There were lots of things, about China in general, that I wanted to post. And maybe I will sometime. I was going to now. But something happened. Lucy happened. She is everything now. Lucy is the world.  –Moi

My post “Broken” was featured on “We Are Grafted In”, which is The Sparrow Fund Ministry’s blog, this week!

And in the in the meantime, I decided I’d share some of the things about China in general that I  said I might.

First off, this being about China in general is not strictly true: China’s a big BIG country, and I was only in three cities.  I meant my experience in China in general.  Which, by the way, was a good one.  I like China.  Honestly.  The culture-shock was hard, but I liked it.  I want to go back someday.

Oh.  Now I’m getting hooked on countries before I can drive across town.  Delightful.

And I wasn’t going to post all this in the beginning, but here. we. are.

Moving on:

We were in two pretty western areas, but Guangzhou was more western.  Which is why I’ve been running around telling people I liked it better.  But I think that’s just because the western-ness was refreshing after spending a week overseas when I’d never been out of my country before.

But I really liked Xi’an.  The experience.  The people.  Even the waitresses at that restaurant next door that would start giggling every time us out-of-place Americans who spoke no chinese walked in… which was often, as it was our default after we figured out what we liked there.

Yes, Xi’an was wonderful.  It was beautiful.  Not like Guangzhou wasn’t, but it had a unique beauty about it.  An less-American beauty.  Where do I even start?

Lots of people walking around with face-masks on.  Lots of bikes.  Lots of buses… not to mention motorcycles, taxis, cars, and these weird bike-things with beds like a pick-up truck.  The traffic made me nervous! 🙂

Also, lots of unbelievably small shops and people who hung their laundry out to dry from their balconies.  And people selling food along the side of the street.  Usually roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes, or something on a stick–sometimes you could tell what was on the stick, and sometimes… you couldn’t.

Also, they don’t appear to have play grounds: “park” in Xi’an meant a path through a truly gorgeous landscape, with pool tables and carnival games.  And sometimes it meant little tubs with goldfish in them that kids could catch fish in and take home.  Apparently.

And almost all the menu’s in the restaurants had pictures, which was SO nice for those of us who don’t read chinese! 🙂  Though our guide informed us that the locals like the pictures too, because in China they name dishes things like “Dancing Eggplant” (I’m not even kidding).

What else made it unique?  The big signs covered in chinese characters.  The fog.  The incredibly tangled telephone wires.  The palm trees.  The tall buildings…

I could go on foreeeever!

I’m hooked.  Totally.

18 thoughts on “China”

  1. Took me right back, Hanna!
    I read this while you were helping Lucy fall asleep tonight and I was laughing out loud for real… and saying, “oh this is good, listen to this!” to Becca, Spencer and Dad!
    Love your writing, just love it.

  2. I can already imagine two grown-up sisters (Lucy and Hanna) going back there to visit when you are in your late twenties. I loved your colorful word pictures of China. I am so happy that you got to have such a great travel experience that was just a little bonus to bringing your beloved sister Lucy back home!

  3. China sounds amazing 🙂 I would love to go to China someday.

    Have you read Wild Swans by Jung Chang? It is about three generations of women (the author herself, her mother, and her grandmother) in China and chronicles their lives through the Communist takeover and the Cultural Revolution. And it is fascinating.

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