Ni hao (hi) from China. Wow - this is a different country. I have travelled to Singapore and Malaysia, but this is the most culture shock I have ever felt. I wonder if it is because I am an older traveller this time, or if there really is a difference for a Westerner?
It's been quite a trip just to get here. First my passport and visa got lost in the mail and I had to get both in less than 2 weeks (take heart if this happens to you - it took me five days, but you can actually do it in three). Then I realized on the day before what I thought was my departure, that I actually was leaving (from Los Angeles) on that day. I made it!
The trip is part business and part pleasure. I am off to discover what the organic, local and sustainable food scene is like in China. Not that great from what I hear and see, mostly because, and this comes from a Shanghai local, "How can we trust anyone to tell us the truth about the food they are selling us?" Sounds like US corporate food service is not the only country figuring out food integrity issues.
I'm keeping this short, because I don't know if it'll make it up. There is no Facebook and Google allowed here and I am wondering if I'll be able to access a Western news source to post something. Let's find out.
If you are reading this, than it made it too and I'll add to this post when I can. Like about that Street Market dinner I had (enjoyed?) yesterday in Shanghai....
For your basic California, vegetarian girl, I'll tell you, it's quite a food party here.
Xiexie and zai jain.
(thank you and good bye)