Dear all Americans that I will run into while visiting,
I apologize in advance for standing way to close to you, when there is plenty of room for me to be out of your personal space bubble.
Also, for using Chinese words because I have either forgotten the English word or am so used to saying the Chinese word in place of the English equivalent. I also apologize for saying things like, “trust me, this word is perfect here, but I can’t explain why because it doesn’t quite translate”. I’m not being pretentious, I’ve just been using these words in place of English words – even with other foreigners while speaking English – for 10 months now.
Sorry for freaking out when you give me tap water instead of filtered water that was boiled prior to filtering …
When I get in your car and don’t even think to put a seat belt on; yeah, sorry for that too.
There will be an awkward dinner when I show up with large bottles of water or soda, forgetting that restaurants don’t like it when people bring their own drinks…
Sorry for freaking our when people wear their shoes all the way in your house, rather than taking them off at the door.
When I walk into a convenient store or grocery store, sorry for loudly yelling and being excited about all the types of candy. And getting ridiculously excited over granulated sugar.
Oh, and Internet. I’ll be really excited about how well Internet works. Sorry for constantly being excited about the Internet.
Sorry for being 45 minutes early to everything, because I’m used to leaving an hour early, sitting in traffic for half an hour, and still being 15 minutes late. I will be your awkwardly early guest the entire time I’m there.
While driving, I’ll probably ignore horn honking and then regret it when I realize it actually means something important/bad is happening.
Social cues and what is socially acceptable may or may not have been thrown out the window when I moved to China. I apologize for all the awkward social things I’ll do … Like maybe putting my chicken bones directly on the table.
Acclimating to a new culture