One of the most unexpected things about living in China is how friendly and patient everyone is with my frustrating inability to communicate beyond that of a small toddler. I am constantly surprised about the generosity of people who are willing to try English, or rope in the help of an English speaker to translate on their behalf.
We enjoyed fantastic hospitality when we were welcomed into this small coffee shop, with the already full bench of people (3 people took up most of the shop) making room for us two. For about an hour another customer happily translated on behalf of the owner and we learnt about coffee beans, community co-ops, Chinese culture, dreams of a trip to Melbourne and shared laughs and smiles.
The best part of travelling is getting a small glimpse of the good stuff - the stuff that locals seek out - the experiences you simply chance upon. In China there is no hipster swagger and when you find stuff it's an accidental cool. And when you find it, you should soak it up and savour the moment... because one day when you are stuck in a hot metro station being you'll need to reflect on that memory, think of the contrast and smile.