One week to go!
I fly to China on Friday, very exciting! Racing around work like a nutter trying to finish everything off, and trying to get ready in between. Schedule looks like this:
Friday 22nd - Fly to Hong Kong
Sat 23rd - arrive, change into suit, get bus to Guangzhou, attempt to seem like suitable choice to girlfriend parents
Sun 24th - meet entire family. Attempt not to embarrass myself. Have everyone stare at my enormous nose.
Mon 25th - be taken around site of forthcoming asian olympics
Tue-wed - be shown the marvels of guangzhou...
Thurs - girlfriend's birthday!
Fri 29th - fly to Shanghai. Be forced to go to the expo, because apparently they're throwing tickets at government employees, in order to get more visitors through the gates than the Japanese Expo did...
Sat 30th - Explore Shanghai. Bullet Train to Nanjing - stay with grandma.
Sun 31st - meet the entire other half of the family. Repeat big nose staring exercise. Smile nicely at everyone.
Monday -Tuesday - explore Nanjing, then back to guangzhou
Wed - bus to Hong Kong, stay with uncle
Thur - stay with friend
Fri - get up super early, go to airport. Arrive in England. Die of exhaustion.
Can't wait! Still can't speak Chinese for toffee, but I'm sure we'll muddle through. The only problem is that since we're being forced (literally!) to go to the sodding expo (and on one of the final days too, which means it will be so packed it's ludicrous!), we might not get a chance to go to the Chinesepod offices, which was the whole point of going to Shanghai in the first place! Don't suppose you fancy opening on a Saturday? :-)
Anyway, any last minute tips, tricks, recommendations? Lay 'em on me, Cpod massive! Not sure when we'll have Internet access, but I shall keep a journal on my ipod and a metric ton of photos and spam the hell out of you when I can!
edit: will the post show up this time? :)
pretzellogicOctober 18, 2010, 02:54 PM
Amid all the stress associated with the future-in-law dinner, keep your sense of humor intact, and have fun!
By the way, I forget if you said that this was your first time to China, but if it is, it can't help but be a great time, in addition to getting the potential Missus Xiao_liang.
Say, somewhere in here, you've implied that you might ask her to become Ms. Xiao_liang, but have you already asked her? Will you ask her on this trip, assuming that your future baba hasn't taken the shotgun to you? :-) Not that it's any of my business...just askin.
Hey, you don't hold back huh? :-)
Well, as per the lesson, apparently if you go to see her parents, it's implicit you're going to marry at some point. Given that we live in different cities right now, that's not going to happen JUST yet (I only got divorced this year! Gimme a break!), but it will at some point in the future.
So no, not on this trip :-p
bababardwanOctober 18, 2010, 03:03 PM
As soon as I saw the title of this thread I thought of you. This sounds awesome. Have the time of your life mate. What a shame you won't make it to CPod offices. I was hoping to hear you on N&F. Can't wait to hear your updates though. :)
xiao_liangOctober 18, 2010, 03:37 PM
Yes, my first trip to China!
The Chinese are so funny about the Japanese. I laughed out loud when I heard that was the reason for the free tickets... heh! What can you do?
zhenlijiangOctober 18, 2010, 03:39 PM
Wow so soon. Sounds like a very exciting two weeks.
Hey is this your first time in China?
They have already had more visitors at the Expo than our first one way back then. Haha of course they would! People are so much more mobile now, international travel nothing like it was in 1970. How many visitors came from China to Osaka then? Many Japanese have gone to see Shanghai 2010. Hope we're officially thanked for our contribution, if it means so much!
But yeah bummer, if you don't get to visit ChinesePod. Couldn't you go to the Expo first thing in the morning, spend about 6 hours there and get to their offices like late afternoon, early evening? I have no idea what I'm talking about logistics-wise of course.
