Sunday, August 19, 2018

5 airplane tickets and 7 world cities: what I've learned


Hi blog, I've missed you as I have been on hiatus since I left Holland for Asia in the Summer holiday. This also has to be a record of the longest hiatus ever! Anyway I'm back with lots of good juicy blogging material and I can't wait to share it with you all.

So I was in Asia in the following places: Hong Kong, Japan and China. Japan has been on my to-go list since teenage years and I was super excited I was finally getting there. I was also excited to see China for the first time of my life too. And thanks to China I wasn't able to Google which is blocked which mean no blogging. At first I was super bummed out because I wanted to catch up my blogging during the Summer holiday. Since China blocked everything I've no choice but to accept and eventually it was actually nice not to blog for a while. It felt really relaxing and joyful that there was no pressure of posting a blogarticle.

China also blocked IG which made me super stressed at first but later on I felt even more rejuvenating. Now that I feel more restored I am ready to go back blogging.

And as the good blogger that I am (cough) I kept a travel journal during my time in Asia. Here I wrote the things I have learned throughout the time being in Asia.

Hey blog, ik heb je gemist. Ik was namelijk deze hele zomervakantie in Azië. Dit moet trouwens ook een record zijn van de langst afwezig zijn van `t bloggen, maar ik ben nu terug met heel veel leuke blogmateriaal die ik dolgraag met jullie wil delen.

Ik was in Azië in de volgende plekken: Hong Kong, Japan en China. Japan stond al hoog op mijn to-go lijst sinds tienerjaren en ik had dus enorm veel zin dat ik daar eindelijk daar kwam. Ook China stond op mijn to-go lijst. Dankzij China die alles van Google heeft geblokkeerd kon ik dus ook niet bloggen. Eerst baalde ik als een stekker, want ik wilde mijn bloggen de verloren aandacht teruggeven in de vakantie. Ik kon er weinig aan doen dan te accepteren en achteraf gezien bleek 't best fijn te zijn om even niet bloggen. Het was ontspannend zelf, want de druk om perse een blogartikel te plaatsen was weg. 

China blokkeerde ook IG. Ik was eerst best gestrest hierdoor maar ook bij deze bleek achteraf hoe bevrijdend het voelde. Ik voel me nu namelijk opgeladen en ben klaar om te gaan bloggen. 

En net als ieder blogger houdt men een reisdagboek bij en dat deed ik dus ook. Hier schreef ik onder ander wat ik geleerd heb. In dit geval in Azië. 

Am flying with Swiss Air Lines this time. My economy spot was allowed to have 1 baggage of 23 kg and 1 hand carrier of 8 kg. Challenged accepted! As a result my both return baggage was 22,7 kg and 7,5 kg and no I didn`t remove any items at first and I was super relieved when this was shown at the airport scale, woo!

My little Asia tour starts from Amsterdam/Schiphol airport where I`ve flown with Swiss Air Lines to Switzerland first for transit and from Switzerland to Hong Kong for a couple of days then to Japan for 2 weeks and finally China.
My papa~

While I was in China, I`ve noticed the different behaviors between the people from my country (the Dutch!) and the citizens of China. I`m Chinese but I`m born and raised in The Netherlands and so I`ve little knowledge of how the real Chinese folks are like. I`ve also noticed this difference between the Chinese people from China and Hong Kong even. Now it`s logical that people, race, gender etc. on this planet has all different behaviors and that makes this planet thankfully colorful and honestly less boring too.
It was my first time in China and my impression of the Chinese people is a bit stony sometimes blunt but also very very transparant because they literally show you how they are. In public or not. For example the majority don`t cover their mouth when they burp, sneeze or spit in public. In public transport like a train they don`t have this courtesy of letting people out first but steps inside immediately whenever the doors flies open. This is totally different in Japan where politeness is up the notch. But that doesn`t mean China isn`t polite they just don`t show it straight away. While I find most Chinese behaviors unusual, the Chinese people itself seems to be not bothered by it and that`s good! You should be proud of your culture and that is something I respect. I like that the Chinese people wear whatever clothes they want whenever they want. A cocktail dress in a supermarket? Sure! Or in pyjama`s? That`s ok too! No one is going to give you odd looks (well maybe just me) or laugh at you publicly. Despite the stoniness I find it is also strangely freeing this way of behaving and living because it appears that the majority just want to take care of themselves.

