Joining the Beijing bussle.

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Feb 2007

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Think of the traffic out of Auckland on a long weekend then spare a thought for us clawing our way to and around the mecca of Beijing when the whole nation of China has a week long holiday.

After forking out for planes tickets (after train tickets sold out whilst the school assistant sat on our request), Heather's altercation with a taxi driver (who was well reimbursed with Jo's cellphone that got forgotten in the taxi), we strolled up the a Hutong alleyway to find Dad had wandered down to wait for us. Was kinda odd at first seeing the familiar faces of Mum and Dad in our foreign home of China -yet we soon realised Dad slotted in into China, no worries! They'd already made friends in the hotel, checked out the local shops, ordered food from a small Hutong restaurant and sorted out the plans for the next day.

So for ou first day we devoured all the various parts of Peking Duck (top of Dad's wishlist) - a brilliant experience curtesy of some friends of friends of Mum and Dad's. The following days we trapsed around the must do tourist sites - we tended to aim for one a day, while Mum and Dad got their fix making return trips to the markets in the afternoons. We barely saw Tianmen Square and the Forbidden City for the crowds. Gotta say the stroll around the Summer Palace was much more pleasant. Next the Lama Temple, then finally we tackled the Great Wall (the top of Mum's wishlist). Dad negotiated the wall by cable car (for free -bonus!!) while the rest of us climbed the wall at snails pace among hundreds of thousands Chinese tourists. Despite the crowds it was one of the highlights!

Heather's complaining my sentences are too long winded however its just a bit of relief for me given I spend all my time teaching in simple slow sentences -sometimes I forget to sped up again when talking to the other English speakers.

Anyway... the rest of the time in Beijing was spent at markets (refilling the room in Mum and Dad's suitcases that had been taken up by supplies for us) and parks.

After the week in Beijing we got ourselves, heavy suitcases and all, onto an overnight train to Shanghai. The whole sleeper thing a bit of an experience for the folks, the flash cabin a bit of an experience for Heather and I.

Spent the day in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Spent the earlier hours of the morning watching elderly carrying out their Tai Chi routines in the park and came away convinced that Chinese do old age way better than Westerners. Made the exciting discovering of a supermarket with NZ imported food, then retreated to Starbucks. Never been to Starbucks as much as I have in China -its not just that its the only place to find coffee but there's also the comfort of English speaking staff. The afternoon found us in a delightful alleyway of art galleries and jewellery shops, then back to the train station to return to Changzhou.

Mum and Dad spent 3 days with us -hung out with us at home, took a day trip to Suzhou, and checked out the few/small but pleasant highlights of Changzhou. They hung around so Mum could spend her 50th birthday (sshhhh -don't think she wants too many people to know) with us. We had a real nice dinner at their hotel including a birthday provided by the hotel who noticed the date on Mum's passport. They headed off for Shanghai then Langkawi, Malaysia, while we got ourselves back into lesson plans, teaching and battles with naughty students.
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paradise_cy on

just visit you to see hello
ni hao, friend from New Zeland, really admire and impress from your travel experiences. take care in china.

from beijing

paradise_cy on

to say hello
wrote a wrong word, sorry. to say hello

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