I went to China and now I'm blogging about it! Catch up here:
Pt 1: Flight and the Great Wall
Pt 2: Food and the rest
It's an interesting experience being a Chinese-American and coming to China. We had a tour guide in Beijing, and in his words, it was our roots. For my parents, they were home. For myself, I look like everyone else, but I can't exactly speak like everyone else. I lost that at some point when I began my childhood education and stopped speaking Chinese at home. In Beijing, they speak Mandarin, and in Taishan, they speak a dialect of it (Taishanese). My basic knowledge of the language meant I could only go so far as telling other people in their language, that I couldn't speak their language. Gestures are also very useful.
Tourism is universal, so after our Great Wall hike and lunch, we went to Beijing for a show: "Golden Mask Dynasty." This show is notable for using gallons of water as a part of the show, and it was a delight to watch. As the water rushes in, you can feel the cool air on your face. And later, the water is used as a pond on the very same stage.
The next day, we went to the Forbidden City, notable for its political history and tourists, followed up by a different temple, and then Peking Duck for dinner. That was actually my first experience with Peking Duck, but for the uninformed, it is a form of roast duck, sliced into bite size. You're meant to combine it with other toppings such as chopped onions and hoisin sauce and put it all in a lettuce wrap to eat -- pretty delish.
After this, we took a flight to Taishan, my parents' hometown. We paid respects at the old villages of both of my parents, and did more, you guessed it, eating.
The roast pig is one of the most decadent items you can have in Chinese cuisine. It is often an offering for your ancestors, and it is shared with the ones making the offer as a communal food. The crispy skin combined with the juicy meat makes for a delicious combination.
After we ate our fill, we finally returned home. My wife and I left early, but everyone else continued on to Hong Kong. For another day, HK.
Everybody comes from different backgrounds, and regardless of where you are from, travel widens your view and helps you learn about yourself. I had a great time, and someday hope to do it again.
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