Continuing on the subject of making friends, another factor is not letting language hold you back. My lack of proficiency in a any language has never prevented me from trying to yap. I really hate the excuse, "Oh, I thought people here couldn't speak Chinese, and I didn't know what to say in English, so I didn't bother trying to talk to anyone." Just try, darn it, in any language. How else does one's language skills improve?
Speaking of which, I took a yoga class Sunday night--the first one in quite awhile--and I was surprised to discover how much my Chinese comprehension had improved. However, I began to suspect the teacher, who is definitely a local, received her yoga training in the U.S., because she would interject an incongruous "tuck in your ass" in English among the gentle intonations of "breathe in, breathe out, turn to the right, turn to the left" in Chinese. Not an aid in reaching nirvana, but my body did let me know how happy it was to get reaquainted with some poses.
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