Faith in humanity restored at the visa office (Shanghai)

I just want to give a major shout out to the man I encountered at the visa place in Shanghai. You don’t fully understand the word lost until you’re in a country where you barely speak the language and everything around you is unfamiliar (how immigrants feel when they come to the US). It almost takes a shot at your ego. I’m walking around not knowing where anything is. So I took a risk at looking foolish but a step forward to SOMETHING. I ask this older man sitting against one of the counters who is just looking around looking kinda happy. I ask him with my Chin-glish “visa nǎlΓ¬?” He points to upstairs in a reassuring manner like I’ll be fine just listen to him. When I get there, I forgot I needed a picture. Back downstairs I go, I ask him, “Picture?” and he points in one direction. As I’m walking, I start to veer away from what he said. He goes “AY! AY!” Of course, when you’re in China, I just thought the yelling/shouting was someone else (a norm). Then I turned around, he points to his right and looked at me. In my head “Ohhh, right. haha oops…” Then afterwards he catches me leaving and says “print picture there” as I’m almost about to forget my pictures. I laugh and say thank you in chinese. He laughs back and says “no thanks needed” in Chinese.

Being in China has reminded me of 4 people near and VERY dear to my heart. My grandparents. On both sides of my family, they came to the US not knowing much English. To this day, one of them can understand English well but still feel like they are “very bad” (which isn’t true at all). My Abuelos Pelayo didn’t really speak too much English so I was used to speaking my “progressive” spanish to them. All I can think is “Man both of my grandparents have lived in the US for YEARS and how have they adapted to the language barrier”. Then I think to myself well if they can survive ‘Merica then I can make it through China the best I can. Study Abroad is a WONDERFUL experience but like with anything, you have bad days. A little perspective. Faith in humanity restored.

Back to my Chinese homework,

Gabs.

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