So there I was – sitting in the Hongqiao Airport waiting for my flight to Nanchang. It was my first full day in China and I was drinking it all in – the sights, the sounds, the smells. As I glanced around the room I noticed a red metal box in the corner with Chinese characters and some numbers. I had no clue about the characters, but I could read the numbers: 119. And then it hit me and I had to laugh. In the USA we dial 911 for fire. In China it is the opposite!
I have used this anecdote numerous times since then. It has been nearly 6 years since that first day. And every day I spend in China is still an adventure. The moral is we are all very different and all very much alike.