As I walk down the street and look at signs filled with Chinese characters

As I go in and out of grocery stores and corner stores without being able to read a single label

As I stand in line waiting my turn to get a sim card for my phone and then leave because I don’t speak Chinese and no one on staff speaks English

As I walk across the street and an older Chinese woman smiles, I smile back and she starts speaking in Chinese and all I can do is smile and nod

As I do all of these things and more I am filled with appreciation.

I appreciate that I can travel.

I appreciate that not knowing the language doesn’t frighten me.

I appreciate that I can smile and nod.

I appreciate that despite all the little inconveniences and the big ones too, I know that I can and will make it through each day.

Even if making it through means getting a Tsingtao at the end of a long day, because I at least I can understand beer.

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