Guangzhou, China

For Christmas, I’m heading to New Zealand with my friends Grace and Patrick.  I couldn’t be more excited!  I’ve long wanted to visit New Zealand, and that desire has been compounded by the pictures I’ve seen of fresh air and traffic-less streets – heavenly sights when viewed from Jakarta!

Being teachers, we opted for the cheapest flights we could find.  It was a steal, but routed us through China.  Yes, that is the opposite direction.  It ended up being a surprise adventure, though, since we had time to venture into Guangzhou!

This is a rather western city as far as China goes, since it was a long-time port town.  Once we got into the city, we had about four hours to enjoy the sights and find dinner.  Coming from Indonesia and the tropical climate that we have grown so used to, we were freezing!

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We walked along the river for a little while, and bought grilled octopus and steamed corn to snack on.  The street was busy with vendors, street games, a choir performing nearby.

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Eventually we left the river walk to head in toward an area that was well-known for food and shopping. Once we got there, though, we couldn’t find many restaurants.  There was almost no English, but Grace used some impressive sign language to ask a passing man where we could get food.

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Because we didn’t share enough of any language to understand one another, he led us to a nearby restaurant.  Staying with us for 30 minutes, we showed us different restaurants, helped us order, and even served us the self-serve soup.  His name was Bing, and he was a huge blessing to us!  I was really impressed by the hospitality of the Chinese people throughout my short time here.  Everyone was willing to bend over backwards to help us out.

We finished out our dinner with some exciting street food – spiral potatoes, more octopus, oysters, and grilled buns.  For just a few hours, we did a pretty good job!  We’re excited to spend another day in the city on our way back through, too.

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