Sunday, October 21, 2007

Authored by Miss Em!!!

The Wichmann’s have me on assignment, so I’m now officially on blog duty. Hello to everyone back home and happy Monday to those at the office!

I LOVE China! I have to admit I was getting nervous right before the trip – unbelievably, all the things I was most afraid of have turned out to be just fine or even fantastic. For instance, the food: I thought it might not be edible, but it’s turned out to be by far the best food I’ve had in my life! We eat fresh fruit from the markets everyday - bananas, clementines, oranges, and exotic citrus fruits that Tina and Mark have been exposing me too. Mark and Tina are also the best guides because if I had my way at mealtimes I’d eat just the pork or shrimp dumplings, fried rice, chicken, etc., but they order odd dishes on the menu that turn out to be incredibly delicious (refer to yesterday’s post with the red-chili trout). The vegetables at mealtimes (bok choy, green beans, pickles, unidentifiable crisp stems of some sort) are also delicious.

We left Hangzhou yesterday afternoon and arrived here in Xiamen last night around 5pm. I heard from Mark that some people refer to Xiamen as the Miami of China - I would agree with that, but add in some Las Vegas lights, and lots of Chinese markets and culture, and that briefly describes my first impressions of the island. It’s warm and tropical; last night after walking through the markets, we had dinner and Tsing Taos outside on a rooftop deck overlooking the water and Gulang Yu Island. It’s my kind of town here…

What makes China so different is that here are no westerners here, or at least in the places we’ve been so far. There really isn’t a way to be anonymous - we get lots of attention all day long. One thing that happens all the time is people shout “HELLO” at us just to see how we’ll respond. I would compare it to trying to get a trucker to honk it’s horn on the highway as a kid… If we respond to the “HELLO” shouts, we get gaggles of laughter and excitement - I don’t know whether to be flattered or offended.

Tina was kind enough to let me sleep in this morning. She’s is in Chinese class until noon, and then we will resume the rigorous schedule she has planned. I think foot massages and pedicures are on the agenda for the afternoon, then more island exploration. I can’t wait!


Lisa Wilson said...

So glad that you are having a good time over there Emily and that you are getting to spend time with Tina and Mark! See you when you get back to the office. Give Tina a big hug for me!!

Aiglee said...

That's a truly great adventure :D

I don't think you should be offended when people shout hello to you ^^ I think it's just fun for them ;)