While preparing for this trip, I thought about my image of China—what pops into my head when I hear the word “China”, etc. I knew I wanted my stereotypes to completely shatter, and I’m excited to report that they are obliterated.
From the moment I stepped off the plane I began to love this place. It grew with each passing moment during which I observed the people, the government (my first communist country), the types of cars driven, the driving culture/etiquette, the manners and mannerisms, the restaurant culture, the food, the work ethic, the architecture, the lights, the living conditions, the pollution, the hotels, the tea and tea culture, and so much more.
I am the first to acknowledge that I am lacking much insight into the Chinese world, as my time has primarily been spent in hotels, taxis, and buildings, but I managed to find some time for exploration and found my thirst for knowledge about this country and culture to be unquenchable. Oh, and the food is incredible.
I’ve experienced multiple cuisines and have yet to be disappointed. The question remains: will I be able to even tolerate Chinese buffets after this (especially considering I rarely was in the mood for them before this trip)—even out of politeness, if I’m with someone who wants to eat there? I will also be researching the best cookbooks for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese foods. Recommendations are welcome!
I’m currently sipping “Honey Grapefruit Tea.” It’s delicious and amazing. However, when I asked for the recipe, there didn’t seem to be actual tea involved. Perhaps my China-knowledgeable friends can shed some light?
This is a place to which I want to return. I want to learn more about the people, the poor and the rich, the living conditions, and what it means to be “Chinese.” I’m fascinated and have experienced a “rupture of the mundane plane.” My international button has been pushed, causing the juice to flow through my veins…and I don’t want it to stop.