Its hard to say which day I spent in China was the best one. Everyday was something different. A little of the same from the days before with more twist. During five days of my trip I was scheduled to stay in a home stay. I was super excited about this as I was sure it would immerse me into the Chinese culture more than if I was to stay in a hotel. Once I got there I found out that my home stay had fallen through a bit. The guy that I was lined up with put me up in a hotel due to personal reasons. He would pick me up in the mornings and drop me off at the middle school. He would then take me back to the hotel after the field studies with the kids to clean up. Every night he then took me out to dinner. This wasn't necessarily the cultural experience I had visualized but was great nonetheless. It gave me a little more freedom in the evenings to go out on my lonesome to explore a bit. It did give me one of the more interesting breakfast moments I have ever had. Chen, which was my home stay's name, his father worked as a Porter at the hotel. He hailed me down one morning and brought me to a little restaurant where we ate the most amazing noodle soup I have ever had. He spoke absolutely no English so it was all miming. I think we spent the entire time communicating the simple fact that he would send a cab a 5 pm to pick me up. I couldn't figure out why he was pointing at his nose, at me, then pointing to the sky, and finally showing me 5 fingers. Once I understood, he gave me a cigarette which never got smoked and we left.
I did get one full day where Chen took me out to Jinji and Tai Lakes. He called this the "Countryside." Chen spoke okay English so communication was simple but effective. He originally took me to a mall. It looked just like a typical western mall full mostly of garb. He thought that's what I wanted to do. I quickly told him otherwise and that I wanted to be outside. Soon I had rad Chinese traveling tunes, barely any talking, and fearing for my life through traffic in his nice Lexus. Check the pics.
The three white as this meal was called. A famous meal at Tai Lake where only this stuff can be eaten properly due to its freshness. The soup looking greens were amazing and grew only around the lake.
Chen enters the restaurant at Tai Lake.
...and a smile.
Fresh water crab and shrimp ponds.
Made of Flowers in Suzhou.
Downton Suzhou night scene.
Statue at Jinji Lake
Flower thingy again
These are eventually going to be the tallest buildings in Suzhou. They are called the Gates of Suzhou and will be connected at the top.
Where I stayed.
This thing was at Jinji Lake and was called Harmony.
Mall food court
Caught trailing us.
Lady roasting tea at Shandong
Lots of produce for sale. Chen said it was bad fruit because it wasn't local.
Curious people they are.
I have always been a big fan of green tea. I was in heaven at this little place in Shandong. Big time officials apparently come to this place to get this particular tea for gifts to give to other officials. The best, most fresh green tea I have ever had. Rad scene too.
Streets of Shandong
Dude that worked a tea shop.
The Tea Store in Shandong
The tea plantations were up those hills.
The whole time I was in China and all of the traveling, walking and observing all kinds of places, I saw only two skateboarders together skating. It was in Hangzhou and they were white bros pushing long boards on the worst busted up brick street. These statues were at Jinji Lake. Sick Mute grab.
Ferris Wheel on a sunny day.
That huge flat looking structure is a motion picture theater to accommodate for the population.
Lake Tai Shantys
On the water by the restaurant we ate at.
This lady was washing her clothes in the man was fishing with string tied around a jar with bait.
Geese. I ate these.
Kitchen at the restaurant on Tai lake.
Male goose in heat.
Lots of people trying to stop your car so that you will eat at their restaurant.
Downstairs of restaurant on Tai Lake.
A random poster I found hanging in the modest and extremely rustic restaurant on Tai Lake.
Looking up at where we ate.
View from restaurant
Tai Lake Sunsets
Rad lady servin it up!
Tea drying in the sun.
More Coming Soon.