In the Spring of 1991, my childhood friend, Cheryl met me in Hong Kong, where she spent the last of my three week business trip with me, and from there, we began our China adventure to the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and the ancient capital, Xian. I kept a very detailed journal from start to finish of my awesome journey, nearly twenty-five years ago, and decided this would make a great travel series for Travelin' Cousins. Over the course of the next two months, I will post chronological segments of my journal on my respective Throwback Thursdays. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed re-living my trip! - Elisa
We woke up at 7:00AM today, because the tour was leaving at 9:00AM. However, as usual we were not ready. Actually, it was not our fault. We called for an adapter for the hair dryer at 7:30 and finally one hour later (and 5 phone calls later) it came.
We ate breakfast in the Tea Garden in the Hotel. It was a buffet. We had french toast, cereal, hash browns and fruit - not bad!
We were checked out right after breakfast and met up with Dong (who was chasing us all morning since we were running late).
While we were walking around, some young guys came over to us, asked us if we were American and then proceeded to fire questions at us - what state we lived in, what school we went to, if we ever went to Ohio and many more. At first we were a bit stand offish, but then we warmed up to them. This one guy told us how he was applying to study at Bowling Green University in Ohio, as well as Georgetown. Then he went on asking even more questions. His friend started a separate conversation with Cheryl with more questions, as I continued chatting with the original fellow.
Before we knew it, Dong met us and told us we had to get going. We attempted to walk across the street from where we were at the Bund. Crossing any street in Shanghai is like taking your life in your hands. There are no rules, no lanes, no pedestrian signs. The cars just come very close to hitting people walking and on bicycles. And all the cars do is beep!!
After lunch we went to a cloisonné factory . It was very interesting to watch the way it was made and the various applications. Once again, we bought a few things. For me, I got a few vases for the girls in my office. I was tempted to buy more but then realized we still had two cities to visit. Cheryl bought her mom a cloisone vase.
While we were waiting for the others to finish shopping (which was a rarity, since it was always me and Cheryl who made everyone else wait, Cheryl and I struck up a conversation with Dong. I was listening to my walkman and I let him listen to my Madonna tape. He had never heard of her and this was 1991, at which point, she was pretty iconic worldwide. He told us that country music, was popular in Shanghai, especially John Denver. Of course, Cheryl found that very funny, having a vision of Chinese men in cowboy hats singing southern sounding songs.
I have to tell you, it was Africa Hot here as we headed for our last stop - the airport. We were going to be on our way to Beijing, or "Peking" as the Chinese call it. Andrew and Janice were with us for the balance of the tour, and Cheryl and I were next to them on this flight.
Dong got us checked in immediately and off we were to another exciting Chinese city!!