A Travellerspoint blog

As Promised Zhengzhou University (part 1)

really quick update, frightening

tired, hungry and therefore grumpy we get off the train, elbow our way through the crowd, get hassled for our tickets (cause you need them to get out of the trainstation. . . don't get that) and onto a waiting bus. andfor no apparent reason we stay on the bus not moving for about 20 minutes . . . I was really tired and there was a lot of talking going on so I may have missed the perfectly apparent reason. We're told that it's a forty minute drive and there wont be any food when we get there, everythig will be closed ( I guess it was around 9/10) so we all pile off the bus to get us some, wait what's the only thing open in China at 10 oclock at night next to a trainstation, you guessed it KFC. no joke. I ate it and it was welcome but I don't eat KFC in the States so no comparison to give. A forty minute bus ride, just bumpy enough to keep me from sleeping, later we arrived at the university. I remember getting off the bus, walking the 10 ft in the rain, finding my luggage magically in the lobby, and getting a key so now I'm bunking with Charlotte and not Brittanie, I love Brittanie, but I think I talk to much for her she's quiet and Charlottes like me so it works. and then sleep, wonderful wonderful sleep.
5/17 On Campus Orientation and Campus Tour. The next morning we are shown the dining hall, or halls there are three, and its soo cheap! That afternoon we are taken to the building next door (where we will have all our classes) Here we meet out Zhengzhou student buddies I had a great girl named Roxanne, sadly this is the only time I hang out with her, becasue I spilled coke all over the card she gave me and was unable to decipher it. *tear* After the Orientation (most of which I couldn't hear, and I'd gotten lost cause I wasn't paying atention and had no idea how to get back to our building) we were let loose with our buddies and they took us on our tour. I'm not certain how long we hung out only that at one point it looked like it would rain so we went to her dorm building to get an umbrella. I waited outside then she came running back and asked me to come meet some of her roommates (3 of them, she lived with 7 other girls - thats right 8 to a room-eek) We talked for ages, then it got pretty late and we went to eat at alittle restaurant on campus. we had Indian Sandwiches and she insisted on paying because I was her guest, I understood but it felt wierd. Afterdinner we waded through the storm and made it back to my building, I had to call her back as her friend had lent me an umbrella and she was about to leve without it. I'm really glad I did because otherwise I'd still have it an feel just awful about stealing it. It got late I took a long hot shower (Each room has it's own little water heater, and I loved it so) nice and cozy in my PJ's I talked with Char about our amazing day and decide I'm going to love Zhengzhou. ( and I do I really really do!)

Posted by yellowfish 04:42 Archived in China Comments (0)

Xian Food!

FOOD!

Okay I know my lips were swollen and I could barely smile, but the food in Xian was amazing! the first day we ate a big buffet style meal, my fist experiance with dumplings actually made in China, and let me tell you I'm hooked, don't know how I'm going to survive in the states without them, but I'll manage. Besides the dumplings there was this man who was making noodles, really making them, fresh, it was fascinating to watch but better to eat! By this point I'm confidently telling te servers I don't need a fork. (In mimic sign language because I don't know how to say it in Chinese - YET!) The noodles, and dumplings alone could have filled me up, but there was a whole buffet and I made certain to sample everything. (but the dumplings were the best) That night to our suprise we went to the same restaurant. but it was soo much better! Not that I don't like the buffet but when you get to sit and have food brought to you it's better, especially when you don't have to worry about ordering. Now I kid you not it was a six course dinner. and best of all a show! It was the Tang Dynasty show they did amazing songs and dances, and this one guy played a flute like set of pipes that sounded like birds, apparently he's really famous, I could see why! When I get my pictures and movies to upload I'll share. Alhough I am on my own computer right now, the internet is being finiky about uploads, don't know why. And I know I talked about the Muslim sector already but really the food was amazing. All over China where ever you go you see vendors with the most amazing smelling food, it's not the hotdog guy at the park (Yes dad I know what your thinking, very funny.) For anyone whomissed that last line Dad was probably thinking something along the lines of me actyually eating a hot dog. Anyhoo just wanted to let you guys know how much grea food your missing out on. Also a complaint that I don't have my notes anymor, they got left in a cab and all I have left is a schedual of events. I'll try my best to fill in the gaps. Next Entry - Zhengzhou University!

