— «Is the pollution in Beijing really as bad as they say it is?» I asked.
— «Do you smoke?» the man sitting in the row in front of me replied.
— «You do now!»
This was the first conversation I had in China. I was on the tarmac of the Beijing International Airport about to disembark from the plane. I took my first steps on solid ground in eighteen and realized the man I had been talking with was not lying. The smog was thick! It had such a fowl odor that you could taste it when you inhale.
Despite the pollution, I really liked China. At first, I had a lot of difficulty getting by. I made the mistake of traveling to a country completely unlike my own without studying the local language. I felt like a child trying to articulate himself to no avail. So one thing was certain, I had to make studying the Chinese language a priority.
I had been in China for two months before I could communicate enough to navigate through everyday life. I studied so hard, and it paid off. That's why I am studying Russian rigorously before I come to Russia! I am super excited to see Russia, and when I get there, I want to feel like an articulate adult. I want to be able to communicate with shop clerks, neighbors, etc.
Russian grammar is difficult, but learning the Russian language is very rewarding. I find myself having fun while I study, and speaking with my supportive Russian friends is quite fulfilling. I can't wait until I am fluent!
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