Wednesday, July 29, 2009

China Trip 3

Today Barb and I got up early and headed to town to find some breakfast. Barb got this delicious egg and pepper thing from a street vendor and I got some fresh fruit: a banana, a plum, an orange, and something that I don’t really know what it is. It looked like an apple, but it tasted like… a potato. I also got a green thing that I don’t know what it is… I haven’t tasted it yet though.

We came back to the hotel to prepare to travel to Nanjing. We left at about 9am and arrived at about 2pm. What a long bus ride! The bus was pretty nice, though.
I just found out that at the hotel I’m at right now they cut the grass by hand. Okay, that was just a side bar.

I enjoyed walking around in Nanjing and seeing everything. I saw a big huge fish tank that made me think of G. It had a whole bunch of these one particular fish we have at home.

It’s hot here, but you can’t see the sun. You actually can’t see much of anything. It’s as though it were dusk all day. You can see maybe a half mile to a mile in front of you. Today we saw some mountains that just looked like a silhouette; you couldn’t tell any colors or anything.

Traffic continues to scare the death out of me! A 4 lane highway easily becomes 7… and people riding bikes almost get brushed on the side by passing cars. They don’t even flinch! I've been told that if you get into a bad accident in China that you get your license taken away forever. I don't know if this is true or not, but I haven't seen too many accidents. It's kind of fend-for-yourself. I noticed a sign that said "Do NOT Drive Friendly."

I do like the traffic lights. They count down how many seconds the light will be green/red. Usually there is no yellow light. Our tour guide said that studies have proven that the lights speed up traffic considerably, and that they first originated in Nanjing about 10 years ago and have spread throughout China.

I’ve also been noticing some other unusual/ different things:
-Babies don’t wear diapers or underwear. They have these big slits from the front to the back that they just… lift open I suppose. They urinate in the streets, or whereever they need to...

-Where we are (I don’t know about the rest of China) there aren’t a whole lot of trees. We asked why and apparently, during the Cultural Revolution the leader had all of the trees cut down to use to make firewood to run the machines that made bullets for the army. All of the trees are very little.
- We haven’t seen one, even slightly, overweight person here. I guess because of all the walking and bicycling? We’ve been looking too!

Also, today on our bus ride I got a chance to talk to “Peggy.” She’s with the program, and she was very friendly. She picked her “American name” out of a book she liked.

Here’s what I know about her. She’s 20, but her birthday is tomorrow (July 4th here). She doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, but she used to have a turtle and birds. Her family is 12 people large: 2 aunts, 2 uncles, 2 parents, 2 grandparents, and 2 cousins, herself, and I’m not sure where she got the 12th.

Peggy is on the right.

Her given Chinese name is Wang Zhu Xin pronounced (wan tsu shie). Wang is her “family name” equivalent to our last name. She is going to school to be an English teacher. Peggy knows Chinese, English, and Japanese.
Anyways, we have a packed schedule tomorrow:
We’re going to the Memorial Hall of Nanjing Massacre and Nanjing Brocade Museum (silk) Nanjing Museum
Qinhuai Scenic Zone, Confucius Temple
Snack Dinner near Confucius Temple
A “snack dinner” is where we get sample sizes of 30 foods.
Which brings me to food. It’s just after 7pm here and I just finished a buffet-style dinner. Some of it was okay, but most of it was bland and… just blah. Cold too. Even the fruit wasn’t as sweet as I’m used to. I hope it was just today that it was like that. I tried a lot of new things though.
Since we traveled today I am super tired. Barb went for a walk and I am borrowing someone’s room, because they paid for internet. I guess they wanted to get their 5 bucks out of it, because they told everyone in our group we could come use it. :)

1 comment:

  1. I find it very interesting that the babies do not wear diapers or underwear! Do the parents carry them? That would be a lot of clothing to go threw!!



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