Sunday, July 27, 2008

Helpful Friends

As the time to fly to Beijing draws near, some people who have been to China or heard about life in that country have been trying to give me pointers. Everything from sights that shouldn't be missed to advice about bartering with the locals, all the food and drink to avoid while never being caught without bottled water, the lack of personal space issues, the fact that China will be fully 12 hours opposite of Ohio on EST (midnight there is noon here). So, the bigger suitcase (yes, I broke down and hauled it out of the attic) now houses Pepto Bismol in tablet form, sleep aids, ear plugs, antibiotics, first aid kit, more Carribeaner clips that I have stuff to clip on, enough microfiber clothing to open my own travel shop, and all the lastest music on my IPod including a downloaded audiobook that will provide me with 11 hours of listening (unabridged) and that's just a sample.

But perhaps the most valuable pieces of advice involved basic survival techniques. The newest and larger suitcase now houses a shoebox full of food. Tuna pouches, granola bars, M & M's (plain and almond), poptarts, and cheese crackers. Nestled right next to that box is my own stash of flushable Charmin wipes. Clear necessities in a land that has different priorities apparently. If you saw my post on Facebook, you would have seen the Chinese Squat Toilet. I will repost here so you don't have to go searching. I am hoping that all the trudging around my yard mowing grass and moving 50 bags of mulch this summer will give me the leg strength (if you will), should I come across this little slice of Chinese life.

Maybe I need two suitcases...

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