You keep deleting your post! I already replied to it! :-p
Yes, it's my first time! Quite exciting. The Chinese are so funny about the Japanese I think - I laughed out loud when I heard the ridiculous reason for the free tickets. Maybe it was a joke :-)
Hmn. It's a bit annoying really. I don't really want to visit the expo, but since her dad is going to a special effort to get the tickets, we are honour-bound to do so. Initially he wanted us to fly there on the Thursday, forgetting that was his own daughter's birthday, and the first one she'd spent in China for 10 years! Somehow I think birthdays really aren't a big deal for their family...
Sorry about that. I try not to, but the way Editing messes up your formatting and spacing between words drives me crazy I end up deleting.
Yeah there is funniness (if only it were always only funny) in China about Japanese, and that target for Expo attendance is serious of course. It's so serious you feel sorry for those people who would have been held responsible, should they have come up short (even though that would never happen anyway ...).
Right, of course you have to go to Expo. Maybe you could go to CPod first thing in the morning? It just seems such a shame.
Sure, some families don't make big deals of birthdays. Maybe her parents are too excited, maybe they're running around now like (nutters) too.
Well we shall look forward to hearing about your adventures and how you charmed everybody's socks off. 祝你好运，加油
Hmmn, we might be flying on her birthday after all now... oh so complicated! Her best friend's birthday is the day before, so we might celebrate the two together... her family apparently just don't do birthdays! I think they're more panicking about what to feed me. Her dad was saying there's a steakhouse near them which is popular, and we had to insist I will eat "normal" food, honest!
Thanks for your kind words zhenlijiang :-) Much appreciated.
xiao_liangOctober 18, 2010, 04:27 PM
Hmn, this might put a crimp in our plans...
Due to hit Hong Kong almost exactly when we arrive...
Hey at least its not an ash cloud , and a nice new airport to land in and not that postage stamp they used to use!
I'm told as long as youcan manage 不要 you can even look around without ending up with a mao watch ;-)
Have a great time
Re: typhoon @HK...even if it hits while you're there, nowhere in the world is better prepared to deal with typhoons than Hong Kong. They'll take care of you.
Practice the 不要in a couple of dialects, too...Cantonese hawkers give up much more quickly when they here a bored "mm yiu, mm yiu." Shanghainese is kind of a "vyoh" sound. Not sure about 南京话. I'm sure Jason could help us out though...
As long as you get to Heathrow (?) when you're scheduled to fly, British Airways/Cathay Pacific/Virgin Atlantic etc., is on the hook to figure out what to do with you (or rather, no additional airline ticket cost to you). They either reschedule you at no cost to you, or divert you in route, or you land at HKG. But it's their problem. ( have a fistfull of credit cards just in case!)
bodaweiOctober 18, 2010, 11:04 PM
You are in for the time of your life. But I think that your hosts will be more interested in eating than in you (or it might seem that way.) Just let me readjust your schedule a bit:
Friday 22nd - Fly to Hong Kong - last ordinary food for two weeks.
Sat 23rd -eat first meal in China
Sun 24th - eat three enormous meals..
Mon 25th - eat another three enormous meals
Tue-wed - eat just one continuous meal...
Thurs - extra big meal today
Fri 29th - fly to Shanghai. More big meals. Try to avoid real Shanghai food.. Or - you could try the local specialty of a bowl of pig's blood.. Not bad actually. :)
Sat 30th - Stay with grandma - more big meals.
Sun 31st - meet the entire other half of the family. spend whole time eating.
Monday -Tuesday - explore Nanjing, three big meals
Wed - bus to Hong Kong, stay with uncle - eat at least one enormous meal
Thur - stay with friend - eat enormous meal
Fri - get up super early, have breakfast, go to airport.
Sat - badly miss Chinese food.
I think we should all pitch in with some advise on how to deal with all this extra food without losing face. I'd like to start with some behind the mo, and maybe befriending whatever pets they have and slipping it under the table to the pet...at the same time winning over another member of the family