Well, we’ve survived week one. Our journey started off with a 16-hour flight and an overnight layover in Hong Kong. When we scheduled this route, we booked a hotel about 30 minutes into the city, as we expected we would want to explore for a few hours before catching up on some sleep. In reality, this plan was completely unrealistic. We were running on fumes as soon as we stepped off the plane. I was so exhausted by the time we sat down at dinner, I thought I was going to go cross-eyed and fall asleep in our basil fried rice. We ate at a cute little restaurant called Namo Thai that was next to our hotel and right on the water. Why did we have Thai food for our first meal in China? I have no idea. I’ll blame it on the sleep deprivation. Our food was delicious and our Costa Rican server was hilarious (and thought we were Australian), but that place was hella expensive. I’m pretty sure we spent $15 USD on one sparkling water and a diet coke alone. Afterward, we made the daunting hike across the four lane street, on a pedestrian bridge, to take photos of the city’s amazing skylines. We were welcomed to the edge of the walkway with a little slice of home, in the form on a Texas sticker on the lamppost. After taking it all in, we hit the hay at the late hour of 9:00 pm.
Once we landed in Chengdu, we were finally able to start unpacking for the first time in a month. It feels so good to have a closet again! Living out of a giant duffle bag gets quite frustrating once you’ve convinced yourself it’s eating all of your belongings. That is the only explanation for not being able to find anything this last month! We have an apartment at the Shangri La hotel, just a 10-minute walk from the compound we hope to live in during our stay in China. Along the riverbank between the hotel and the compound, there is a center called Lan Kwai Fung, named after the infamous party street in Hong Kong, that caters to the international crowd. The area offers many restaurants such as chinese tapas, pho, ramen, german, latin, Hooter’s (that’s right), sprinkled with bakeries, coffee shops, bars and beauty salons in between. The architecture is a mix of modern with traditional Chinese elements that remind you that you’re not in
Kansas Texas anymore.
Our first weekend living in China consisted of phone plan shopping, two-hour massages and exploring a little place called Wide and Narrow Alley. Sadly, not being able to communicate with anyone back home once