So China. It’s big. It’s Chinese. It is now crossed off the list of places I haven’t been to. That’s right. CHINA.
So I went on my school trip to China. ‘Please tell us all about it’, I hear you cry. Well alright, since you insist, I shall indulge you.
I get really annoyed on big trips because there is so much to tell and my fingers and brain get bored of typing it all out. I’ll try my best to tell it all but I have a proposition. If I get lazy today with my tales, I promise to continue them on another post another time. Deal? Good. I knew you’d see it my way.
First I’ll chat about the food. It was okay but the wrong kind. Half-way through the trip I noticed that it said it was Sichuan. Then I remembered going to a restaurant of that persuasion a few years back and being told it was from a different region then I was used to. Well, that was my explanation. All the take-out I get is not Sichuan, it’s Cantonese. The food was still edible, but not amazing. Though we did have a hotpot on the last day and got to cook our own junk in a (can you believe it?) hot pot.
One good thing that came from it all was that I am now the master of chopsticks. They are fairly easy to use once you know how, actually. It’s like being thrown into a country of a language that you don’t speak. Pretty soon, you have no choice but to pick it up. So I picked up the chopsticks so as not to starve.
Second. I am famous in China, as are all my friends. We got our pictures taken, had to pose for them with families AND had them taken and sold to other people. I liked being a celebrity, twas very fun. Believe me, it’s cool to have people notice you just because you look a little bit different. Especially if they are Chinese boys. They are just beautiful! You cannot actually describe them as handsome or good-looking, they are just gorgeous and have really pretty faces (in a good way). Either that, or they’re very ugly. There is no in-between. English boys all look dull to me now.
Toilets=hole in the ground framed by the stuff normal toilets are made of. No toilet paper. Enough said.
We visited two schools and they were really nice to us but much bigger. Our school has 300 pupils altogether. They have 3000. It’s rather similar to our own school, though. We learned some Tai-chi at the first one. The second place, we only did a musical exchange but I didn’t mind. It seems that all good-looking boys from the first school (there were none) were transferred here so I was relatively happy. The students were wearing their own clothes but I think that’s just because we were there. But those I saw wearing uniforms had nice ones. The first school had sweatsuits instead. Ew.
Overnight trains are officially mega cool. We rode one to Xian and back and they are awesome-ful. Really comfortable and cozy. There’s not much more to say about them but I liked the trips.
In Xian, we visited a Chinese community and I was loved by all the little children. They called me Pandaperson. This was due to my amazing panda hat but still, they were so sweet and wouldn’t leave me. They even gave me gifts and a lollipop. I seriously loved those kids so much! The community was putting on a little show for us of Tai-chi and dancing and this was very sweet. The place reminded me kinda of Rostov in that everybody knew everyone else and the atmosphere was the same. If I wanted to learn the language, I’d stay there probably.
The Great Wall. Hmmm. Yea, it’s great all right. But I though there was something on top. Turns out, the whole point is just the climb. Very good exercise but here is a point of warning. We were told to dress warmly ‘cos it would be ‘very cold’. HA. I ended up with my jeans rolled up to who knows where and only a T-shirt. I started out with a jacket and jumper and tights. The tights sadly could not be taken off so my feet got heat stroke in my opinion. Bring a light jacket and lots of water because it is NOT nice having to lug it all up, trust me. Anyways, with about 100 steps to go our teacher informed us ‘Right girls, we are running late so you can get to the top but we’re coming right down.’ Needless to say, I was distraught by this piece of news. All that climb and then pft. Well I reached the top, with my climbing buddy Alice, and we agreed on a conclusion for the climbing experience. We made it, but it came with a price. Our sanity. Yea, we lost it somewhere along the line. It didn’t start coming back until a few days after and I’m still not sure it’s all back. Hehe. I bought my panda hat at the store at the bottom of the wall when we came down.
Last thing I’ll ramble on about is bargaining. Oh my god, you can do this anywhere! In museum shops, in food stores, ANYWHERE! The last day was devoted to only shopping so we went to a pair of huge indoor markets. 6 floors each. Fun times, fun times. I love bargaining and it’s really easy as well. (Quick math lesson. 10 yuan equals 1 pound, okay?) I got a pair of shoes from 380 yuan down to 100. I didn’t buy them anyways ‘cos a) I needed prezzies for family and b) I only had 75, but still! That’s quite good in my opinion. Plus, as we’re students, they gave us even more off!
Quick funny tale about bargaining:
At the terra-cotta warriors museum, tons of guys were selling boxes of replicas and these went down A LOT in price as the day went on. So soon my mates were buying whole boxes of them with clever schemes in mind. When the next man offered to sell them a box for 20 yuan, they opened their own and said I’ll sell you my box for 50. We confused many Chinese salesmen that day…
Yea. Those were the most interesting parts of me trip and there shall be photos on my Dad’s site quite soon. I just wanna put up three on my own first. ENJOY! Or else the Chinese boys will come and get you. Not that I’d mind that actually…