The Dawning of a New Year

Zhengzhou Travel Blog

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To bring everyone up to speed I am originally from Newmarket Ontario, Canada. And have been in China for a grand total of three weeks and loving every minute of it. I have always wanted to travel and see the world ever since I can remember so a few months ago I decided I was going to make that happen. Now traveling is outrageously expensive and I could not afford to do this with my savings. (I don’t have any) So I started looking into teaching English abroad to help finance my travels. The more I researched the more I liked what I saw, so I enrolled in Oxford Seminars TEFL course to gain a better understanding of what I was getting myself into. The course was great and it should help a great deal during my time away from home.

China, what can I say about China? This country is amazing the people here are incredibly nice and very helpful, something you don’t encounter very often back home. Being a foreigner here is a very interesting experience particularly in the city where I am located called ZhengZhou. Many of these people do not encounter foreigners very often and I am always amazed by the level of curiosity displayed. People will stop and watch you as you go about your business, point and whisper something to each other. Many smile at you, wave or even say “hello” to you. If you listen carefully to random conversations you may hear “Lao Wai” which simply means foreigner. Yep they’re talking about you. I am told this is less prevalent in the more major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong because there is a greater number of foreigners in those cities.

The places here are amazing as well with many interesting things to see. I even had the opportunity this past week to go to an old rural Chinese farm for a New Years get together. The farm and the way these people live has not changed much in the last hundred years. I even had the chance to see an old style Chinese kitchen which was basically a very large metal bowl suspended over a wood burning fire. Very Cool. While I was there I also had to hang the New Years decorations on the doorways using a home made paste, (which I think was made from animal fat) and apply it with a brush made out of reeds. It was an amazing experience.

However the best experience I’ve had so far during my time here is easily New Years Eve. The Chinese know how to celebrate to be sure. The sheer amount of fireworks used here is overwhelming. On New Years Eve I saw more fireworks that night than I have seen in my entire life. And Chinese fireworks are not the same as North American ones. They are ten times more powerful, travel only half as high and are everywhere you look. Some of them are basically just half a stick of TNT which are really loud and a lot of fun. To top it all off the fireworks are always going, during the day, during the night and so far for seven days straight. It’s amazing.

Now that my blog is up I will be posting as regularly as possible. And don’t worry they will probably be much shorter from here on out.

Also my friend Mike and I have created a movie based upon our New Years Eve adventures you can find it at
www.northkin.com/vid/teaser.wmv

If you would like to see the full movie, drop a comment stating so and I can email you the download link.

Stay tuned for more Crazy Chinese Adventures.

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Zhengzhou
photo by: alexchan