Adventures in China

Lori, MIS, New Bern NCToday is day nine on our China adventure. It was a very special day because we were able to visit two cities: Nanjing and Shanghai. So far, I could not tell the cities apart from the other two cities we have already seen. I saw skyscrapers everywhere with similar design and height. There wasn’t one single-family home in sight. I still haven’t seen a large or commercial livestock farm yet. With this population, I assumed I would see one in a grand scale, especially with so much time traveling on the bus. I have lost count of the number of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) restaurants that I have seen. I have to tell the tour guide’s joke for Kentucky Fried Chicken. “KFC means Kitchen for China.”

The driving is very crazy and scary.  Patience is not a trait of most of the drivers here. I am shocked that we haven’t been in an accident or witnessed one. The bus drivers definitely have remarkable driving abilities. The small areas they enter are unbelievable. We were able to view Nanjing and Shanghai’s history, hobbies, entertainment, and modern transportation, all in one day.

The first thing this morning, we saw families enjoying themselves on a Saturday morning in the park. Many were playing with a Chinese yo-yo. The Chinese yo-yo consists of two bamboo sticks connected with a string. In the middle of the string were two equally sized disks connected on top of each other with an approximate six-inch tube in between them. The game was very entertaining to watch. The yo-yo could be used with a partner or used to juggle with. The speed of the disks varied with the different tricks that were performed. It appeared to require great hand and eye coordination. The Chinese yo-yos were even used again later on in the evening at the acrobat show, which was very entertaining. It was a change because China proved that a show could be entertaining with the women well dressed. All of the acrobats wore beautiful costumes that were not revealing.

The highlight of the day was being able to ride China’s high-speed train. After riding the train, I must admit that China has pioneered something great. The interior cabin was very comfortable. I had plenty of legroom—considerably more than on a bus or airplane. Although, they did put us in first class, so maybe the other cabins might not have been as roomy. The ride was very comfortable and quiet, and I think it is time for the United States to start using them.

Of course, with all the positive things I mentioned, I have to list the bad. I still crave a bottle of cold water or soda.  China serves their bottled water or soda at room temperature. In order to get a cold drink in a restaurant, you must order beer.  I have drunk more beer here than I have in 37 years. I still hate beer, but it’s a cold drink. Tomorrow is packed with a full tour of Shanghai, the most populated city in China. I can’t wait to see what draws so many people to this town.

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