Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Planet China

Hey! I've left for my Asia adventure and Jordan and I have been in China for almost 10 days. It feels like way longer. All in all, we've done pretty well, but China is quite different. And for a country where everyone is required to learn English in school, no one speaks it. We're been getting by with pictures, hand signals, and google translator. Oh, besides the fact that google is blocked here. And facebook, and instagram, and pretty much anything fun to do on the internet. You can download a VPN to get around this, but it was hard to find one that worked. I thought I had one on my phone before I came, but it turns out it didn't install properly, so I had to do some searching to find one that had a special download option for China (my phone's an android so pretty much every app is downloaded through the google play store - yup, you guessed it, doesn't work here). Pair this with unreliable wifi, and it's hard to live in the digital age here.
We also had somewhat bad timing, as October 1-7 was a national holiday and all the Chinese were on vacation. Most of the foreigners we met were living in China for some reason or another and were on their own little vacations. This also meant accommodations and train tickets were hard to find and significantly more expensive. But now we're in Huangshan, the holiday is over, and we've met a lot of other travelers. Traveling in China is different and can be frustrating, but based on our experience so far, very doable. People are very friendly and if they do happen to speak English, they will often come up to you and ask if you need help (spoiler alert: we pretty much always do. We look lost and confused a lot).
We haven't been that adventurous with food and have probably eaten more processed food than advisable. When we first arrived in Beijing, my friend Evan took us to several of his favorite places and we had delicious dumplings, steamed buns, and other vegetarian Chinese dishes. But we're been subsisting on a lot of cookies. We had someone write down that we were vegetarian, but even so you never really know what they're giving you. I'm excited for the food in pretty much every other country we're going to, but nothing really excites me about China. I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible, but I'm not sure it's going to be my favorite country and I think it was a hard one to start in.

I'll write more detailed reports of all the cities we went to once we've made it through China and I have all my pictures more easily accessible and everything. Right now we're trying to figure out if we can make it to Tibet on our way to Nepal. I'm still hopeful, but the trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu is proving to be the most complicated. We can't do an overland tour, because the road to Nepal is closed due to the earthquake that happened in April. You wouldn't think it'd be so hard to fly such a short distance, but they don't even have a flight every day! But first we're off to some more mountains! Here's a sneak peak:

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhh I wasn't even checking your blog because I didn't think you'd be able to get anything posted! Whoop whoop. So happy to hear from you a little more.