Posted by yellowfish 02:13 Archived in China Tagged food Comments (0)

Xi'an

As quickly as possible

sunny

Alright so I've arrived in Xi'an, I am very tired and make it to a bed some how. the next morning we wake up and get on the bus, it's about this time that my friend informs me that my lips are not burnt because it looks wrong. I don't have my notes on what happened in Xi'an with me so i'll tell you the high points. we visited the Wild goose pagoda - it was fabulous we saw some amazing statues and paintings later that night we return to the hotel, i'm given a Benedryl of some kind and by night my lips are almost the right size! yay! The next day is a blur of activities, I'll have to come back and fill in the details, but that night is extremely memorable. we went to the bazaar near the Muslim sector. it was little narrow passages lined with stalls, you could find anything there, cloths, food, nick-nacks, electronics, anything!!! at the end of the passages we found the entrance to the Mosque, after obtaining a ticket we entered, it was near dust, we saw the men praying and there were birds all around, and they seemed to serenade the area, it was almost impossible to imagin you were in the middle of a busy city surrounded by people selling, buying, and generally living their hectic lives. we met a young boy who had missed evening prayer because he was late arriving. we spoke with him about the statues and he explained a lot to us, all in Chinese, we were lucky to be with Dr. Renolds, or Renda as the Chinese call him, because he is a very fluent speaker. in the end we gave him a crisp American dollar because he was interested in it, I'm not certain how we got onto that topic, i couldn't follow the conversation exactly. from here we went out to the Muslim sector and found somewhere to eat. we found this little shop where you gathered as many skewers of whatever that you wanted and they brought out boiling water that was on a burner so it remained hot. after you cooked it and were finished eating the waiter came and counted the skweres. to feed five of us it cost about 12 US dollars, including drinks! As we left the store we wondered around a little more and decided to go home, I was being a bit of a girl and wanted to go to bed. Unfortunately we spent the next 2 hour wondering the streets of Xi'an lost, we were glad to have a native speaker or it may have taken even longer to eventually find our way back. one more half day left in Xi'an we went to the city wall (this may have been the day before, again I need my notes) on the wall we got to ride bikes all the way around, or the sissy's rode in the electric car. Me and Charlotte rode a tandem bike, that was amazing!!! although Patrick overtook us and beat us back to the starting point. i can't remember how far around we went just that we did the entire circuit and it was really hot! Alright back to the hotel pick up our bags back on the bus and to the train station we're off to Zhengzhou University!

Posted by yellowfish 22:55 Archived in China Comments (0)

Final Day in Beijing

A train trip to remember

Another early morning, with another easy awakening, being a morning person is strange . . . Another wonderful breakfast filled with starch ! I'm not complaining they were really good meals, it just felt like a dinner. We gathered all our luggage in the foyer so it could go ahead to the train station. Winston met us outside the hotel and we had a trip to the Summer Palace, on the bus ride we took turns at entertaining each other, some tols jokes, normally really bad ones, Sunshine, Renolds wife, sang us a song in Chinese, because she's awesome! The Palace is the oldest royal garden kept in Beijing, and although it was a phenominal experiance I can't find the right words to describe it, instead I'll post pictures when I can. The palace is famouse for it's longevity hill and the longest art gallery in china, which is a walkway with amazing paintings along it's route, we went to the far side of the lake and had sometime to explore I had fun hanging out with Jim and Nancy two retired teachers who are on the trip. I was really tired after the bus ride, the long day, and after being in the sun my lips wrer really hurting, at this point I thought they'd been sun burnt.
Next on the schedual was the Temple of Heavens again my memory is fuzzy, maybe I was tired then but I'm more so now, (I've been doing a lot of homework yet the stack doesn't seem to get smaller.) The Temple is one of the most holy in China, it was where every year the Emperor would come and worship heaven, this was important because the Emperor was the bridge between heaven and man, if things went poorly in the harvest and the country was dissatisfied the people would claim that the Emperor had lost the "mandate of Heaven". The temple was built in the Ming dynasty (1420) and I was looking forward to the Three Echo's room. With all that aside we didn't go, I believe we found that it was closed, or perhaps we just ran out of time, either way there will be no photo's becaus we weren't there.
We went to the hotel and gathered our carry on luggage, all of our liquids had to be in our carry on instead of our checked which felt completely backwards. We rode to the train station said our goodbyes to winston and wendy, and traveled to the waiting room, where we waited, and waited . . . Dr Guo came and gave us our tickets with our berth numbers, it was an overnight train so we would actually have beds. Four to a room. We were told that we could switch our tickets around if we wanted so when a girl asked to switch so she could be with her friends I obliged, at this point I didn't really mind who i was staying with. Until I found the compartment I would be staying it, with two unknown gentlemen. Feeling rather uncomfortable I was glad when my friend Patrick took my berth so I could be with some other girls from my trip, Dana, Brittanie, and Nick (no Nick isn't a girl). patrick came and hung out with us as did Charlotte a girl that promptly became a very good friend, Now me patrick and Charlotte are almost always hanging out together, we have formed our own little clique and I'm not certain how the second half of this trip will play out without them .. . we'll find out. To say there was a party on the train would be an understatment, beer in China is rediculously cheap, and a few members were very excited over this, also we met a group of students from Illinois, and the chance to get to talk to Americans was not to be passed lightly. However it was slightly annoying when I was trying to sleep, at one point I was abit of a party pooper, opening my door reaching down from the top bunk and grabbing a guys shoulder teling them to please take their singing elsewhere, which they did so i didn't feel bad, except that I freaked the guy from Illinois out and I didn't even know his name. So I finally got to sleep, The next morning I was remarkable relaxed, the train had literally rocked me to sleep, Another wonderful thing abaout waking up is I'd ordered tea the night before and it managed to arrive just as I was rubbing the sleep from my eyes, can't ask for better service. Another few hours passed as we waited Charlotte Patrick and I hung out some more, truely forming our clique. Then we arrived jumped on a bus and hit the hotel, Showers all around! YAY, by the way my lips still hurt, but I was to tired to let it bug me too much, and Jan had agreed to give me her other chapstick so I felt pretty good about it.

