Sunday, June 13, 2004

Back Home From China

On Friday I came home from my trip to China. I was pretty exhausted after spending the whole day in the air, then having to go through U.S. Customs, catch another plane, and a three hour car ride home. Jet lag hasn't been too much of a problem because I didn't sleep at all on the plane from Beijing to Shanghai to Los Angeles. By the time I got home it was 11pm of the same day I left and I was really tired. After two days of relaxing I'm on my regular schedule again.

Visiting China was a completely new experience for me. To prepare myself I bought a used book on Beijing (Frommer's Beijing 2nd Edition, copyright 2002) to get a general idea of what to expect. I also looked online for some information on what to bring that I couldn't buy there, especially in Harbin, where I'd be spending 2 full days. The book didn't tell me everything, but it did cover the basics pretty well. I learned a lot of new things that wouldn't be in many official tourist books anyways.

Instead of writing about all my experiences all at once, I'll write a series of posts covering different topics on my visit. While in China the only computer I had access to had Windows 98, a dial up connection, and Internet Explorer 4.0, all of which did not agree well with Blogger or visiting many other blogs. The computer was used for email correspondence with my family and Yahoo news. When I was in Beijing we spent most of our time at the tourist attractions and we tired after eating dinner, so I didn't go to any internet cafes.

Another thing I would like to share on this site is the pictures that were taken. However, I didn't take the pictures and the pictures were taken of me; most of them. My friend said it was a Chinese thing to do, but I don't believe it. Why fly 6,000 miles to take pictures of myself instead of the sites? My friend argued that people have already taken pictures of the sites though. Still, I don't want to put portraits on here. The plan was to buy a disposable camera, but my friend said that 45RMB ($5) was too expensive. She used her family's camera to take pictures and I bought a roll of film for it in addition to what they brought. In total I brought back 3 rolls of film, but when I develop them I'll know if they're upload worthy.

In the end I had a good time and I'd like to return to China again. Now that I know a little about what to expect I can further enjoy the country more when I return.