Friday, October 30, 2009

Off to Guangzhou

Today has been a quiet day. We ate breakfast, took a walk around The People's Park, and now Ashlyn and Gretchen are taking a nap before we leave. I'll never get over how everyone stares when we walk by. As we walk down the street, there is not hardly a person that doesn't suffer from whiplash as we walk by. I would say its like being a celebrity, but its probably closer to being someone who is eight feet tall and not famous. Curiosity aside, the people are very friendly and hospitable.

Nanning has been a very memorable place. It is a city filled with young people. The streets are alive all hours of the day and night. The pace is fast, everyone is going somewhere, so you don't see much loitering outside of the park. However, the park seems to embody the culture in many ways. The sounds of music fill the park as choirs sing, instruments play, and people dance. It is really amazing to see the arts on public display in so many ways. These are people who are often too poor to eat more than once a day, and they embrace life in amazing ways.

The influence of the U.S. is clear hear as well. All of the clothing here has English words or references to America. The news is constantly speaking of relations between the U.S. and China. There is significant pride in their country, and respect by the U.S. is symbolic of their prosperity. The NBA is extremely popular, with all of the TNT games being rebroadcast on CCTV in Chinese. Even the stores and restaurants play American music.

I'm hoping Guangzhou has better food. Its not been that bad, but I have had all of the fried rice I can handle at this point. Outside of Pizza Hut, there really hasn't been any other positive food experiences. Those of you familiar with my typical meat and potatoes diet should not be surprised. When I get home, I intend to grab a tall glass of iced tea with ICE (since we can't have any here)!!!


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