly. I have yet to run into the sort of anti-foreigner, why can’t you speak our language, verbal abuse Asians might encounter when coming to Australia or America. Give the Chinese people any indication that you are trying to learn their language and they beam the sweetest smiles. Ordering a meal might be difficult, but their good manners make it a pleasant, difficult experience.
And besides, no matter what my physical health is, being with Sally certainly makes the heart grow stronger.