Posted by yellowfish 02:55 Archived in China Comments (0)

I lied, and have a lot of ground to cover

but I also have 3 papers due.

When we last left out readers Emily was located in Beijing, and had just completed Mothers day. Since then much has happened, let us first travel back to that point and fill everyone in.

May 12th I come to the fascinaqting discovery that taking a night person half way round the globe does in fact make them a morning person. After another starch filled breakfast we hop on the bus with Winston, the best tour guide in Beijing (and possible China) and head to Tienanmen Square. The walk from the bus stop to the actual square itself was harrowing. As we dodged, peddlers, pedestrians, and bikes, all crowded onto the sidewalk. then we actually saw the site, I would describe it to you, but I have a picture

(which will be updated late, due to the fact that I'm on a campus computer that is reportedly infected with many nasty virusus that would wipe clean my memory card, sadly ther is no wireless so I cannot do this from the comfort of my own computer)

We got to walk undr the street to arrive inside the square, where we stopped for another group photo, which was attended by many gawkers, a fact that I will leave out from now on because trust me, even when we're not posing we get pictures taken. The square is the largest city square in the world, and can hold up to a million people, but it'd be crowded. there is Mao's mosoleum, which was closed becasue it was Monday, so we said our hello's from outside, yes Dad I told him hi from you! I could go on about how vast the area felt especially after the long bus ride, or how you could feel the history reverberating in the people and from the ground but then we'd never get to the Forbidden City.

The archetecture (?) alone was breathtaking, also there was bright colors all around us. As were walking through Winston is explaining the difference of Inner and Outer court while Dr Renolds is explaining the historical significance. We saw where the soldiers lived, where the concubines and eunics were housed and the Emporors thrown room, complete with replica thrown. Although we couldn't go into any of the buildings we did get to see into many. Also while walking through we got to see some soldiers training, whick I have to say was really cool!

Wee drove back to the hotel Peony, stopping to take pictures of the Olympic statiums, which I won't post, You can find much better ones on Google. Then we headed home. We had some time to relax and wash up before we loaded back onto the bus and headed to dinner!

On the bus Dr. Guo stood and made the announcment that there had been an Earthquake and that he'd recieved a text message from the government warning that there may be a sever after shock that would shake Beijing. At the time we had no idea what had really happened, we didn't realize the scope of the desaster until a few days later.

We ate at a minority restaurant that was reputed to serve really spicy foods. I have to say throughout the dinner I never notied the spice until right at the end. One dish (that was delicious!) stung my lips terribly! I'm certain they'll be some big lip photo that I don't want anyone seeing show up among the groups photo collection.

Back to the Hotel, shower, blog, and blessed sleep.

Posted by yellowfish 05:03 Archived in China Comments (0)

I'm very bad bogger

But cute, so I get away with it!

K This is a short one, just saying sorry and that I'll try and type everything up when we get to Zhengzhou, but I have almost no time right now. but I hope to upload a video that will make the wait worth it, If I can figure out how to upload it . . . K Be good!!! Lots of love to all, and extra hugs to my girls, I've been bragging about them, to my friends. Mis you all!

Posted by yellowfish 16:56 Archived in China Comments (2)

Lots to tell

(Earthquake didn't affect us)

