China update, one day in:
Internet wise, I can still access this site sometimes. Project Fi is miraculously working a bit; sometimes I get edge (remember that? The thing before 3g) but I stumbled into an internet games cafe ("I would like some coffee." "uhh, we don't have coffee." "your sign literally says 'coffee loft.'") and am getting LTE now, hence the update. WiFi should work sometimes but I'm 0 for 2 so far. (sometimes the signal is bad so I can't get WiFi + VPN to be fast enough to load anything.)
Language skills should work, but sometimes they don't. I'm pretty sure I was repeating, "I would like this" while pointing to someone's food, and that still did not quite work. Still, relatively successful with hotel and taxi so far :P
We are killing time in Kunming before heading to Lijiang, tiger leaping gorge, and Shangri-la, in that order. Just so's you know.
It feels useful to remember how helpless you are when you don't speak a language in a place! And yet, being a white English speaker is still easy mode.
Anyway, if you want to communicate quickly, hit me up on Wechat (dantasse)!