[45 Days in Shanghai] Episode 1- The Realization.


Have you ever heard of saying that goes; ‘The further you go, the more you see’?
Well, it’s not just an empty word. It’s true.

The further you go, the more you see.

Before, during the interview for the exchange program, I told them the reason I wanna go exchange abroad is because I want to see the world differently. I want to widen up my paradigm. It sounded like total bullshit when I say it during the interview, but honestly that’s what I want. That’s my main purpose.

And you know what?

 I got it. I see the world differently now. I learnt a lot too.

After 45 days. 45 days of an incredibly surprising journey.

And it began with the flight. Flight to Shanghai.

Why does it begin with the flight? Because the realization of living in a foreign country for 45 days only hit me during the flight. To be honest, I didn’t feel anything when I left my house and when I arrived at the airport. I was too busy worrying about my luggage whether its excessive or not and too busy occupying my mind with what souvenir I should take for people there. During my flight to Kuala Lumpur from Kuching, I didn’t really feel the difference. It’s just another exhausting flight that I hated a lot. Same like always.

But the flight from Kuala Lumpur to shanghai? It open my eyes. Why? You see, the flight that I took, 80 % of them..are Chinese. So, I was riding a flight with chinese people and they only speak chinese. Great. Yeah, really, how bad can it be?

It was bad.

It started with a Chinese couple who really love each other and can’t seem to be separated. Not even during the it’s-only-5 hours and 30 min-flight. This lovey-dovey couple, their seats were separated. Not in the same row. One of them got the seat next to the window, and another one got the middle seat in the row behind her. And unlucky me, my seat is next to the one of the couple, which is the seat next to the walkway.

Before you understand how miserable I was, I need to tell you this; I really really really need to go to the bathroom but since it was already boarding time, I was holding myself back and planned to go to the lavatory provided on the plane.

As soon as I got to my seat, this Chinese guy came to me. He was talking in Chinese and I totally didn’t understand him at first. Failed to make me understand and it seems like nobody around cared about what he tried to say, he used the language sign with me. Indicating that he wants me to change the seat with her girlfriend. Well, I was holding myself back at that time, so of course I don’t want to change because it was beside the window. It will be so hard to get out later since the space was too narrow. But he was all smiles and I don’t really like to separate ‘those people in love‘ so I was trying to make the Chinese passenger beside his girlfriend to move in so I can sit at the seat next to the walkway. You got what I mean?

But the thing is, they don’t speak english. They don’t understand what I mean. I tried to explain that I need to go and whatever but they just don’t get it. So..I ended up sitting at the sit next to the window. That’s when my misery start.

Because that is when I realized..

These people..they..don’t..speak..english.

Oh my god.

They don’t speak english.

And they have their own writing.


So for the first time in my history of flying, I cried when the plane took off. Because the realization hit me; it’s gonna be a very long month.

If you wanna know, I hold myself back for almost an hour before I go to the lavatory because they seem to not understand that I wanna go and refused to get up and make way for me.

And that was just the beginning.



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