The (Chinese) status updates that could have been

Travelling around China for the last two weeks has been many things: chaotic, fascinating, hilarious, and at times dangerous. Having been there before, and with China’s rapid development, I didn’t experience much culture shock, as a first-time visitor would. However, the last time I was there (about three years ago) there was one, massive, major difference.

I could access Facebook.

At some point between now and my last visit, Facebook has been banned in China. Having no access to WordPress and Youtube and most news articles was not particularly enjoyable, either. But I won’t deny that being banned from Facebook was the most disorientating. As you might imagine, there were many things over the course of my travels which merited a witty status update, but sadly could not be. Until now.

So I’ve decided to give my frustrated Facebook urges an outlet and put together some of the status updates that I would have posted during my trip. I could write endlessly about mouth-watering Chinese food, stunning skylines in Shanghai and Hong Kong, getting in touch with my ancestral roots, museums and ancient sights, but it’s the little moments (that are so often well summed-up in a short status) that make a trip. Plus I’m too tired to write it all. So here, loyal readers, is a bit of what I got up to…

  • I hate long-haul flights. At least we’re flying Air France, so I’m getting in a bit of français…
  • I genuinely feel like a giant here
  • Aaahh the sweet music of people deafeningly hocking spit in every direction
  • When you don’t speak the same language as your hairdresser it’s a SERIOUS PROBLEM
  • Why are trips to the hairdresser always so epic? Literally, five hours. Finished at last at 1am!!
  • When you look Chinese and speak with not much of an accent, people take you as a local. So when you can’t string a sentence together properly, they take you as a local retard. This has happened more often than I am comfortable with.
  • Just ate snake. We got to pick one before it was slaughtered. It was yummy, but tough.
  • First time on a motorbike: three to a bike, weaving madly through traffic, honking the horn like mad, no helmets. Motor taxis are way more fun than the normal kind.
  • Think that Chinese vodka was dodgy…
  • Ate pig intestines and didn’t know it…
  • Reunion of the clan! Wasn’t expecting to have to make a speech to a roomful of 30-odd relatives though. In Chinese.
  • Queuing at Nanjing train station’s ladies’ toilets; one cubicle didn’t have a door…didn’t stop a woman from using it right in front of us all anyway. Didn’t know where to look.
  • After three days of grand Chinese banquets, I’m desperately in need of some simple peasant food. Plain rice or noodles, PLEASE!!!
  • My cousin’s German girlfriend was actually translating Chinese to English for me. What’s wrong with this picture??
  • Ate duck tongue. Oh, and pig tongue.
  • Truckin’ with 7 travel buddies, the youngest (after me) being 50 years old. Rock on!!
  • Can actually hear someone hocking spit from my hotel room…glad we’re upgrading to a 5-star tomorrow!
  • Trying to order room service in Chinese…disaster!
  • Mongkok Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong seems to have brought out a shopping fiend in me, and a haggling beast in my friend.
  • Back in Europe, where good bread and dairy products actually exist. So when’s the next trip to Asia…?
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