musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Top 11 from the People's Republic

We just went to China and it was... well... amazing.

For my perceptions on the People's Republic, click here. For photos, click here. And for the Top 11 highlights from our trip to Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai......

11. Chinese Opera. I know it's cheesy touristy but the mask thing was pretty freakin' awesome.
10. Breaching the Great Wall, something those pesky Mongols never could do.
9. Juxtapositioning a redheaded Mexican sporting a communist star hat bought in Vietnam with the portrait of Chairman Mao outside the Forbidden City in Beijing. Not kidding.
8. Capturing my Turkish friend with a similar hat posing as a Latin American dictator at a fabulous temple complex in Chengdu in what might be the best photo of the trip.
7. Learning how to make dumplings and, more importantly, eating them at a friend's parent's place.
6. Completing the most picturesque, sweatiest, excruciatingly difficult and undeniably memorable run ever: twice around the lake in Hangzhou.
5. Pandas! (i.e. a species that has successfully survived way beyond its expiration date because of its 'cute' gene... seriously the things have basically zero actual survival skills)
4. A toast to a fantastic trip on the eve of our departure on a rooftop bar on the Bund, looking out over Shanghai (which kind of looks like a cross between lower Manhattan and a space colony).
3. K. A. R. A. O. K. E. (including discovering that your Chinese friend might actually be Robbie Williams)
2. The food... omg the food. (hot potpeking duck, etc.)
1. Spending innumerable hours/days with a fascinating group of future global leaders with whom I will forever share the bond of Chen Chen.