Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Trip to Mainland China!

Not to be outdone by my progeny (Middle kid is spending a semester in Beijing and Youngest Kid went to visit him this past week) I decided after 2 and a half years in Hong Kong that it was time to visit the Mainland.

Disclaimer: some of you may wonder what took me so long.  Well, the $180 a pop for the visa for US citizens, for one thing.  Even though Hong Kong is an official part of China, it's still an SAR (special administrative region) so you have to have a visa.

My friend and neighbor (and fellow Lutheran professor's spouse) Barbara L. was kind enough to take me across the border.  Finally, I got a chance to take the train to Lo Wu all the way TO Lo Wu (this is the train we take almost every day, but get off at Tai Wai).

So here's a picture of my first impression of the "real" China:  lots of shopping malls and skyscrapers!

 I did see a couple of weird things on the train to Lo Wu... like a middle aged man calmly paring and cleaning his nails with a box cutter.  Yes, a box cutter!

Using the toilet (stand up only, ladies, hope your leg muscles are in good shape.  Toilet paper? I've long ago learned to always carry my own) I looked around for how to flush... and could see only a door bell switch... would an attendant come running if I pushed it?  I hesitated, hesitated... oh good, it wasn't  an alarm, it was, in fact, the flush switch.

My friend and neighbor who "showed me the ropes", speaks a very decent Mandarin, AND knows what to order for dim sum!
So, bathroom stop and another stop at the bank ATM (which happily deposited Chinese yuan into my hot little hands) It was exactly one and a half hours from our front door to sitting at the table for dim sum... in China!!!!  I finally made it to China!!!

On the menu:
We eschewed the "boiled chives with pig's blood" and ordered "poached Western lettuce" instead.  It was good! (Okay we ordered just a few other things too... like 5 other dishes, many of them shrimp/veggie/dumpling related, all of which were too scrumptious to stop and take a picture.)

So I'll end this little blog post with a blurry picture of Youngest Son, safely back from his trip to Beijing to visit his older brother... could be the picture is blurry because this Mama was unable to keep the camera still in my eagerness to hug the boy.

Life can be sweet!

 5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
   you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance.
-- Psalm 16

1 comment:

  1. "Real" China, huh? LOL Flush switch. It must have been a good experience for you. Wish I could also go there and have some fun. Although I don't think it's not possible right now.