Notes from China, Part 2

More TIL in China…

  • There is nothing made here with High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Everything’s made with natural sugar, because China doesn’t subsidize corn like we do, insanely, in the US.
  • Food is, by and large, fresher here. Meat was likely butchered within a day or so of being served or sold. Yogurt and diary products are not pasteurized. Eggs are not washed when collected, and can safely sit at room temperature for a few days.
  • Xi’an cuisine is all about the noodle. ALL. ABOUT. THE. NOODLE. Shanghainese is apparently all about sweet, and dumplings. Tasty, tasty steamed dumplings. Now I’m hungry again.
  • Food in China is ridiculously cheap.
  • The Great Firewall of China really puts a serious damper on the Internet, especially anything that uses an encrypted protocol. E-mail doesn’t seem too dramatically affected, as my trusty Apple Mail app can still fetch and send to all of my accounts, but there seems to be a selection of services that do work, and everything else is just blocked. The things that do work are subject to deep packet inspection. This slows everything to a crawl. Unfortunately, this also means things like Evernote, DropBox, etc. are hit-or-miss, but mostly miss.
  • Did I mention traffic here is a bit loony?
  • Shanghai is definitely more upscale than Xi’an.
  • I’ve seen more upscale cars in Xi’an and Shanghai than I do in La Jolla / San Diego. Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche. I guess if food and housing is cheap, there’s only so many other places to throw your money, so a lot of people throw it at cars.
  • With as crazy as traffic is here, I’m amazed that I’ve only seen two accidents on the roads, and one near-miss. I happened to be in the taxi for the near-miss. EXCITEMENT!
  • Two weeks for a trip to China, especially if you’re going to central China (like, say, Xi’an), actually costs you about 5 days of travel, if you’re smart and plan on a one-night layover after/before you cross the Pacific.

I guess that’s about it. Looking forward to going home. Not looking forward to the extra 20 hours of travel being inserted into my day, but I’ll be in my own bed tonight after a 40-hour Friday.

Notes from China, Part 2