Marie’s Adventure in China
Hi, I'm Marie and I recently joined the WanderingBrits Community. I am a keen traveller and so from the age of 14 onwards (first as part of guided tours only) ventured abroad by myself to get to know new places and cultures.
At first, just within Europe, but then I quickly gained an interest in the Americas and Asia too. One of my favourite further afield places was China.
I spent 3 months in China for an internship whilst at University. I was working and living in Qingdao, but also got the chance to travel to other cities. I had lived in the British Midlands for the few years prior to my China adventure, and oh boy, was I in for a culture shock!
The size of the cities, crowds and crazy traffic was completely overwhelming, not to mention those funny symbols and sounds that make up the local language and were completely foreign, to my non-mandarin speaking ears and eyes.
However, I had a fantastic time. The people were incredibly kind, the cities felt really clean and in many parts much more modern than Europe, and there were beautiful nature areas around Qingdao that I got to visit. I also got to spend some exhausting and sweat-packed days, hiking in the local mountainside, during which I thought I was not going to make it back,. This was enough for me so I decided to venture back soon into the more comfortable urban sphere…
A(nother) challenge for me was the food. Although it was great to try something new, admittedly, I struggled a little. Chick feet and hearts, seaweed, strange looking fish, and what looked to me like insects or reptiles (is that a thing?!) were not, and are still not, my thing. See picture of strange sea slug things->
Don’t get me wrong, there were also extremely delicious foods out there. My favourite was a type of wrapped pancake, that contains a fried egg in the middle, and is typically eaten for breakfast. Also, their noodles were delicious, and one of my favourite sauces was one made with fresh vegetables and peanuts. Everything tasted so fresh and was just the fraction of the costs of a British meal out!
All this time though some treats from home would have been a blessing (for example, the concept of chocolate wasn’t well known where I stayed in China!), so it is a great idea to deliver British snacks to other travellers out there.
I hope to return to China at some point, with some better preparation next time though, especially in regards to the language, knowledge about local food, and improved fitness levels to re-tackle those mountains…