Email from China

*This was originally sent as an email, sorry for those of you who already read this.

Hi all,

Chop Sticks!

Since we are in mainland China now, we have discovered that the Communists have a thing against foreign social networking websites.  No Facebook, no Youtube, No Ebay and apparently no WordPress which is the site where we post our blogs.  I thought you might like a short update on China until we get back to Hong Kong and can post a more detailed account on our blog.

China is an exciting and shocking place to travel.  We are right now in a very beautiful part of the country called Yangshuo in Guangxi province.  Think of the haystack shaped mountains that you see when you picture Chinese paintings.  This is exactly where we are.  Those mountains are called the Karst landscape.  We haven’t figured out exactly what Karst means yet, but the landscape is incredible.  This town is known for its rock climbing and biking.  In many ways it reminds us of a Colorado ski town.   Except for that in Colorado, you don’t have toothless old ladies come up to you at breakfast and aggressively try to sell you postcards, flowered headbands and whatever else they may be hawking.  We have tried saying no politely, we have tried buying a little something and we have even tried being rude.  Nothing seems to stop them from their job of selling.  And if it’s not the old ladies, it is someone else.  Selling is the main business here in China.  And yes, most of it is knock offs.  We saw an addiron store right next to an addidas store.  We have seen more variations of the Nike swish than I can count.  We bought a couple of “Kipling” bags from these two girls who were cousins and sealed the deal by speaking in Hebrew to us.  They had learned every language of their tourists so they could better sell to them.  It worked on us!  Yes, we way overpaid.

pumping water, old school

So, here in Yangshuo we took a bamboo raft trip down the Li River.  We visited an 340 year old house from the Qing dynasty where two elderly brothers and their wives still live in the same house their family has lived for 12 generations.  They show the tourists around their traditional home and accept donations so that they can keep the house from being torn down.  We toured caves and played in the mud baths and hot springs.  There was a biking day through small small villages where we had to take a ferry across the river and a tuk tuk ride (basically a motorcycle engine in a small bus frame) to get to market day in a town called Fu li.  At the market, we found out that the Chinese really do eat dog.  We are all becoming vegetarians and that is all I am going to say about that.

Yesterday we took a side trip to the Longxi rice terraces.  These are the pictures that we all saw in our social studies books explaining how farmers must adapt to their environments and these farmers learned how to turn mountains into growing fields.  We also saw some Yao woman here who wear the long, long hair and for a fee they will take their hair down and show you how they wrap it up on top of their heads.  They only cut their hair twice.  Once when they are 18 and once when they are 36.  Somehow this must be related to the Jewish tradition of Chai, but how I can’t even imagine.

Yao Long Haired WomanMaya shlepping in the rice paddies

In the middle of all this beauty we are also seeing a lot of craziness.  People spit all the time!  They eat strange food, fried bee larva for example.  The toilets, just forget about it.  They are just ceramic holes in the ground.  Even the beds are strange.  They sleep on hard beds.  Not just firm, but actually hard like a board of wood.  And, they love foreigners.  They want to take our picture.  They especially want to take Rikki’s pictures.  It is like being a celebrity.  It’s fun being an exotic oddity.  Oh, and Mao is still a hero.  The Cultural Revolution was apparently all his wife’s idea, not his.  He’s still number one at least here in the country.

Tomorrow we fly off to Shanghai for a few days for a totally different view of China.  I am sure we will continue the shock and awe campaign and we will try to keep you up to date through email if we can.

Love and miss you,


Categories: China | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Email from China

  1. At first,let me say sincerely:Welcome to China! Yes,China authorities has blocked many social network websites,such as twitter,facebook and google+……etc., wordpress as well. Generally,we use VPN or other proxy software to cross the Great Firewall. You’d better buy a VPN account in case you can’t use twitter,…etc.

    CCP government is evil. Many Chinese netizens,of course include me,dislike this autocratic regime.Hoping we can overthrow the CCP government,and have free speech rights and vote,and wipe out damn Internet censorship,I believe it won’t be too long,that’s a relief.

    Just as you said in your above post,indeed,Mao Zedong is still a hero to elderly or brainwashed peoples,but I’m sure that it is 1%. The majority of ordinary Chinese look upon him and socialism rationally today. They are totally evil,1960’s severe famine and Cultural Revolution caused many people died,really crazy era.

    Guangxi province,locate in southwestern China,belong to poor area in China.Shanghai is better. Enjoy your travel ! n_n

  2. Laurie

    Goldman’s, Ni Hao! What a thrill seeing you in Guangxi! That is where our Min Jia Xue (Amanda) was born and where we traveled to get her! She was from Qinzhou, the port city on the southern tip, 50 miles from Vietnam. Yes, the food- it’s hard! I lost 8 pounds the first week we were there! Shanghai will be so much easier and it’s gorgeous.

    We think about you often and have to catch up with your blog. Will read this to Amanda over the long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

    Fu Tai Tai (Mrs. Freeman) 🙂

  3. Shari Cohen-Kairey

    Love the photo of David juggliging for the locals. We had sushi yesterday night and I think it was a lot more sanitary than your fresh fish. I am loving your blog. Amy, you have been married to David so long, that you have the same sense of humor. I read the entire post thinking it was David’s voice, and then saw your name at the bottom.
    The Kairey kids are home and we are sending all our love to you guys.

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