Dateless…and highlights from the East

Posted: June 30, 2010 in China Trip 2010

I’m sorry that I haven’t been blogging lately. I’ve either been too tired or too lazy (mostly tired though), and when I skip a day, I forget about some of the happenings.

And I don’t remember each specific day that’s passed. SO I’ll just tell about each site I’ve been to.

Great Wall: Was NOT how I expected it to be. It was like climbing up a large, steep slide. I expected it to be mainly stairs and a kind of flat, not-as-mountainous-as-the-mountains-it-sits-on kind of plane, but I was wrong XD I really think that the people who work there, or whoever’s in charge, should host a fitness program–it would be profitable, I think. I barely climbed any of it, only like three of those landings, before I went back down. But at least that was farther than my grandmother :3 The view was great though.

Temple of Heaven: My dad and I agreed that it was NOT worth the money. Of course it’s expensive because it’s a world heritage site and all, but it’s just three buildings of which two are beautiful and temple-ish and oné is this stone platform with uneven stairs that are easy to trip on. The park was beautiful, but… If you plan to go there on your own accord, I suggest that you just buy some pictures. And learn about it on Wikipedia.

YuanMingYuan (a.k.a. The Old Summer Palace or Gardens of Perfect Brightness): Worth the money. I viewed enough lotuses for a lifetime, but they were gorgeous. There were lots of lakes and ponds, all clogged with the lotus plants. The pigeons were also pretty XD The ones I saw were all white C: The ticket fee is cheap, too. 10 yuan for adult, 5 yuan for student.

* * *

HIGHLIGHTS 😀 or things that differentiate from oh so conventional US

  • The best places in China (cleanest, most visited, etc.) will provide toilet paper, but still have the traditional squat toilet. Gross.
  • The cats here often aren’t tabbies. Most are solid color or spotted.
  • The cats here often aren’t shorthair, either. Their tails are feathery plumes.
  • China does not like ravens. In fact, there’s a bird that’s like the anti-raven. But it’s really pretty and has a long tail.
  • When walking long distances–or high distances (Great Wall x.x)–bring Coke or Sprite. Or buy one, though it’s relatively expensive there (10 yuan), but it’s like emergency sugar. My 550 mL bottle of Coke saved me from collapsing up there XD This also means, don’t buy Diet Coke, or Coke Zero. They won’t help you at all.
  • The only books in English imported to the Chinese bookstores are either classics or teenage vampire books. Boo!
  • Chinese bookstores, unlike the ones in US, don’t tolerate people reading unpaid books in the aisles. They yell at you, “Buy it first, then read! We want to sell our books!”in Chinese. Luckily, that did not happen to me; I merely observed it.
  • Strangely enough, the duration of the vacation in Shanghai, my eczema got a lot better. It was healing quickly. In Nantong, it was like always dry and flaky. Now that I’m back in Beijing, it’s…so-so again. Rough, but not flaky.
  • Shanghai is motivation to get rich. Shops galore! Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Guess, Burberry… *faint*
  • Old men enjoy pulling up their shirts and showing off their stomach flab in the summer heat.
  • Half of the females in China that you see are anorexic, model-thin teenagers. The other half consists of the averages and flabs (a quarter each).
  • Housing prices aren’t, uh, that different from US…at least in this general rule. You can get a nice two or three story house in Nantong for the same, or possibly cheaper(?) price than an apartment in Shanghai. It’s like comparing suburbs to Boston or NYC.
  • Subways, taxis, bears, oh my! Public transporation infects China.
  • So does the Expo.
  • China makes you feel either very flabby, selfconscious about weight, or unhealthy…
  • or skinny, underfed, and well-off. Depending on the people around you, where you eat, what you eat, and the nearby shops ;D
  • A lot of people have turtles for pets. You can find them–and bunnies that just fit into both of your hands cupped–being sold in the tunnels underneath roads!
  • Beware the chefs that will come to your table and make noodles in front of you. They treat it like a show and will swing the noodles into your face, jump rope with them, and skip around like girls! But the noodles end up being good.
  • If you go to a Korean food-serving place within a food court full of Chinese food-serving places, the noodles will take longer, but they will taste better. The Korean rice platters have weird-tasting, kinda dry, crunchy rice that get stuck in your teeth.
  • However, Korean food isn’t spicy at all! No matter what they say. I ate some of my dad’s rice because he didn’t like it and he mixed this spicy sauce and kimchi into the rice…weird.
  • Unless that business was a fake.
  • If you’re not jetlag-proof, you’re generally jetlag-glued. It’s 8 hours of sleep for me every night. Sleep at midnight, wake at 8. Sleep at 10, wake at 6. Last night, I was lucky: slept at 9, woke at 9! I rarely sleep 12 hr, even in the US.
  • Green tea icecream is delish…just don’t order too much or you’ll easily get sick of it. This was a mistake I made at the Hagen Daaz (sp?) ice cream shop on Nanjing Road (aka the ((one of many)) Times Square of Shanghai). It tasted really good though…If you go there and get a scoop of green tea ice cream, pick red beans for one of your toppings 😀
  • The malls are huge. But they are overpriced. The malls also use a lot of brands from Spain and Italy, but not the big brands XD They avoid American brands.
  • China emphasizes the goodness of pizza and KFC and McDonalds. The people here think it’s GOOD food! Creepy.
  • Public transportation is modern (subway-wise), but uncomfortably crowded. Riding the bus is even more uncomfortable, since there’s not always AC and it’s bumpier than the subway, but I think it’s cheaper. Taxis, depending on how clean they are, what radio station your driver listens to, and whether or not he/she turns on the AC, can be better or worse, despite the fact that they are private transport.
  • That’s about it. I’ll edit this post if I think of any other things.


btw, signed up for Plinky C:

No more writer’s block!

  1. Your Garden says:

    Dateless?and highlights from the East…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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