I didn’t do too much exploring in Shanghai this summer, choosing instead to mostly laze around in the People’s Square and our hostel. The first day, arriving on an 18-hour train ride from Dongguan, drained the two boys and I. So we walked around the bare minimum to get some food. I couldn’t help but laugh when the restaurant gave the two Asians chopsticks for our meal, while our blond got a set of forks and knives.
first fork we've seen since forever.
Day 5, Continued
After our Vietnam waterfall adventure, we headed over to a place called Jiuzhou. To our surprise, the blue sky decided to make an appearance! We were quite confused, considering it had been raining every day for the past four weeks.
Jiuzhou is the home of embroidered flower balls, a remnant of an old Chinese marriage tradition. Girls at the marriagiable age would have her suitors gather at the bottom of her balcony, where she would throw one of the balls into the crowd. Whoever caught it would be her groom.
Day 4 dawned with a sort of panic — our poor by-now-voiceless teacher through laptop communication informed us he had strep, and was hurriedly taken to the hospital to get antibiotics where he was introduced to the monstrosity that is the Chinese medical system.
The morning was incredibly lazy and chill just hanging out in the hotel room; while I love traveling, I was way more relaxed and rejuvenated from this rest than anything else. In the afternoon, we drove to our next destination, right on the China-Vietnam border. On the way, we passed through harrowing mountains where giant rockslides had occurred the night before. Once out of the danger zone, we were treated to a lazy and foggy view of a green green scape.
It was mind-boggling to realize how close and how easy it would be to cross from China to Vietnam from here. Literally, just walk across the river and you’re there! At night, we visited a war memorial snuggled in a network of tunnels that laced across our town, built for a fighting that eventually lasted only 3 months.
From massages to pickpockets, from karaoke to food poisoning, the past 7-day trip through Guangxi province had almost everything that you hear about in a stereotypical China trip.
On the bus for 10 hours until we reached Nangning. Slept not enough. Went to the nightmarket, and SHIRLEY HAD HER CAMERA STOLEN. How it happened: Shirley and friend were eating seafood and street food. Shirley takes picture of friend and self with camera. Shirley puts camera in pocket because hands have food in them. Literally as Shirley walks away from the stall she feels her pockets and realizes camera is GONE.
[Sidenote: I don't update my blog for a while, and I come back to find it HACKED. Thanks a lot, internet. ]
The past three weeks have gone by incredibly fast. Between classes and night activities and programming for websites and shopping combined with the terrible internet connection, there hasn’t been much time for blogging. Tomorrow we are heading out to new destinations — mainly, Beihai, a city in South China famous for, according to Wikipedia, sandworms(?!).
Said goodbye to my kids today, with much regret. I will miss my girls.
Look how cute they are!
These days have been super busy, teaching from 9-12 in the morning, 2-4 in the afternoon, then 7-9 playing with the kids at night, with some time in between for meals. Hardly anything like in Greece, when I had most of the day free.
Hong Kong was really nice the second time around. I stayed in a hostel located in the apparently infamousChungKing Mansions. The downstairs was EXTREMELY sketchy, with a melting pot of all Indians and Africans trying to get you to go to their hostel room. The hostel that I stayed in, Canadian Hostel (also run by an Indian) was really nice. It had free wifi and cold water! We also lived right by the harbor, so it was a fun experience.
The first day, we went to the Avenue of Stars and hung around until the light show. Again, the view was pretty breathtaking.
When I first got back to China my aunt took me to this village an hour away from Wenzhou where she had been living for a few months, away from the city pollution and noise.
In China now, and it’s hot sticky humid gross and am eaten to death by mosquitoes. Luckily, I’m also eating enough to cancel out the unpleasantries. I should make a food post, too, hmmm…
Anyway, during my adventures to my hometown, Wenzhou, I had a great many interesting conversations with people while I’m bored out of my mind sitting in one place forever. It’s amazing how much people like to talk about the most intimate things with a complete stranger; perhaps it’s because I’m still young. Most conversations are older people imparting their wisdom upon me, a young little girl traveling by herself.
When I headed to London City Airport to go to China, I had a sudden fit of laziness and decided to call for a cab. The driver was very friendly, chatting with me the whole way, and informed me that there was a) transportation, b) passport, and c) teacher’s strike t hat day. Which meant if I a) tried to take subway I would have faced potential problems with random stations being closed, b) trouble getting through customs at Heathrow, where I had flown in , and c) because the teachers were on strike there was hardly any traffic on the road and I made it to the airport in record time.