“You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone,” Cinderella lamented, and it’s true. And when you live in China, you realize certain things are precious indeed because now you’re living without them. Here are 64 things you won’t take for granted again:

  1. Privacy
  2. Anonymity
  3. Personal space
  4. Traffic laws that actually get obeyed
  5. Ample parking spaces
  6. Your own car 
  7. Dishwashers (the appliance, not the person)
  8. Clothes dryers (i.e. not having your laundry depend on the weather)
  9. Central a/c and heat
  10. Tea cups and mugs that have handles
  11. Soft mattresses
  12. Large trash cans
  13. Garbage disposals in the sink
  14. Large refrigerators
  15. Ample counter space
  16. Insulation
  17. Pipes that are inside the walls
  18. Bathtubs
  19. Free toilet paper in public bathrooms
  20. Free soap in public bathrooms
  21. Free paper towels in public bathrooms
  22. Free napkins at restaurants
  23. Free ketchup at fast food restaurants
  24. Free water in large glasses at restaurants
  25. Potable water from every faucet/tap 
  26. Getting mail and packages delivered to your actual place of residence
  27. The complexities, nuances, and beauty of your native language
  28. On-time flights
  29. Non-smoking areas that truly are non-smoking areas
  30. Never having to have a Plan B for if the power goes out
  31. Never having to have a Plan B for if the water gets turned off
  32. Never having to have a Plan B for if you run out of gas
  33. Wedding celebrations that don’t involve firecrackers at 6 a.m.
  34. Wedding celebrations that don’t involve forced drinking and smoking
  35. Free plastic bags at the supermarket
  36. Baggers at the supermarket
  37. Especially baggers who know not to put canned goods on top of the loaf of bread
  38. Supermarkets that don’t have a fishy odor
  39. Supermarkets that don’t have bullhorns
  40. Supermarkets with carts/trolleys big enough to actually put all your stuff in
  41. Milk that comes in gallon jugs
  42. Shampoo and conditioner that aren’t waxy/sticky
  43. Facial lotions that aren’t whitening
  44. Toothpaste that isn’t racist
  45. Cake done right
  46. Ice cream that’s not freezer burned
  47. Bread that’s not sweet
  48. Walnuts that aren’t smoky
  49. Cheese. All of it.
  50. Cultures that teach that it’s rude to stare at people who are different
  51. And that it’s even ruder to point at them
  52. And that it’s the rudest to shout out the thing that makes that person different, as if they weren’t aware of it already
  53. Baseball
  54. Swimming without a swim cap
  55. Going to the park without checking the AQI first
  56. Silence
  57. Closets
  58. Garages
  59. Yards/gardens
  60. Public libraries
  61. Drive-thru anything
  62. Clothes that fit off the rack
  63. Shoes that fit off the rack
  64. Just how admirable it is for anyone to attempt learning another language and living in another culture


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