A recent post by http://happiestbabyintheworld.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/10-things-i-love-about-china/ had me thinking of my own list of reasons for loving China. The country is so big and diverse it’s obvious not everyone will have the same reasons. So here are mine with photos from our trip home in 2010:
1: The History
Buddhist, Daoist and many other religious temples abound in China. And not only do they reside in the countryside like the Famensi Temple west of Xi’an, but many survive and thrive in the core of these major metropolitan centres, like DaYan Ta, above. Somehow, these historical places find a way to co-exist within the growth of modern China.
When it’s a three wheeler you’ve got to transport your stuff, it’s a three wheeler you use – even if you have to walk it through town.
It’s amazing how quickly and easily my daughter Xingyu, right, made friends in our building complex. These girls dragged her around and played with her like she was their little sister – and not a word between them was understood. And I love how I instantly became related to them, as they began calling me 叔叔 without hesitation.
The inclusion of all generations within a family is more prevalent in China. And the inclusion of the tall white guy into the fold is even more amazing.
5: It’s Busy
Things are always happening in the city. And it’s busy enough that a 6’2″ white foreigner garners very little more than just a passing glance in the street.
6: Street Vendors
These are the Toronto hot dog stands of Xi’an: a cart with a bowl of peanuts, or melons, or anything you think will make yourself a few bucks on any of the thousands of busy street corners.
7: The Currency Conversion Rate
When you buy these plates of food for about 70 yuan, sometimes you realize it’s only about $10 Canadian to eat so well. These dishes, including the Big Bowl of Chicken above, can be found at a restaurant in Lintong, east of Xi’an, called Da Pan Ji – which translates to Big Bowl of Chicken! Go figure!
8: Cultural Idioms
The Shaanxi Squat is one of those regional oddities that are listed here:
9: The Restaurant Menus
Too many choices on the Red Lobster menu and not enough time to decide before your server comes asking for your order so you can eat and they can get another set of behinds in the chairs? How about your own room for 10 or 12 and a menu of food choices that could take an hour to go through. Thank goodness my big brother is so adept at ordering the best stuff.
10: The FOOD!
Being the consummate professional that I am, I abhor the posting of out-of-focus images, but when you have a pair of chopsticks in one hand, your mouth is drooling, and the aroma is making you impatient, then you can excuse my haste in getting a crappy shot of the bowl of BiangBiangMian. Oh My Goodness! When we go back to Xi’an, the first stop downtown will be to ChaiJiaShiZi Lu and the tiny Noodle King restaurant serving these tasty morsels.