Monday, September 8, 2014

Travel: 12 Days in China!

Wow, I can't believe its already been more than two weeks since I've came back from China and more than two weeks since my senior year of undergrad has started! Time passes so fast! Likewise, my visit to China felt just as fast, especially since I was only there for 12 days. However, it was nonetheless the best two weeks of my summer!
Me and my twin sister: can you tell which one is me in this picture?
My family and I arrived in Shanghai at about 5am in the morning, and basically the first thing we did (after a 2-hour-nap) was pick up my maternal grandpa (外公 “waigong”) and have lunch with almost everyone on my mom's side of the family. That meant about 20 people!

The restaurant we went to was inside Crowne Plaza in Lake Marlaren, Shanghai. It was actually a buffet style restaurant. The buffet style meal was a really cool experience since I've actually never encountered one before in China.

After lunch, we drove about two hours to Jinhua, which is in Zhejiang province to meet with our paternal grandparents (爷爷 "yeye" - grandpa and 奶奶 "nainai" - grandma). The rest of the week, we spent visiting family and my dad's business partners! My life those two weeks basically consisted of food, sleep, and car rides!

I won't talk about all of the details of the trip at the moment since that would take hours for you to read, but here are....

Five Crazy Things I Learned About China:
  1. Most nice Chinese restaurants allow you to book individual rooms (包厢 "baoxiang" or "box"). They'll usually have one large dining table, which will comfortably sit eight people, a TV, and maybe a restroom. Each baoxiang is serviced by one or two waiters/waitresses. Sometimes, high-end restaurants will even a separate room with a couch or even pool table!
  2. My sister in front of a poker table!
  3. To be respectful to your host, don't ask and just eat at a high-end restaurant. During my dining experience in China, I've had delicacies such as sea cucumbers and fish lips soup! Sometimes they take a little getting used to, but other times, the flavor is actually pretty good! You never know until you try~

  4. Fish lips soup!
  5. The fruits I ate were incredibly fresh and delicious! With so many markets along the streets, it's really easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables. It also helped that my yeye and nainai were farmers, so we got a lot of fresh watermelon, kiwis, and corn from them! Delicious :)
    Red-centered kiwis!
    Freshly picked corn!
  6. Driving in China is crazy! Not only is there a lot of honking, but also people drive in the middle of two lanes or even driving on the wrong side of the road just to escape traffic.
  7. Owning a car is really expensive in China! There are A LOT of toll booths along the highways. In fact, I read that Chinese toll roads consist of more than 70% of the world’s total toll roads! Incredible right?
Have you been to China? What are some of your favorite things about China?

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