Despite being on a break from blogging, my visit (husband’s business but my leisure) to China has influenced me to share my experiences with all in a blog. Being Indians all of us want to go to either US or European countries for our summer vacations, needless to say that the cooler weather and awesome infrastructure of these countries attract us, without having an idea of what our neighbouring country has in store for us. Here are a few things I really enjoyed learning and observing about it, on my recent vacation.
Be it Tianjin, where we attended the opening ceremony of BRICS Investment and Trade Conference, (a group of emerging economies consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Beijing, Shanghai or Hangzhou (the four cities we visited), one cannot raise a finger on the efficiency of how they deal with their heavy population, of which we often give excuse that we are unable to grow. The roads, the flyovers, the innumerable buildings alongside the roads, everything simply out stands. And let me add people don’t honk their the way we do.
The Eco City in Tianjin is another example of their commitment and hard work. A joint venture of China and Singapore, spread across 30 square kilometres, started in 2008, is almost completed. Our whole group was stunned from the moment we entered into the city to the way we all saw how their team works to sustain it. More information about the same at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Singapore_Tianjin_Eco-city
The bullet train cannot be left when I am mentioning about the infrastructure. The journey by bus from Beijing to Tianjin (117 kms), took 3.5 hours, whereas the bullet train took only 25 minutes and we also traveled from Beijing to Shanghai (1400 kms approx.) in 5.5 hours, where the train took the variated speed of somewhere from 250 kms/hour to 300 kms/hour.
Being Indians, all of us enjoy hospitality of our friends abroad but when it comes to us, I bet all of us are the same in this context, one word can describe us as BUSY. This is the excuse we give if we have to pick someone from the airport or to spend a day with a friend. We simply do not have time. But I have many examples of the amazing hospitality foreign people exhibit. For example on this trip one of my husband’s Chinese business friend Tin Fang, who calls him and me Bhai and Bhabhi respectively, not only flown all the way from Foshan especially to meet us, in Shanghai but also stayed with us for a day. We also visited one of the offices in Hangzhou, please see the picture of how they greeted us.
Women at Work
I was mesmerised to see how safely women not only roam around in the city but also work at every outlet. Be it checking the train tickets, providing snacks in the train or cleaning the floors of the same, or collecting toll at toll booths, or dealing with clients in business meetings, they are doing all efficiently and dedicatedly. To be precise one sees much more number of women working rather than men.
Keeping this blog short here I am sharing a few tips, if you are planning a trip to China:
- Language is the biggest obstacle one may face, to that extent that you can find yourself unable to ask even for a glass of water. Either book each of your transfer and meal in advance (through a travel agent) or if you have any local who knows a bit of English, it’s awesome. Though things are changing rapidly but still it’s better to be cautious.
- A language translating app can also be downloaded on your phone but only if the 3G works.
- For vegetarians like us, getting food can be a big challenge. Though as each of our meal was booked in advance (in Indian Restaurants) and we were carrying lots of home cooked food along with Haldiram’s packed food, we didn’t have a bit of a problem.
- If you are leaving the hotel in a taxi, don’t forget to take the visiting card of the hotel to come back and also the name of the place you are going to, written in Chinese by any of the local people, as they have different Chinese names of the same English names.
That’s all friends! To conclude I would like to admit far from home I felt like home in China. Don’t forget to like my Facebook Page to read my daily thoughts. Also you can find my books in Hindi and English, on amazon.
Peace and love