Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stranger in a Strange Land

Hello from red China!

Kirsten and I arrived Beijing almost a week ago and I feel as though we have been here for months. Although I miss Lilly, Jake, and Sadie so VERY much (and other family and friends) this post is for the description of our experiences.

I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the Beijing airport, so imagine my surprise when the transport van delivered us to a muggy, dusty, and smog filled city! I was not disappointed, just caught a bit off guard. We had a whirlwind tour of the typical tourist traps, and we enjoyed them very much. The one thing I did not like was the tourists. Please, spare me the irony speech- for those who know me know that I know what I know. For those who don't know- don't ask. :) (it makes sense if you think about it)

When we were not being herded with the others I felt wonderful! I am trying to speak as much Chinese as I can (negligible at best) and eat new things. For breakfast I ate noodles and dumplings! I am not as yet bold enough to try chicken feet or pig ears, but I will leave that door open.

When we flew to Nanjing I was pleasantly surprised to see a cleaner city even though there is still much smog. I absolutely LOVE haggling with the vendors, and it unnerves Kirsten to see me smile when I manage to save an extra 3 yuan (which is 38 cents). Yes, I am cheap- but in this case it is purely the thrill of the hunt that satisfies, not the money being saved.

I have learned the necessary phrases that mean: Hello, Thank you, No thank you, and That's too expensive. :)

Today after a trip to Wal*Mart (true, and experience in and of itself) we asked our guide to take us somewhere for lunch- somewhere SHE would eat and she took us to an underground mall; to a noodle restaurant. It was awesome!! They serve you big bowls of soup with a variety of extras. Kirsten ordered the vegetable noodles, and I got the extra spicy beef (ranked at 4 chili peppers!) It was spicy, but not too hot- I could eat like that every day!!

I am currently very tired as the humidity drains my energy- so bear with me for erratic writing.

It is also worth noting that everyone here smokes, and they do it anywhere they want! In the mall, in the restaurant, and even in Haagen Daaz (where they have sit down service).

OK- perhaps I should get off the computer. I look forward to sharing my experiences upon our return to the USA!



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