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 Thoughts
Poette
 Posted: Sep 15 2016, 02:37 PM
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Apparently today (Sept 15) is the Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese culture. So happy Mid-Autumn Festival to those who celebrate it. To be fair, I only know this because one of my contacts in China informed me.

Which reminds me... apparently China has like, 3 Valentine's Days. Chinese Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day. "I love you/ Wo ai ni" Day (not entirely sure if there's an official name for it).

While on the topic of China, I'll share a general traveling tip: carry an electronic dictionary with you if you can (an app that works without data, preferably). You might have absolutely 0% understanding of the language around you, but taking out a dictionary, pointing to word(s) and making gestures will help a lot. I mean, it's probably even better to carry around a translator (but some of those require data and if you don't have the money/data for it, you might be wasting your precious data translating silly things like 'where is the bathroom?' when you should be saving it to find your hotel that night.

If you do have data, fabulous. If you're traveling alone at night, try showing your taxi driver where your destination is and then, if you're unfamiliar with the area, watch him on your gps take you to the appropriate location. I mean, it's a lot better to travel with someone, but if you're ever feeling uneasy/unsafe/insecure, it's comforting to watch yourself traveling to the right location. 1. You know they understood where you told them to go, 2. You can feel more assured they won't kidnap you for ransom/murder you/etc.

No one likes to assume the worst in people, but it's good to have safety nets or aids in situations that make you uncomfortable/for which you do not have the linguistic advantage/where you can make something easier with just a little help.

Speaking of which, carry a charger, but also invest money in a good travel charger. You might not be able to charge your phone, so having an extra 'chargeable battery' is a life saver.

Also it's a good idea to carry around sanitizer and tissues. In China, for sure, most hand-washing stations don't have soap, unfortunately. And a great deal of bathrooms do not supply bathroom tissue at all (and be sure to throw it in the trash bin next to whatever 'toilet/squatting toilet' you are using).

If there is something of medical emergency or something you can not foresee yourself living without in a foreign country, don't forget to bring it. Some places will have versions of what you need, but in places with less government regulation on certain products, you will want the best version you can get. Quality is not a guarantee in those places, and often locals will buy imported goods for that very reason if they're available and affordable.
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Poette
 Posted: Jan 12 2017, 03:08 PM
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my life feels like a series of mistakes
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