Monday, December 16, 2013


Have you ever traveled outside of the United States (or your home country)?

I've visited Canada and Mexico, but I think of that as "tame" in comparison to overseas.  This year my parents went to Ireland and just recently returned from their trip to China.  

They said that New York City with all those sky scraper tall buildings must look like a hick town to people in China, because their cities of sky scrapers last FOREVER…..

No one in China owns a home.  Many of them live in apartments the size of 100 square feet - with no bathroom and no kitchen and it costs them 1200 (in US dollars).  They have to use a community bathroom between floors.  And they have to go out to eat.

During my parents visit, they couldn't update anything on Facebook, because China blocks the ability to get on Facebook.  They would email me pictures and ask me to post the pictures for them.  This issue about blocking FB bothers me.  I guess it's kind of like when people want to "keep a secret" even if it's a good secret or a neutral one, it makes the secret negative, by way of "hiding"it or in this case, blocking it… 

I don't remember what my parents had for breakfast, but they said that was always the best meal of the day.

I asked them, "How did the Chinese people treat you?"

My parents responded, "VERY well.  They would come up to us and ask if they (the Chinese) could take a picture with us.  They like Americans.  But they don't like the Japanese at all."

The tour guides were funny… the guides told the group, "We don't say you have to go to the bathroom or use the toilet.  We say that you have to "sing" if you need to have a bathroom break."  My Dad of course said, "Well, I'm about to sing Opera!"

Though the hotels were luxurious and the bathrooms had all the American expectations… the bathrooms on the tours of regular Chinese areas.. well, that was a little different.  There is no toilet paper.  (Carry your own, ok, no biggie.  I've heard of this before.)  But… the toilets… it's IN THE GROUND.  Like as in, a hole in the ground… oh but NO.  My Dad said that many of the men "missed" the mark and he almost slipped in the bathroom.  And the women have to hover over a hole on the ground.  I think I would have done the pee-pee dance until we got back to the hotel!

But otherwise, they had a fantastic time.  They said it was awesome and beautiful and was "an experience."  They even walked the Great Wall of China and have a plaque to prove they are "heroes who walked the wall."

My parents came back with some beautiful gifts and even gave Gregory an adorable Panda Bear stuffed animal.

I'm so glad my parents are having these awesome experiences and enjoying their retirement.  This is how it should be!  I'm proud of them.  And I'm thrilled that they are home.  I've missed them.  Love y'all!


speculationsimpressed said...

I've lived overseas for a short time but that was in Europe, Greece to be exact. The culture is slightly different there but, I'm sure it would be nothing like the differences your parents have experienced. One of my sister-in-laws is Asia, Indonesian. Although she has adapted quickly to American ways, there are times when I've been to my brother's and her house and get surprised by what she's doing.

Cheryl said...

I haven't ever been to Asia before so this was really interesting, Aleta. I have heard about the squatting toilet situation and that doesn't appeal to me either. I am like you...I would be making a run for an Americanized hotel.

I would love to hear more about their trip. What did they eat for breakfast that made it the best meal of the day?