Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lost in Translation

They say a picture is worth a thousand words . . . and sometimes all those words are wrong. Translating is so much more than just matching up a word from one language to a word in another language. But I appreciated that a lot of the signs in China were in both Chinese and English so we weren't completely lost. Although, at times, it seems our English wasn't as good as we thought it was.

Why isn't alcoholicity a word? And I don't usually pull out my camera in a bathroom stall but I'm not sure how 8 Chinese characters translate into one smiley face, which means . . . what?


 I'm not sure if this is two separate places or the same place

 Of course we went upstairs!!

 Kathy suggested the sauce rock screw

 Darn! Out of the chicken lyon that again!

Steve kinda wanted the chicken mcnuggest, but we all got the pork chop buns which were really good and bigger than the fired pork buns.

It was hard to pass up the thrilling stimulation in 7D. So now we are who does not see who regret.

 Please sort . . . 

 It's hard to edit a sign that's already printed.

Wow, remember these old gas stations?

And some things are better left untranslated . . .


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Familiar Foods in Foreign Places

We had some fantastic food in China (which will be featured in another post) and ate very well most of the time -- everything from top-rated restaurants to foods prepared on the street. Most things were totally foreign and new, but some things were just like home. Only different.

Pepsi and 7-Up -- they actually had the old pull tabs that come all the way off 

Coke 3 Ways:
  The bottles are taller and skinnier, and it is not so sickeningly sweet like it is here. 
I think I like Chinese Coke better!
Canned Coke in Macau
 Soda fountain at Carl's Jr.

Beijing Starbucks

We actually missed a few meals due to timing or opportunity, and sometimes we snacked or had to grab something fast. 

Carl's Jr. in Shanghai

Always a tough choice: Mexican Tomato Chicken Flavor or Lime Flavor
Popcorn on the bullet train
Haagen-Dazs in Hong Kong

It's just expensive anywhere, right?!!? The small size is $38! But that's in Hong Kong dollars, so only about $5 in greenbacks. 
Still a lot for one small scoop of ice cream.

Of course Cameron would find a Dairy Queen in Macau!

Here's something we can all recognize and appreciate --


Steve's breakfast: Scrambled eggs with a side of river.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

China: Top Picks

Yesterday morning my friend Kathy asked: "what were your top picks of things in China?"

Off the top it's a hard question to answer -- there's just so much! But as I've pondered the question a little longer there are some things that come to the forefront because they were interesting, different, or fun, and things you can't see anywhere else. These are things I would recommend to other people if they are ever in China. These are in no specific order and Stephen and Cameron's lists might be a little different, but most of the highlights were unanimous among the three of us.


Yu Yuan Gardens


 The Bund 

Pudong  (across the river from The Bund)

  Impressive by day -- Spectacular at night!

People's Square & Exibition Center

Lots of beautiful grounds with an urban park-like setting. And while you're there you may as well walk through the wedding market. Young adults -- or their parents -- post their matrimonial resumes. All the important stuff you would want to know about your future spouse, such as family background, age, education, occupation, salary, goals, etc. Then the negotiations take place.

Jing An Temple

Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center  

This was one of Cameron's favorites. A very interesting place! And just as interesting is where it's located: in the basement of an apartment building. A guard at the front gate of the complex hands you a little card with a map to building 4.


The Great Wall
This was truly astonishing! We had a beautiful day with early spring blooms dotting the mountainsides.



The Forbidden City
Describing The Forbidden City is a little like describing the Grand Canyon -- you just can't fully appreciate the scope and magnitude unless you see it for yourself. So here's a picture! Notice the little ant-sized people in front of the north gate. All the red roofs -- including the ones that go beyond the frame of the picture -- are contained within the massive wall that is surrounded by a moat. We took this picture from the top of the hill where they piled up all the dirt from the moat in what is now Jingshan Park. 



The Terra Cotta Warriors



 The Muslim Quarter


Riding Bikes on top of the city wall

Guilin & Yangshuo

Li River Cruise
 We could not have had a more perfect day!

Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

This was a wonderful change of pace from all the big city sights. So relaxing to sit by the river and have our meals or just take in the beautiful scenery.

 This was the view from the balcony of our room

 Steve and Cameron start their morning on the patio as the rafts start floating by.

Hong Kong

Victoria Peak
Incredible views of the harbour, Honk Kong Island, and Kowloon.

The Promenade at night

Nan Lian Garden

 A real urban oasis


 The ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral

The Mandarin House