We have arrived in Beijing, China. Coming from Greensboro, NC, it is a change, to say the least. We went from a 280K population to 23 million. You can feel it as you exit the airport. The people, the cars, the traffic, the buildings, it's overwhelming. Whenever I go to the grocery store, it's packed, no matter the time of day or day.
People are quite friendly and willing to help. Even though I have my handy-dandy dictionary with me, at all times, problems can occur. There was 'soy sauce' in my dictionary, but not just 'soy'. Asking for 'soy sauce/milk' was quite challenging, as I didn't know which character was the 'soy' or the 'sauce', and I needed 'soy milk'. The employee of the grocery store (obviously) didn't understand why I wanted 'soy sauce milk', went through the store looking for an English speaking Chinese person. She found a good samaritan, and then understood what I really wanted.
Every day I think about all immigrants that come to Canada and the US, and don't speak the language. What a challenge it must be for them.
On that note, starting Chinese lessons next week :-)