For better or for worse…
I never drink cold water. Chinese believe it’s better for your stomach, and the belief has somehow rubbed off.
I pick my fruit and fruit juice based on whether or not it will lower or raise my body temperature. Cucumber and watermelon juice have been favorites this summer. I also know which fruits are in season because they’re noticeably more plentiful and fresh at the local fruit stands where I buy them.
I ask “Can you give me a discount?” everywhere from art galleries to high end department stores, and usually get 20-50% off.
When complimenting someone’s outfit, “Where’d you find it?” and “How much?” have been replaced by “ZhenDe HaiShi JiaDe?” (Real or knock-off?)
If I can see it being cooked over a fire, it’s sufficiently safe to eat. I get sick a lot, but like to believe it’s hardening my system for the long term.
If my meal has soup, or noodles in soup, I don’t order a drink. I often eat Chinese food without rice, as it’s just a cheap filler like table bread back home.
I used to feel lack of megastores like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Staples was inconvenient, and then I learned how to buy all the same things within a few block radius for less money and with free delivery.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking about simple things in Chinese. And when translating between Chinese and English, or when speaking Hebrew or Spanish, Chinese often comes out by mistake.
Once I discovered the concept of “Chinese food” is as diverse as “European food”, I’ve had no problem eating it 2-3 times a day.
Upon returning to the US I make an effort to remember to buckle my seatbelt, leave tips, say excuse me, and make personal space. Upon returning to China I make an effort to remember to look both ways crossing the street or otherwise risk sudden death.