August 03, 2012
One of the fun things I decided to do on my trip to China was take a picture at all the sites we visited of an MCPL bookmark that I made up from the SRP info. It was lucky enough to be photographed at the May 4th Square in Qingdao, the airport in Shenyang, the City Wall in Xi’an, and Terra Cotta Warriors in Beijing. This picture is of it on the Great Wall.
We returned from our adventure in China a bit jet lagged after being awake over 24 hours and enduring a long 12 hour flight and a short 2 hour flight. Our adventure to China was wonderful. It was nice to see where our children live and go to school, and to experience the Chinese culture. Let me say that it is a whole new lifestyle. My husband, being an engineer, kept trying to logically figure out many things, especially the driving. It is not something that can be explained logically, but it works and that’s all that mattered to me. I usually sat behind the driver in taxi cabs, so I didn’t see all the near misses. Buses were the best way to get around and were also the best way to people watch. Walking became our most relied upon mode of transportation.
We had been warned by our daughter that we "foreigners" would be stared at a lot and that our pictures would be taken with or without our permission. We became celebrities at the Terra Cotta Warriors when we were surrounded by a yellow t-shirt clad field trip group. One of the girls got up the nerve to ask if she could have her picture taken with us. That gave the other students courage, so we just stood still and had our pictures taken multiple times. We even had a couple dressed in traditional dress stand beside us for pictures. I told our Chinese friend that we’d be rich if we could charge for pictures. This made him laugh. We actually ran into the field trip class again the next day, and my daughter did a turnabout and asked if she could have her picture taken with three of them. We enjoyed this encounter.
I was so glad we had a Chinese speaking person with us at all times. I would never attempt to go to China without one even though many Chinese do speak English. This was especially helpful with taxi drivers. It was amazing how many restaurants were prepared and had "point and grunt" menus, as my son calls them for foreigners. We ate a lot of Chinese, Korean BBQ, and enjoyed more familiar foods at KFC, DQ, and McDonald’s. We had the privilege of eating with a family at their apartment. What a learning experience that was. So much food!
We visited many wonders - The Terra Cotta Warriors, Tianamen Square, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, the Bell Tower in Xi’an, the Drum Tower in Beijing, and the Great Wall. We rode in taxis, buses, vans, did a lot of walking, and drank a lot of water bottles. It wasn’t as hot there as it is here, but the humidity and smog became factors for us.
We celebrated our 39th anniversary while in China. It was so nice of our Chinese friends to take us out for supper and provide a cake for us. It was a wonderful day.
Our time in China was enjoyable, and I myself will return, especially if my children continue to live there. I’m already looking forward to my next adventure.
Lone Jack Branch