It’s hard to convey just how much mental energy went into pain suppression, so that I could actually THINK in the remaining part of my mind. There was sadness over things I couldn’t share in with my friends, and fear that I was seen as lazy for not joining in.
After ten years living in the thick air of Beijing, I still remember not only what smog looks like, but what it FEELS like. There are physical consequences to breathing smog (which I suspect has affected my health more than I care to know), but there is also an emotional impact to living in a darkened world.
I have a very low tolerance for salicylic acid, a naturally occurring food acid. When I cut my intake it makes a literally life changing difference. I’m sorry if I don’t like your food, but I’d rather be seen as a picky eater than be in pain.
Life is different overseas – not always harder, but always different. I love that so many expats go out of their way to help out friends – even the newest ones. Most are happy to help, because we’ve all been there.
Cigarettes are big business in China, which is the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco. There are more than 300 million smokers in China. Over 60% of men over 45 smoke, and about 55% of men in general.