So once upon a time, in 2009, I went to China with my dad. I blogged about it on my now purged and defunct livejournal, but I saved the posts. I also semi blogged on photobucket and on facebook (link to viewable album)... (Please keep in mind that this was almost 9 years ago and I was 15) Because I tried to post daily, failed and then wrote a wrap up post, there may be repeated stories and pictures, or more detail in the next post. With minimal edits, here it is.
WARNING: IMAGE HEAVY
April 29, 2009:
So uh, I'm probably going to China in July.
My dad found this like teacher admin conference thing in China in July for like Canadian Chinese relations or something and it's like really cheap and everything's included and you can bring friends and family and there's like tours and things. And so when he mentioned it, I was like, I wanna go to China, and uh, now it really looks like I might be. Me and my dad will go, no clue what I'll be doing while he's in meetings.
But I've never been anywhere that wasn't Europe or America, and seriously, China, that's a crazy culture shift, and as long as I don't like do that annoying thing where people pretend not to be tourists and integrate and end up REALLY obvious tourists, and also am not overly paranoid, it should be awesome. I'm sure it'll be life-changing anyway. I'm excited. Hanako went to Japan when she was 8, which is totally different, but meh, we shall chatterbox.
July 15th 2009
July 16, 2009
Second day in China. Shanghai is nice, Dirty though and lots of gross looking apartment buildings. The hotel is really really nice. And has free internet in the lobby and restaurant. After a brief scare where they'd put Dad in a room with some other guy and me in a room with some other woman, they fixed it so we were in the same room.
We've been watching lots of Top Gear on the English speaking channel. We had dinner at Pizza Hut last night, spicy spaghetti and a drink for both of us, for 18 dollars. I bought some blotting pads and hairclips at the drug store. I'm VERY happy I cut off all my hair. It's SO incredibly humid and hot. I've had to pin my bangs back as well.
Breakfast is good, they had really good pancakes. We don't have anything to do until 2 pm. So we'll look around the shopping area connected to the hotels. You see lots of girls in really pretty day dresses. And you can understand why too, I'm SO glad I packed skirts.
There's one other person here under 30, who's 14. She's on our bus but I haven't seen her very much. Her family has done two exchanges to England too! I figure I'll offer her one of my blotting pad packs (I got 3 packs or 300 sheets for $1.75) or something.
I lost my mp3 player on the plane. We looked everywhere but I guess it must have ate it.
July 20th, 2009
Today we went to Running Tiger Springs in Hangzhou. Which was very pretty and is part of a Buddhist temple. And if you go up some stairs you can get to the top and see the temple and view.
Also Suzhou and the Lingering Garden yesterday.
Except... The stairs are all completely different shapes and textures and they go up forever and a half. So I got up about 5/8ths? of the way and I was just a wreck, I was panting and sore and about to cry. So we stopped. Dad got to the 3/4 part, took a picture and came back. When we started going down, my knee completely gave out. It was seizing up and shaking and I could barely stand. Like it was so bad, I've never had that happen before. It wasn't that it hurt it was just so unstable. So I got down slowly with help and crying. When I got down, one of the older teachers was very nice, she has bad knees too and told me to try Daoist Tai Chi.
I got some ibuprofen from one lady and had aspirin back at the hotel, but all it really did was make me lightheaded
I haven't been eating much, other than noodles, because I just don't like or don't want to try the foods they have. So that was also making me lightheaded. Dad took me to McDonald's by the hotel after dinner just now and I got a double cheeseburger without the cheese and a peach flavoured float.
(Another spoiler from the future. I didn't get as sick as everyone else. And despite being a dumb teenager, the tour guides really couldn't identify the foods, and we were in fancy restaurants being given fancy gourmet foods. I had a peasant's palate. Later we will go to a local's home for potstickers and it will be the greatest thing I eat the whole time. When I get back in Vancouver, all I will want to eat is Lasagna.)
Mystery Meat in a Mango
Potstickers 4 Life!
Inside Out deep fried fish...
Tomorrow we go to the tea farm. Green Tea here is nothing like green tea back home. For one thing, it's TERRIBLE. It tastes like hot grass. It's so so so bad. Other people love it but I can not stand it. The best thing they have in china is Honeydew ice cream. It tastes so good and is so refreshing. Whenever we see the Wally's heart we go to the box and get our honeydew cornettos.
Off to bed now, to rest my knees and back. They hurt a lot. The engineer guy just came in to fix our TV, we were only getting one channel. I'll upload all my new pictures and update the info on the others tomorrow. We're getting some free time after the tea farm, so I think we'll go downtown in a cab, maybe with some others and go to the market or something. The traffic signs here are hilarious. I didn't get any pictures though. There was like this series. First this guy was in this totally overcrowded convertible and a baby flew out and then this very pissed off business guy was on the crosswalk handing the baby back to the guy and then there was some other that wasn't connected but was this guy apparently violating a tiger. I imagine he was supposed to be riding it or something, but the tiger was sitting down and the guy was pulling his head back and whacking him. It was a very disturbing cartoon sign. I can't imagine what it was supposed to represent. Bestiality this way or something? The chinglish on the signs has been so so funny. When I do all the pictures tomorrow you'll see them, ranging from the complete gibberish to the vaguely threatening (do not climb on the trees for sake of life!)
Seriously sleeping right now.
Yesterday we went to a Silk factory and Embroidery factory. And the lingering gardens.
GOING TO BED!