semi-overcast 0 °F

OKay! I have to tell you about the past two days, on the 11th we went to the Great Wall, I mean it guys The Great Wall!!!! It was phenomenal! Of course we had a breakfast in the hotel first, consisting of fried rice, starch, pickled veggies, soup, oh and there were some eggs, but mainly starch. But man was it good! So we get on the bus and watch the scenery, we passed the Olympic stadiums again and got the joy of Beijing traffic, which is terrifying if you look, so mostly we talked. The people on this trip are wonderful, I guess it takes a certain quality to do something this ooo (out of ordinary) At the wall we lined up for a group picture, (don't have a copy yet, but working on it) and as we take it large groups join the photographer and start taking our picture, apparently we're celebrities. people want our pictures and to talk to us, its strange and flattering. Two of our girls keep getting accosted though because there tall blue eyed blond beauties, the guys keep coming up and saying "i love you!" families want to have pictures with them it's really funny to watch them have to disentangle themselves so the group can move on.
I got to the second tower on the wall before time constraints made us turn back, I wanted to make all four but as I got to each I had to climb to the top of the guard post, the view was phenomenal P1000228.jpg (thank you grand day, the camera is fantastic! everyone's jealous)
One thing to know at the wall, all the steps are uneven, some were tiny, maybe an inch or two high while some were almost to my knee, it made the journey hazardous, but all the more fun!So after the wall we did several things, visited a place that made the copper pots and coverd them with enamel, forget what you call them, upstairs we ate, again delicious, all the meals out seem to favor the lazy-susan so we each get to try everything, which I think is a great idea. Here we had firewater, which is amazing by the way, I found it hysterical that I could drink it while the big guy near me ended up sputtering, don't tell him though. lol. After that we visited the fresh water pearl factory, they were very nice the pearls were beautiful, though it did smell a little, well with all those fresh water oysters around . . . I was going to get mom a present, and they were really well priced, but I didn't want to loose them later on, so Its a mothersday gift in spirit. :) We ended up at a shopping center and in charge of our own dinner. I hung out with Patrick, Pace, and Nancy, but we got split up so I spent the evening with Pace, pic's later it's getting close to time to leave.
P1000287.jpg
I know what your thinking, but P1000288.jpg there's proof!! They tasted really good to, like little fried chicken wings, only really crunchy.
Ok I know I said I was going to cover both days, but I have to go check out. We're getting a train tonight so everything has to be ready for pick up, ect. ect. ect. Love Ya'll!

Posted by yellowfish 17:42 Archived in China Comments (0)

Safly Arrived, No Worries!

Well, th electrics freak me out . . .

sunny

I haven't slept since wen. night. it's kinda weird and I feel very silly! We're heading to see the great wall tomorrow and I'm very excited! So when I left Atlanta Fri. morning (thanks mom for the ride, and hugs, and general all around great mom-yness) I met with a trip mate, Two, spelled phonetically cause she's asleep right now. The flight to Toronto was uneventful, but soo cramped! Then we got to wait two hours or our big jump, luckily I wasn't on the early flight, they had a six hour layover, YUCK! the flight took 13 hours, we were served 3 meals, not like home I'm afraid, and it was sunny outside the entire time, which really messed with my internal clock.
We flew over the North Pole, which was nifty, (and apparently a lie, I was mis informed, we never hit the north pole as described by one of my classes) and although we were cramped we didn't feel like sardines. Sardines don't have their own TV built into the back of the chair in front of them, with a touch screen, and all sorts of music, TV shows, movies, and games to choose from. Well the in flight map and games weren't working but hey, it was still pretty cool. over the flight I ended up watching 4 movies, The Water Horse, not bad for a flight movie, but wouldn't own it. Mad Money, seen it before made me laugh, Jumper, kinda lame ending in my opinion, and 27 dresses, total chick movie but soo worth it!
Upon arrival we walked through the largest terminal in the world, really it is! opened about 40 days ago, terminal 3 at Beijing airport, the architecture was fantastic! And who do I see as I'm walking through, none other than Jackie Chan! Well it was only an ad with him in it, but I found it immensely entertaining, unfortunatly didn't have my camera out so didn't take a picture, maybe on the way back! Sadly two students bags were left in Toronto, not mine but still it sucks for them. we got on our tour bus and were driven to a Dai (Southern Chines Nationality) Western Style restaurant, they had beautiful dancers and the food was grand. No where near as salty as American Chinese. On the way we passed several architecturally intriguing buildings, a Business center called the Dragons head, which really does look like a dragon, the Bird nest, and Water cube, and a favorite with the guys the giant Ikea store.
After dinner we went to the hotel, got our baggage from the Travel agency, and were assigned our rooms. Upon entering the room I got to ply with my electric doo dads to see if i could get my stuff plugged in, it works! Me and Brittanie are just getting acquainted but she seems really nice and as an added bonus she's a morning person! Yay *dance of joy*.
however I am teetering on the edge of oblivion, really sleep is trying to take over. and have to stay up just one more hour before I can let myself sleep, so I'll wrap up and a couple of people are coming to my room to play cards, you know to help keep us alert. Zai Jian!

Posted by yellowfish 06:04 Archived in China Comments (0)

Hello World!

This is a test of my blog entry abilities in the case of a real entry look for more interesting stuff . . . I plan on having lots of adventures and posting as many pictures as possible. I depart May 9th but will not land until the 10th and will post shortly afterwards.

Remember this is only a test!

Posted by yellowfish 19:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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