I can't begin to imagine what writers go through when they decide to write their memoirs. My memories come in no specific order; they just come.
I remember our group going to church on Sunday in Beijing. It is called The International Church", for not always obvious reasons. It was established to give ex-patriots a place to attend a regular, semi-unregulated church to attend. The most obvious difference in this church and any other church I've ever seen was that you had to show your passport to get in. This was to keep Chinese citizens OUT. Because they didn't regulate what was said on done in the church, the Chinese govt kept its citizens from going in. Even more obvious were the weapons being carried by the military soldiers "guarding" the church. Our guide/translator, who is Chinese had to sit out in the bus until we came back. The service was in English, and was very lively. We met people from all of the world inside.
I remember Pam experiencing a hard learned lesson in a Chinese public restroom. Bring your own tissue. At some public restrooms, they have attendants that you "tip" for toilet paper when you enter and they only give you a few squares. Imagine...3-4 squares, you're in a big hurry because your tummy is rumbling, RUMBLING, relief...wait all I have are these few squares and now you're stuck back in the stall. With a hole in the floor style toilet at that. And nobody speaks English....
I remember experiencing Chinese food in China. It's almost nothing like here. The sauces weren't as thick and gooey as they are here. More vegetables, more variety, MORE food. They had the big round tables with the huge Lazy-Susan in the middle. That thing was piled high with food and they kept replacing empty dishes until we told them to STOP! It took us a little while to figure out they were trying to kill us by making us explode at the table. Of course I love Chinese food, so it was more like assisted suicide. LOL