Chopsticks and Good Advice.
I also spoke to a doctor who has been to China several times. It was he who advised me to become acquainted with the chopsticks. He also reassured me about something that has been bothering me for a while - getting something safe to drink apart from bottled water. The answer seems to be jasmine tea. Apparently boiling water is readily available (with churns at the end of railway carriages for instance) and so if you take your own cup and tea you can get yourself a safe and refreshing drink.
He also advised me to try the street stalls - as long as I can see the food being cooked before me - and recommended I try some little breakfast dumplings which I'd see being steamed on bamboo platforms.
Travellers cheques in American dollars are welcome most places, as are American dollars themselves, and he gave me a quick resume about the currency. The main currency is the Kwai of which there are about ten to a pound. Then in each Kwai there are 10 Mao and in each Mao 10 'pen' (I think). If I really want to buy something (other than food) I should prepare to barter, with my first offer about 20% of what I think it's worth - and if I get a price I am prepared to pay I should buy it. I also need to learn the phrase 'That's too expensive!'
Anyway, it was all useful stuff, and very reassuring. He'd always felt safe in China, he said.