Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final words on China

I've been avoiding writing these final words because I think I didn't want to end
thinking about the trip!
I've been recouping from some sort of stomach thing which seems to have
come from China and all I'm doing is sleeping and losing put it
But the final leg of the trip was the best...Shanghai! Spectacular! Very
much like NY or Chicago with skylines that are magnificient. Very
I took off a day from the group as they were going to a silk factory and
I didnt want to buy silk.
I did however go to the street of lots of shopping boutiques and I was
We had been warned to be careful carrying money or passports and
I didn't have too much...just a credit card and some small Chinese bills.
I heard a yell..and looked around to see what had happened...when a
police van pulled up and surrounded me.
I turned to see a little girl or short woman running away. I didn't realize
anything had happened to me so was going on my way when a woman
on a bike came up. She had seen the pickpocket hit me and screamed and
frightened her into running away...and dropping my wallet!
I saw it lying about ten feet away and hadn't even felt it leaving my purse.
The cops wanted to make sure I was ok, but didn't chase the perp.
I was really shaken...not enough to stop shopping but since all's well
that ended was a good story to tell the group.
We went to see the Chinese Acrobats in the most astounding show.
One of my friends here told me it was corny but I am so glad I went.
It was thrilling! These performers did things that seemed impossible
with their flexible bodies and the whole time the audience was screaming
in delight.
Another great hotel...a Hilton, great massages...I got the hot rock which
I love and we drove around seeing the city which I adored.
The Bund is the walkway along the water and filled with tourists.
The resteraunts were great and the two couples I bonded with and I
went out for a last night dinner. There was a very hip club on another
floor and I just peeked in.
Shanghai is a place I could have stayed a week. But alas..the trip
was over and as I usually do, I wrote a poem about everyone on the
tour and read it on our last bus ride.
And they all gave me the most adorable little figure of a child bending
over and revealing his tush. (The habit of the kids there is not to have
diapers but little pants with slits from front to back and I and a few
others on the trip were determined to catch a tushie shot...which we
did on the last day. The mothers all kept turning the kids towards the camera,
not realizing we wanted the rear view! So glad I wasn't arrested.)
All in all it was a fabulous trip. They are an incredibly smart and
hard working people who have accomplished miracles in a few short
Everyone who has ever gone there raves about it and I recommend
it to everyone reading this. If you have the chance...go!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

continuing china...

Today one of my friends actually looked at the photos I'd taken of China still in my
camera! Now that's a friend! Actually she found it interesting and as I went over the
trip again, I realized how great it really was.
so...on to Xi'an. That is where the Terra Cotta soldiers are. A huge find of
soldiers made up to guard the tomb of the Emperor. With lifesize horses
and intended to scare away any enemies in death.
They were discovered by a farmer years ago...and they pull out some old
guy who they SAY is the farmer and he signs books at the museum. I want
to believe it was the real guy!
The terra cotta fades within hours of being exposed to light and air, so vast
fields of them are still uncovered until they can figure a way to stop the
process of fading.
Very size, scope and piece of history.
Then we went to the Jade factory and saw beautiful pieces. Of course
anything I liked was over $10,000 and so needless to say, I didn't buy
anything. If it can't be something fab...I don't want it!
Hmm...maybe that's why I'm still looking for Mr. Adequate..or,more than.
We then went on a three day cruise down the Yangtze.
Really nice. The boat was comfortable if not opulent. The food, as usual
amazing in size and scope of the buffets.
The crew put on little shows at night and they were really sweet people.
My cabin porter was Andy and the maid, Susan. They all take American names.
The group I was with did little excursions but I didn't go...afraid of small boats
as I don't swim and unable to climb stairs without railings or go in lifts high up
the mountains, I stayed and got sun, which I always crave and a manicure...
flowers with little "jewels"..which I'd never wear in NY but qualifies me to work
in any post office!
We went through five incredible Gorges with great scenery and finally
through the locks...similar to the Panama largest I think.
We went to see Pandas and to a spot high above the locks which gave
an incredible panoramic view.
The millions of people who are being moved as the water will rise and
flood them all, is an amazing project.
Next Shanghai...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Should have stayed in China!

Well, the world seems to be imploding whether it's our bank accounts or our
I should have stayed in China. The hard thing is that a trip like this is so
spectacular and then it's just a memory.
I went through all of my photos and put them into the computer but can't
figure how to get them print and to share!
But a few more thoughts about my's so nice to have Dear Readers
who are interested!
Beijing was very cool. The first day I was there was before my tour so I
had some ideas from a friend back in the States.
She gave me a name of a reliable driver and we went to the art area...
old factories that have been turned into spectacular art galleries and
some avant garde designers.
I got a very neat grey velour T Shirt with a red stencil of Mao.
Just have to figure out where to wear it. I guess a Sarah Palin speech
won't be the place! ( Mean little thing, isn't she!)
The art in China is very hot now selling for huge figures. Much of it
was very interesting.
Then, being a fan of miniatures, I wento the Beijing Planning Museum
where they have a huge miniature (contradiction I know) of the entire
It was fascinating. And some of the workers were fixing the tiny
buildings and adding new there is constant building.
Then the group arrived and we had an introductory cocktail party.
Many of the people seemed older than I had expected but I always
find some that I can bond with and there were quite a few.
Then the trip began with Tiannamen Square which is really hard
to grasp until you see it in person. Huge obviously...and very
filled with people. Lots of tourists but mostly Chinese who are visiting
as well.
The Forbidden City is gigantic...amazing. And very lovely.
The Summer Palace is beautiful. Everything has history and
so much importance to the culture.
The places were crowded but not unbareably so.
The Great Wall! wow...I took the "easier" route which was about a
forty minute climb with rest blocks...and lots of pushing people.
They are not into waiting patiently.
The folks that took the harder climb said it was tiring but worth it.
I skipped the Opera as I don't like Opera here and there it was
kind of screamy...from all reports.
The Hilton Hotel was lovely and I had a really good massage in the
room the first night. Excellent idea!
Since the Olympics, many signs were in English too so you could
sort of find your way around, though I didn't stray too far away on
my own.
Next see the Terra Cota Warriors.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

china chatter

Well, just got back from great great trip! It so exceeded my expectations!
The people are so sweet and eager to give good service. the country is magnificent
both in history and progress.
In a mere 17 years they have built so many sky scrapers the national bird is
said to be "the crane."..the building kind.
The scope of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and everything is so
vast it takes your breath away.
The example of the Olympics shows that they are the unstoppable. amazing to hear
about their lives from the Guides and how in a mere 38 years they have
entered the present and really are the future.
Will try and get some photos up when i can figure out how to do it!!