11. When hurricane Irene hit NYC, I was away on a day trip to see my favorite metal band in Trenton, NJ. I didn’t want my wallet to get stolen, so I had just brought $30 and was planning to get back to New York right after the concert. I ended up being stuck in a hotel that I couldn’t afford with no money, no food, no water and no clothes for a couple of days, but at least I learned how to outsmart the hotel vending machine. 12. I spoke Chinglish for the first couple of months of living in Beijing and I wasn’t embarrassed. There’s no embarrassment in not knowing about a culture or a custom, only in not being willing to learn. 13. I fought a hardcore gag reflex while eating a bowl of shark fin soup in Hong Kong and won. 14. Having friendships and relationships with expiration dates is not easy. However painful it may be, this is one of the most precious lessons I have learned here – how to cherish every moment you spend with someone, as you never know when they/you will hop on a plane and move 8,000 km away.