In learning Chinese, I have found that the the topic of eating plays a significant role in the language. I am often greeted with a considerate 吃饭了吗? (Chīfànle ma? Have you eaten yet?) – in place of, “How are you?” because if I have eaten, I must be alright, mustn’t I? There are also many 成语 (Chéngyǔ/ sayings) advising us on what to eat, when, where and how:
First milestone reached: six months in China. What does that feel like? What am I supposed to feel? Acclimatised? Adapting to a new culture, apparently, is supposed to happen in stages:
Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage
When you first arrive in a new culture, differences are intriguing and you may feel excited, stimulated and curious. Like any new experience, there’s a feeling of euphoria when you first arrive and you’re in awe of the differences you see and experience. You feel excited, stimulated, enriched.