A Travellerspoint blog

What will I miss in China?

and definitely NOT miss...

Like I've said before, I have a love/hate relationship with this country. It is full of contradictions and so are my feelings towards it.

Case in point:

Infamous split pants

Infamous split pants

The split pants thing. Really weird and sometimes disgusting when a child just squats down and does his business on the sidewalk. However, this is one thing I might also miss when I'm gone. It's kind of funny. And I love the puffy outfits the parents put the babies in.

One thing I will definitely miss:

local food in Dali

local food in Dali

Fresh and colorful produce everywhere on the street. I've really enjoyed the exotic fruits and vegetables that I just can't find at home. And it feels good supporting the locals as well, instead of always going to the supermarket.

I will not miss the meat hanging everywhere.

Guiyang meat market

Guiyang meat market

Although I suppose it's better to see what you are going to eat, no matter how gross it is. We are usually detached from our food source in the West, at least in the US; the fact that this was once a living being we are about to devour is usually forgotten. How is this meat any different from a steak I would eat back home? But still, watching flies attack big slabs of flesh makes me lose my appetite. There are sanitation issues I suppose. I've barely eaten any meat since I've been here. because of it. I gotta give credit to the Chinese though, they eat every part of the body.

Chinglish. It always gives me a good chuckle. It will be sorely missed.

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And some other things I will miss:

1. The mystified looks on people's faces when they see me, the blond laowai, walking down the street.
2. My fruit and veg stand ladies outside my apartment (they always have a big grin on their face when I come)
3. My 4 and 5 year old students calling me "jacket"
4. The funny looks on my students' faces when they don't understand me
5. Chinese children in general--so cute!
6. Hot pot
7. Never knowing what kind of crazy things I will encounter on my walks...anywhere
8. Street vendors
9. Living more simply
10. Eating with chopsticks

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11. A language with barely any grammar rules to learn
12. Sharing plates when you eat out
13. The amazing variety of tofu
14. The diversity of the people--more so than you would think!
15. la jiao--a spice Guiyang people put on everything!
16. Old men doing tai chi in the morning
17. Women practicing their dancing

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AND...Trying to make sense of this crazy country!

(Notice how many of these are about food...haha.)

Of course, China is not a place I want to stay for a long time. Why, you ask?

1. Line cutters
2. Pushing
3. A general lack of manners
4. SPITTING (I mean full on phlegm filled gobs...bleh!
5. Crowded elevators, buses, streets...pretty much crowded everything
6. Hazy skies--i.e. pollution!
7. Walking by roasted dog on the street everyday
8. Stepping in street juice
9. Feeling like an alien
10. Feeling like a helpless child
11. Avoiding controversial issues
12. Annoying shop assistants
13. Comparing myself to tiny Chinese girls
14. The lack of creativity and individuality in my students
15. Parents who let their kids ride in the front of a motorcycle without a helmet or let 3 year olds cross the street alone
16. Honking horns

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret one second of my experience here. And I still have a month and a half to go! I'm going to make the best of it at all of these negatives as things that will make me that much more tolerant...

Posted by jhl5006 18:50 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Soaking up the last bit of China

and next stop MALAYSIA


View Dali, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Malaysia on jhl5006's travel map.

I know it's been a while since I've written so here's an update:

Since I've been back from Hainan after New Year's, I've pretty much been hanging out in Guiyang. Trying to hit the gym as much as possible, catch up on some reading, spend more time on lesson plans and cook more, etc. This is the 19th weekend that I've been teaching...out of 24 in the semester! So that means 5 more until I am finished with my contract.

On the list for the next few weeks:

1. Get a proper Chinese massage.

2. Go to Kaili, stay with a girl I met in the Peace Corps, and explore the surrounding minority villages.

3. Go to a KTV. (karaoke place which is insanely popular--think 6 hours straight singing and drinking in a private room)

4. Study Chinese really hard so I can impress Russ when he comes :)

There are 3 more teaching weeks until Russ comes, on February 13th. We've decided he's going to meet me and some friends in Kunming on the night of the 13th, then we'll all head to Dali for the 14th-18th (this is Spring Festival or Chinese New Year). Karl has a house there where we'll stay, and lots of friends, and I loved it when I went with Yvonne so we're going back! Russ is coming back with us to Guiyang on the 18th..then I work here 19th-21st and I'll show Russ around Guiyang. Then the night of the 21st we'll head to Hong Kong, and he'll fly back to the US on the 25th.

That leaves me with one last weekend of work after that. Et c'est fini! Crazy huh? Most of my stuff with be sent home with Russ or tossed and I'll pack up my remaining possessions in my backpack and take the overnight train up to Chengdu for a few days, check it out, then fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Giulia is going to meet me on the island of Langkawi in Malaysia where we'll spend a week. She has to get back to Hong Kong sooner than I have to leave, so I'll spend a few days in Kuala Lumpur before I fly back to the US. My mom has family friends in KL so I'll be contacting them for sure.

There's a rundown of what my next two months look like. Not a bad life, eh? I'm pretty lucky I can jet around like this.

Posted by jhl5006 14:34 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

New blog, new look

for China and beyond!

I've decided to move my blog to a better travel blog site. When I was originally looking for blog sites here in China, I was limited to what I could use since many sites are blocked here. I stumbled upon this one, which i like much better and I can carry on through my next adventures. Hope you enjoy it :)

Posted by jhl5006 08:36 Archived in China Comments (0)

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