Made in China makes many people think of inexpensive clothing or plastic toys. Sure, those are some of the things made in China. But that is only a small part of the picture. On my trip, I discovered so many beautiful, quality products made in the country. Lovely jade bracelets, silk scarves, quality paper goods (I couldn’t resist buying a notebook even though I have a full stock), and the list goes on.
Chinese food is not like what we often are served in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. or France. It isn’t all fried, heavy or loaded with MSG. In reality, there are grilled meats and fish, a large variety of vegetables and fresh fruits. Eating Chinese food can be synonymous with eating healthy!
Some of my favorites: sauteed green beans, fried rice and scrambled egg with tomato
I’ve been told (even by Chinese people themselves) that the Chinese are shy and reserved. While this is true, I found the people we encountered also to be very warm and welcoming to “westerners.” They were generous with their smiles and many stopped to say “hello.” What surprised and amazed me in particular was the fascination with my three-year-old daughter. In many instances, Chinese children would come up to her, hold her hand and their mothers would ask us if they could take photos. While I am very cautious about having strangers snap shots of P. at home, the experience in China was different. I couldn’t resist this friendly, cultural exchange.
I love the Chinese population’s interest in the culture of the west, but one thing saddened me a bit. I noticed that so many advertisements for goods and services featured Caucasian models. How does it feel to be Chinese and faced with so many images that reflect the western world? How can this impact the self-image of a young person, for example? I’m not saying that all of the models should be Asian, but I think that those billboards could use a bit more diversity.
A strange ad I kept seeing in taxis
In the coming days, I’ll wrap up my China posts with one that is a bit more tourism related… I’ll share with you a couple of my favorite spots! Stay tuned…