Besides the huge time zone difference, which makes you numb for a while, I arrived in Beijing in one of the coldest days of that year. Temperatures around -14°C and very windy. When I left the hotel without a jacket or a hat, I felt a heavy weight, as if someone had laid their hand over my head, but actually it was the cold wind starting to freeze me up.
Jumping to the other side of the world for the first time is a fantastic and exotic experience. It all begins with the length of the trip: about two days between airports and long Air China flights to arrive in Beijing.