My friend Brooke is in China right now.  She’s such a plucky sort, open-minded, always willing to try new things.  Kind of a  sunny, friendly person, with just the right touch of intelligence, the kind of Smarts that’s willing to analyze and study, but also willing to just let go and be, which is the whole fun part of life. 

 She’s also very, very Southern – what with being born and raised in the true Dixie tradition about 100 miles South of the Southest part of Atlanta.  Straight down Interstate 75.  Right near where the Allman Brothers sewed their oats (but she was a New Kids On The Block fan). 

Brooke’s never been to China before.  She’s made a few forays into the Caribbean and liked it.  But her Careerpath put her on a plane to Shanghai last week – 15 hours from Atlanta to Shanghai in first class (thanks to Jelly), seven hours in the Shanghai airport (my little blond friend, with her 6 known Chinese phrases and 30 dollars in Chinese cash), and then another few hours to Guangzhou, compliments of a Chinese airline with a two letter name, there to meet a guide who would be holding a red balloon – that’s all she knew.

She seems to be doing fine – adapting well.  I’ve had two emails from her.  Here’s the first…


 It is 4am here and 4pm there — I can’t sleep!!!  Yes, everything went fine in Shanghai and the red balloon was right there waiting when I got off the plane :).

I passed on the fish flesh and pieces with fermented vegetables yesterday for lunch and went for the Papa Johns pizza :).  Breakfast was baked beans, little cocktail sausages, fried rice and some other things I didn’t recognize. I did find a Starbucks!

Ah, Papa J’s and Starbucks – does life get any better?

So yesterday (which was Saturday), I posed a question, via email, to let her know how valued her opinion was back here at home…..

Subject:  Tell me, O Great World Traveler

Message:  What does one do on the weekend in China?  Or do they have weekends?

(you can see I’ve never been to China from that now, can’t you?)

Her response:

I can’t really tell since everyone I am around is working at the fair. I will ask the Chinese girls with us today.

I made it through my first Chinese dinner – I ate shrimp fried rice and kale. I tried some chicken – it came out with a head and it was conveniently cut off at the table by the waiter and left in the basket, some gross tasting pork – not sure what part of the pig and some beef with bones in it – yuck. To drink we had water infused with carrots and potatoes – tasted like rotting potatoes and carrots – made me gag.

I have noticed that tooth picks are conveniently provided with every meal so everyone sits around the table and picks their teeth after they eat.

 After dinner we went to have a “foot bath” – totally worth going to dinner :). For about $16 US you stick your feet in a wooden barrel filled with water that looks like tea – it was brown, hopefully it was clean :). You then get a one hour back and foot massage.

 More China stories later…


I can’t wait!

By the way – if you’re Asian and reading this, or an afficianado of pure Asian food, please don’t be offended by Brooke’s cuisine review.  We know ya’ll don’t too much care for Grits or Krispy Kreme Donuts either, so we’re good with it.

Celebrating Asian Favors and good friends abroad today!


 Remember to Celebrate Something Everyday!