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Eat, Pray, Eat!- Part 2: China

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 3 August 2012 | Views [452]

Chinas weather was so much better than the weather in Hong Kong. It was still really hot, but it was dry and if we were lucky, some days it would be really windy and cool as well.

The next couple of days where packed with touristy places to visit, amazing food in ridiculous quantities and very little sleep. We went to: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and The Great Wall. All of these places where so beautiful and unique, it’s really hard to describe them and make them justice (hence the large amount of photos attached!). Each place we visited required insane amounts of walking. It was overwhelming at times when I couldn’t understand what was going on around me, but lucky my friend is fluent in Chinese and English, otherwise I have no idea how I would’ve survived!

 

I recently watched the movie ‘Eat Pray, Love’, and had the idealism that my trip was going to be as self defining, enigmatic and romantic as Julia Roberts adventure. However I think I got lost on the ‘Eat’ part of the trip, and if it wasn’t for the visit to the Big Buddha which I think might classify on the ‘Pray’ side of things, my trip would’ve been purely an eating adventure. Having said this, I have to admit that food was my favourite part of the trip. I am the biggest fan of Chinese food, and ate like there was no tomorrow. We would normally eat with my friends parents, who would order for what seemed to be 10 people instead of 4, but they were determined that I tried everything that came to the table. I have no will power whatsoever when it comes down to food, so even when I said to myself: ‘Ingrid, there is no way you can fit more food in’, when more plates kept coming, I just had to try at least a little piece of whatever it was the lovely waitress was  serving next.

I think the day worth mentioning, is the day where we ate the most. We started off with a massive breakfast that involved a lot of sweet treats, soups and deep fried fish (fish for breakfast? I know, weird right?). For lunch we had a variety of chicken, beef and pork prepared in different sauces, stews, noodles and the yummiest chocolate dessert ever! And as if that wasn’t enough for a day, for dinner we went to this restaurant that was famous for their duck. Now, I’m not a big fan of duck, but this was not any duck, it was just amazing! It was coated with sugar so it was sweet and tender in the middle, so delicious!  Needless to say, we were so full that the next day we didn’t have anything to eat until it was dinner time again.

And before I knew it, 2 weeks had gone by and it was time to go back home! And so, the nightmare to get back had begun. Now, before you continue reading, I need to warn you that the next paragraph is going to be of me rambling and complaining about how airlines screwed me over, so if you would like to skip this part, just continue onto the next paragraph after this. If, however, you want to find out why I have lost all faith in what once was my favourite airline and my tragic coming-back-home story, please keep reading.

We were meant to leave china on a Friday morning. We left to the airport early to allow enough time to check in and have lunch before boarding. Halfway to the airport, we started noticing there was more congestion than normal, and after spending around 30 minutes in line without even moving, we realized something was wrong. Apparently, there had been an accident up ahead that was blocking the main streets, so no cars could go though. That’s ok, we thought, we still have plenty of time to get to the airport. Wrong. Almost 1 hour later, we were still on the same spot. We got to the airport so late, we knew we missed out flight already, but had the hope of getting on a plane later on that day. We were told all the lights had been fully booked out, and the earliest we could fly out was on Monday morning to Melbourne. Next 2 days went by so slow, as we had nothing planned and had ran out of money to keep visiting places, so we mostly stayed indoors watching movies. Monday morning came and we left to the airport almost 4 hours in advance. Just in case something went wrong again. Luckily it didn’t and we had plenty of time to kill. We got to HK without any issues, and had to kill 3 hours before our connecting flight back to Australia. I tried not sleeping on the first leg of the trip, because I really wanted to sleep at night instead. That backfired on me, as I was unable to sleep all night, and when we landed at 6am in Melbourne, I was really exhausted. I had booked my flight from Melbourne to Sydney on Wednesday morning, to get a train from the airport and come straight to work. Next day, I went to the airport bright and early, and was told my flight had been cancelled. They could put me on the next flight, which was leaving 2 hours later. Deep breath I told myself, I should still be able to be on time to work. Time goes so slow when you’re tire and waiting for something. We were meant to leave at 8:50, but we hadn’t even started boarding at that time yet. There was no announcements anywhere, so I approached a lady who just shrugged and said the flight had been delayed, and to just ‘stick around until your flight number is called’. Why, oh why would they cancel my original flight and make the next one late? I was so beyond furious! I was so happy when I finally got onto the plane and it took off! I landed in Sydney really late to go to work, so I was told to rest and come next day. And I sure did. I went home and slept for 9 hours straight. Any guesses on what airline it was? Hint: When the tickets are $50, you know something’s bound to go wrong. Thank you tiger, I learnt my lesson: cheap tickets are not always the best way to go.

Overall, despite the journey back home, I had an amazing 2 weeks! I had the opportunity to go to Disney land, which had been my dreams since I had use of reason, I got to see places and scenes I never even dreamed of seeing, and I know I’ve told this so many times already, but I had amazing food. I would go back any day without thinking it twice.

Tags: forbiddencity, summerpalace, templeofheaven, thegreatwall, tiananmensquare

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