My Memory Book
There are some memories that fit in no categories and some that fit in nearly all of them. It can still be important to catalog these memories somewhere. My trip to China was very interesting. It consisted of almost every topic you can think up. Because this was such an odd and beneficial trip for me, I’ll relate it in “Other Memories”, since it really doesn’t have a single topic it could fit under.
My immediate family and my second cousin went on the trip during the summer between seventh and eighth grade. It was the first time out of the country for me, unless you count the small trips into Mexico as a young child. My mother was concerned that I would get culture shock as the Eastern worlds customs differ wildly from ours. I was fine, and only suffered minor jet lag on the way there too. One of our reasons for going was the 2010 World’s Fair, which was to take place in Shanghai that year. The plan was to spend five days in Shanghai then fly to Beijing for another five days. The plane ride over to Shanghai was ridiculous. From Newark, it took about six-teen hours without a stop to complete the flight. There were screens where you could pick movies to watch on the plan, so that was not as bad as you might think.
I think the Chinese people were more shocked by us than we were of them. People frequently asked to take their pictures with us. Keep in mind we were almost the only white people there, and we gather it was very unusual for teenagers to travel to China. The hotel we stayed at claimed on the website that their breakfast featured a combination of Chinese and American food. They did really try to do that, but it was a bit sad. Their food was the same American ingredients, but cooked in a different way. Not that the hotels food was bad, for instance, they had fresh watermelon slices, which were delicious.
The World Trade Expo was very interesting. Each country had a pavilion that had a building on it. Inside the creatively built buildings, there was a museum of sorts showcasing the country. Since we went to over seventy pavilions, I could do pages on all of them. The best pavilions were usually the European ones, but there were also some other cool ones. The African countries and some of the other poor countries were housed in one giant area, with an area assigned to each of them. America’s pavilion was basically three videos put together, but it was enjoyable none the least. Spain’s was one of the oddest, it had a giant animatronic baby at the end of their pavilion. It was hilarious to watch people’s faces as they rounded the corner and saw the giant crying baby. Our trail was quite tiring, as we rested little in an attempt to make it to as many pavilions as we could. I don’t regret this, as it might be a once-in-a-lifetime event. We had almost no time for anything other than the Fair, but it was time well spent.
After five great days in Shanghai we flew to Beijing. Beijing didn’t have any big events like the expo in Shanghai, but there was still plenty of things to do. In Beijing, we took some time off from walking around all day to sit in a restaurant and enjoy some of the local cuisine. I ate some pretty weird stuff: Chicken brain, shark fin, and giant shrimp with the heads still on. Going out to eat at some authentic restaurants was a really fun idea. It allowed us to relax and have some fun too. While we weren’t at the restaurants we were at some of the “must-see” locations in China. The Great Wall, at least the section we walked, was incredibly steep and dangerous in areas. It was exhausting to walk up and down and up the wall again. Also, we went to see the Forbidden City. It was huge, and amazing to think that it had been inhabited less than one hundred years ago. We also had the chance to stop at the Bird’s Nest, where the 2008 summer Olympics at been held. Soon though, it was time to return to the United States.
We returned to America having completed an awesome trip. That’s when the jet lag hit me. I was basically nocturnal for a few weeks. It was all right though, I got the computer all night. I think that the trip to China classifies as the best trip of my life, so far.