Hey Guys! Remember how I said I was going to China for 3 weeks? Well, here I am! And posting has been sucky lately because I had no wifi for a while. I went on a 7 day tour then to my grandmother’s house(no wifi there, she doesn’t have a computer), then my 2nd aunt’s house where I stayed for 7 days and then my 3 aunt’s house, then back to Fu Zhou. I take a plane to Shanghai and then transfer, then fly back to Canada. I have no idea when this post will publish, because wifi here is slow and I don’t have the convenience of a computer all the time.
Another reason why I avoided posting was because I fell off the wagon, and being a health and fitness enthusiast, felt no motivation to inspire and motivate you guys if I was so low myself. I have been eating all the carbs, gluten, doing no exercise, and getting super duper tanned in the sun. The only sweat pouring down my face these days is from the sun! Needless to say, I am back at the weight I started at before beginning keto-paleo. Having suffered the consequences of my unhealthy habits, I am fully ready to get back into the swing of things when I return. I wish I could do so here in China but it’s extremely difficult with family and when you’re living as a guest in a new country.
That being said, I still want to share my adventures with you! Here are some things that I’ve learned/discovered while here in China.
- People nap during lunch time(in fact school has a 3 hour break from 11am-2pm to eat and relax). Lunch time is downtime.
- If you walk into a store you will be stalked by the salesperson.
- And that salesperson is eager to make a sale. Don’t ask for their opinions on what best suits you; their answer will always be the one that makes you buy more!
- It. Is. Hot.
- A typical breakfast in China includes congee, soy milk, 3.3% (their “full” cream) milk, deep fried pancakes, zong zi(glutenous triangular thingies usually wrapped in leaves), pickles, deep fried gluten, deep fried random stuff.
- There is a huge lack of integrity in China, everything from traffic to construction to marketing. For example, people drive on any side of the road they want and cars pass through each other during traffic an inch away from touching, Marketers change the prices for their merchandise with one turn. They tell you the red dress is 100 Yuan one second, turn to another customer and jack it up to 110.
- There are mosquitoes. Prepare to come back with unwanted body souvenirs.
- Public washrooms smell putrid. They are mainly holes in the ground! I feel bad for the people who have to clean them!
- Don’t be afraid to bargain for a cheaper price!
- People are going to try to convince you to buy their product through flattery, exaggeration, and little lies(“Yesterday I was selling it for 50, I’m only giving it to you for 15!“, “That looks really really good on you!“).
- It is incredibly crowded.
- Yes, we do eat rice with basically everything.
- Country side air is really nice, but like the majority of people touring china, you’re probably staying in the city, in which case the air quality is beyond terrible. Also, the air is so polluted you can’t see the moon at night.
- Most of us here don’t like to tan so you’ll see us carrying umbrellas to shade ourselves.
- Keep your purses in front of you at all times, never throw it around for theft purposes. Some make a cut in your bag and steal your things when it’s out of sight, even if it’s right behind you and you’re wearing the strap.
- People are active in China! Many people do labor work, and most people ride bicycles to work.
- People smoke and spit recklessly on the streets, yes even in restaurants and bus stops.
I’ll have more of a recap with pictures when I return to Canada. But for now I want to say few things.
Going into this vacation, I wasn’t super thrilled. I knew it was crowded, hot, polluted, and that I was certainly going to be thrown off my fitness and health choo-choo train. I also knew I was going to be incredibly bored. All these things happened and I was totally right, but I also didn’t take into account that I would have some awesome memories here despite the consequences. Yes, the environment sucks. Yes, I even suffered from a migraine from the heat and I gained about 25 pounds. But you know what? I also laughed, drank tea, connected with my family who were so happy to see me that all they did was give me love and never criticisms(something I feared a lot because I have a bad relationship with my parents), got some new clothes, saw some new places, came up with 5 nicknames for 5 spunky lovely uncles and cousins, climbed a mountain, and made some memorable memories. The bad things didn’t take away from all the good things that happened too.
I enjoyed this trip more than I thought I would, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m a little sad to be leaving. I love these people dearly, and would love to spend more time with them. Perhaps this is for the best, because distance makes the heart grow fond. I’m sure if I didn’t just return after 9 years but rather saw my extended family on a monthly basis the reunion just wouldn’t be the same. They would take me for granted, and I would take them for granted too.
I don’t regret this trip. I don’t at all. And that in itself, for someone who struggles with anxiety, depression and family issues, is in itself a victory.