Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ni Hao (from China)

Only the 7th day and yet I feel as though I have been here forever. Well, sure, forever is a bit of an exaggeration, but I certainly feel like I have been here longer than a week. You can see on my itinerary that where I have been and it seems a waste to just say in narrative form the same thing. So, in this post I will say the following:

My arrival in Beijing was a bit rough as I got quite ill (in my stomach) from turbulence at the end of the flight and then strained my back quite severely getting down a heavy backpack from the overhead bin that was way too high up for little ole me to reach. I spent the day in Beijing in bed. The next day we walked around the city and at first I must confess I experienced a bit of culture shock. But now that I've been in the country for several days, I feel much more comfortable. In fact, I felt fine after a day. My semester in Mandarin has already paid off and I am so happy that I invested the time to learn a bit of the language before the trip.

I will soon write more about some of the experiences and impressions I've had. But, just really wanted to take the opportunity while I am staying at Sim's Guesthouse in Chengdu (where they have nice internet access) to write a little hello and let anyone checking the blog know that I am a-ok and that China is well...different, but pretty freakin' awesome. One thing I will mention... I ate lunch at a restaurant called Ma Po Doufu (doufu is tofu) and ordered the dish called ma po tofu in Jason Ditzian's honor because I know how fond he is of it. It was soft tofu in a bowl of chili sauce with chili ALL over it. And it was SPICY. But, I gave it a go. And it was tasty...not quite like the ma po tofu we ordered in Berkeley (which was also tasty but not drowning in chili). Damn.

More to come...most certainly. It might be a while as I am about to hike a mountain tomorrow.

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