Thursday, February 21, 2013

Train of Thought

We had no idea on our 18 hour train ride from Liuzhou to Haikou we would get caught up in a political discussion with complete strangers. 

Last month Andrew and I went on a dinner and shopping date where we both set out to buy what we considered to be a very Chinese sweater. I bought a black a white striped, fur collar, gold chain hanging get-up while Andrew bought this fist pumping one pictured below.

We've asked a person or two in the past what it meant and they would just say they didn't know. Either their English wasn't good enough to explain or they don't keep up with current events as much as our bunk mates on our long train ride. The moment they saw Andrew's sweater they seemed to overreact with a little bit of pride and laughter seeing an American wear such a thing. He asked what it meant only to find out that he was making a political statement on the streets without even knowing it.

Over in our neck of the woods the ownership of the Diaoyu Islands is a heated battle between the Chinese and Japanese. There are even stores in our city that put up signs saying, "No Japanese". Apparently his sweater is declaring that the Islands belong to China. Which lead one man, with very good English, to ask Andrew who would win in a war between the two. Andrew, not wanting to offend the man, claimed that of course China would win. It got a little uncomfortable when he told Andrew that if America does not help Japan than China would win the war. 

This was all theoretically and Andrew really has no opinion on the matter either way. But he posed for our new friends to take photos and made sure to cover his face in case it winds up on some ad where an American is supporting the Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu Islands.

We also had a cooking lesson on the train with our new bunk mates who were amazed by what we deemed to be "science food". It's typical to take prepackaged bowls of ramen noodles on the train and cook them with the boiling water spouts in between each of the train cars but we decided to switch things up a bit.

We found these ready to go rice and vegetable meals that came with a water pouch and some white powder that when combined creation a chemical reaction which resulted in boiling water. Wayne said what the powder was but I've forgotten..sorry. Maybe you're more savvy in chemistry than I and know what it is. Either way, you place your bowl of rice on top of the water & powder pouch, pour over your vegetable and sauce pack, and put on the lid. A mere 15 minutes later and you have a delicious, hot serving of Kung Pao Chicken. Delicious but spicy.

Everyone was fascinated, us included, by what seemed like magic causing the water to boil and heat up your meal. They're going to be on the look out for them. Out with the ramen and in with the science! We may have just started a new trend.

2 buses...3 trains...1 taxi...and a little more than 24 hours later...

....and we are in beautiful, sunny SANYA-the southern most point of China! I have known and heard about this place for the past three years. Andrew shares stories all about spending Christmas on the beach here years ago. I was over joyed to be here with him.When I saw the Palm trees at the Haikou train station I knew I had arrived!

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