Travel Diary: An American in China, 10

July 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hi!

I’m still a bit jet-lagged and am functioning on Chinese time :/ …Even after a six-hour nap (or maybe because of it?).

Anyways, my mom and I surprised my daddy and met up with him in the Beijing airport. He thought we took the train (yeah… no) back a day before to Nanjing. It was a fun little Father’s Day present. The annoying thing about Chinese airports is that flights are always delayed. It’s practically 100% unless you’re taking the first flight of the day. What’s even more frustrating is they close the cabin doors, so it’s really stuffy inside, and you stay in the airplane for at least an hour before you can take off. The reason for all this madness is reportedly ‘air control’ and weird schedules.

We were only in Nanjing for 5 days before hoppin’ on a plane (there’s that statistic again) to Shenzhen. I used this time wisely. I ate, I played, I relaxed, and I ate some more.

Check it out:

I was in China. Of all the restaurants to pick from, where did I choose to go? Papa John’s! My second eldest cousin and I had a girls’ day out. We started off with lunch at the pizza parlor, with cheese sticks and…

BBQ ribs! Papa John’s in China is more dine-in friendly than take-out happy. Differences? The portions are minuscule compared to the US, which is probably a good thing. The food is also less greasy, less cheesy, less fattening 🙂

Our chicken and bacon ranch pizza. It was mm-mm good! Pizza here is ordered in number sizes instead of ‘small, medium, large’ sizes. I’m pretty sure this was a 12 inch, which is like a medium here.

After that carb party, we ran some errands and then headed off to get foot massages! Foot massages are the norm in China. It’s a crazy popular pastime and one of my favorite things to do here. You soak your feet in boiling herbal water as they massage your shoulders and your back:

Then, you prop up your feet and they massage em’ for an hour (or however long you want). It’s the best thing ever… They know so many techniques… Snapping, pulling, kneading, rubbing. It’s completely wow and relieves a lot of stress and tension because they know pressure points!

Once they are done with the actual massage, they wrap your feet up in toasty towels and you relax for a while before leaving. Your feet and legs are wicked soft and tingly!

My happy toesies.

The next day, I had another girls’ day out, this time with my youngest cousin on my mom’s side (I’m the baby, then her!). We went to a benefit concert. We had a blaaast! All money went to Sichuan, which has been plagued with floods and earthquakes in the past couple of years.

My uncle got us VIP tickets! We sat ‘inside the field’ of the arena where the concert was held.

The stage was made to look like a dashboard because the concert was hosted by Roewe, a car brand in China.

There were 10 celebrities who sang about 4-5 songs each. I wasn’t too familiar with any of them, but I loved a lot of their songs and many had amaaaazing voices!

That night was a full moon! As opposed to the usual foggy, muggy sky and the gross humidity and heat of Nanjing, we were treated to a breezy evening with clear skies. Beautiful 🙂

A couple days later, we visited 734, which is the factory district/neighborhood my parents grew up in. It’s a bit rundown and very, very old but they have started renovations and it’s looking better and better every year! This is my daddy in front of his kindergarten! I always love visiting 734, because it brings on tons of growing up stories!

That same day, we had a family dinner. The food was magnificent, one of the best ‘lazy Susan’ meals I’ve had (more on that later). The best part was this little umbrella, which I plucked from the fruit plate. Moments later…

Hey, that’s mine!

We decided to share 🙂

Just one more, because she’s cute. How awesome are those strawberry shoes?

She drinks green tea, like a boss.

“The baby” is actually my eldest cousin’s kid. She’s the only kid-kid we have in our family though, so she’s a spoiled little toddler and loved by everyone!

I love this picture! She looks like such a bossy, hyper, lovable child, which she really is!

Remember when I said that I’m obsessed with drinks in China? I had the liquid heaven you see above just about every two or three days. It’s a macchiato milk tea from 85 Degrees, my favorite (new) bakery. It’s probably my favorite drink EVER– nothing can compare with it! The best part? It’s so cheap. It’s 7 RMB, which is just a little over 1 US dollar. That’s like a quarter of a Starbucks frappucino.

Okay, this is the deal with dining in China. It’s not that “everyone orders their own dish” kind of thing that we do in the US. Someone treats all the time. It’s the host that chooses the dishes. You start off with “cold plates”, which are appetizers of sorts. Then, there are the main courses. Usually, there are around 3 main dishes for every 2 people eating. You do the math. Afterwards, a shared entree is served (rice, noodles, or pastries), followed by a fruit platter. The fun part is that everything is served on a lazy Susan if there’s more than about 4 people eating. You spin it to reach the various dishes. This way, more dishes can be served and eaten!

The next morning, I was up in a cloudy, fluffy universe and headed off for Shenzhen.

I am aiming for about 3-4 more ‘An American in China’ posts and then adding a spritz of Vancouver goodness. Think I can do it?

C

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