Having spent 12 weeks plus 12 days this calendar year away from home—mostly working abroad in China and the US–I decided it is time to pass along some of my wisdom:
- As soon as you get to your hotel room, go to the bathroom. If there is anything wrong with the plumbing, you want them to move you before you unpack, not after. This goes for every hotel—no matter how many stars.
- Always bring one set of crummy clothes to wear in the room. When packing, you always think of what to wear to meetings, and teaching, and nights out. But when you’re back in the room at 8 pm, with nothing to wear but your jammies, you’ll be asleep in 10 minutes. My old lady travel trousers come in handy.
- Never reject an HBO [or similar channel] programme until you’ve checked it out on Wikipedia [or Google if you’re not in China]. I missed out on The Danish Girl because I thought, ‘Well, that sounds boring.’ Since then, picked up Eyes in the Sky and Bastille Day. Corollary rule #1: Always trust Idris Elba. Corollary rule #2: Best stuff is on late at night. Or weekends. Surf the dial. No matter what language. You’ll be surprised.
Idris Elba—a sure bet
- You can check out schedules for HBO, etc., on line, but don’t trust them. I’m looking at you, HBO Asia. Where the heck was Curb Your Enthusiasm?!
- Don’t say, ‘That’s not the best paella I’ve ever had.’ Do say, ‘That’s the best paella I’ve ever had in China…’
- Sit in the back and look out the side window. Trust me.
- Never put anything important in the same pocket with your Kleenex. No matter where you are.
Anyone care to add any others?