And that`s motivating for me to become more assertive, to stand up for myself when someone is challenging my rights, to express myself openly and positively and to voice my needs, but don`t worry I`ll always cover my mouth when I burp.
I think I`m a patient person. I don`t like to rush things but sometimes, sigh, I can be lazy. And that`s where I do short cuts to finish things quickly. Sometimes the outcome is not bad but sometimes it`s just rushed knowing I can do much better if only I was more patient and take time. I find that Japan moves like a walk-in-a-park with cherry blossom trees, very chill and no stress at all. It seems like they don`t mind taking things slowly. For example, they really take time to pack up food neatly making it to pretty for you to eat it almost. Another example is that I couldn`t hear people complain when they are standing in a long line waiting for the bus or a good sushi place. They just stand there and wait without showing a single complain. And that I find it pretty special and rare even because most people today wants to have everything done fast, move fast, to have their online purchases delivered fast, to have fast wifi connection etc. etc.
Japan taught me how to be patient, how it feels like to act slowly and to actual put effort and take time in everything you do.
I can`t speak Mandarin beside the most basic words such as `hello`, `thank you` and `toilet`. However my 2 weeks+ stay in China did help me improve my minimalistic Mandarin a bit. Hǎo!
This is by the way the National Library of Beijing which looks a truly fun place to study.
I have also learned how to eat a popsicle quickly in the hot humid Asia weather or otherwise it will melt in seconds.
I love how clean Japan is!!
Even it was 35°C+ in China I can always do and enjoy a hotpot lunch.
Kimchi flavoured chips. It was pretty ok actually.
My first food in Japan: ramen!
It was midnight when we arrived in Japan and basically everything was closed except for the many convenient shops we`ve found and! This ramen shop called Mugiya (むぎや) was still open and we all agree that we rather have a steamy bowl of hot food than a pre-packed sandwich from a Family Mart, no offence. #ISTILLLOVECONVENIENTSHOPS
I`m a DBC (Dutch born Chinese) and I grew up in The Netherlands and I`m proud! Proud to be a Dutchie and to be Chinese. I have always been proud to be a Chinese but I don`t always show this directly to the world. Like if this pride is already there inside your heart then there`s no need to shout it out or to proof am I right? The fact that I am Chinese and to be proud of it took me quite some years to fully embrace it. Here`s why.

I grew up in The Netherlands in a country side where there were hardly any Asian community around. There`s no Chinatown no Sunday Chinese school (actually thankful for that) and no Chinese/Asian neighbours. In my kindergarten to my primary school and middle school I was like the only Chinese kiddo in the classroom. When I was a kid I wished I look like Sailormoon because Sailormoon is white, blonde and beautiful (despite it`s a Japanese manga creation) I wanted to be like her so I can fit in. Really silly of course and as I grew older and got introduced to a couple of discrimination here and there I wondered why I was born in The Netherlands in the first place. I continue grow older going to high school and becoming more a banana - a slur meaning used to refer to a person of East Asian ancestry who, as a citizen of a Western country, has forgotten the customs or identity of his (or her) ancestors. Yellow on the outside but white on the inside just like a banana. Back then my group of friends consists of 95% white Dutch friends and like 5% or less Asian friends and I was fine with it. I was already happy enough I got friends in the first place, but somewhere deep I wanted to know more Asian people. I wanted to share similar things such as Chinese food, Chinese tv shows and perhaps talk in our native tongue too. That would be so cool! Luckily I was able to go to Hong Kong frequently to visit my family and to keep in touch of my Chinese quality. I am also blessed with friends who accepted me of who I was: a Chinese. Yes, they do still make stereotype jokes but I do the same thing with them and no hard feelings are involved. As I grew older and my family from Hong Kong sees me more of a Western girl than someone from local Asia I was still fine by that. Because afterall I`m a DBC and I`m proud that I can be both.
I am happy that I can speak Dutch and Chinese/Cantonese fluently. I am happy with the Dutch way of living. I am happy that I got introduced to Chinese food from young age, woo! I am happy with our Dutch king and queen. I am happy that our Dutch king has a friendly connection with China. I am happy when I wear a cheongsam dress.

I am happy.

I have been going to Hong Kong since I was 4 and Hong Kong has become my second home. It was my first time visit to China this Summer that really made me proud of my background. I`ve seen images of China on TV and read the news about China and it`s nice and all but none of these beats when you really set foot on the land of China and see it for yourself. I was not amused of the dirt and dust I`ve found but the rich history, culture, resources and tradition makes it all up. What a beautiful country and that is worth something to be proud of.
Japanese food in Japan generally is very tasty I find. Whether it`s from a higher class restaurant or a simple noodle vendor from a trainstation like here where I got myself a bowl of soba noodles with egg (with runny yolk) and vegetables. The quality of food seems not be degrading despite the area or location.
I`ve spotted this cute Hello Kitty boxes at many Japanese household outside. Later I`ve learned it`s a cool box for the milk delivery which is quite a popular thing in Japan.
What things have you learned during travel?

Saturday, July 7, 2018

A Night At The Museumnacht 010 - Rotterdam

A bargain!

Now that`s a cheap price for visiting 44 museum for the entire night! Of course it was impossible for me, Jessy and Noah who were with me during the Museumnacht (means Museumnight) to tick all 44 museum but we were gladly to see and visit some of our favorite museum. Check them down below!  

Voor één prijs en je kan in alle 44 musea binnengaan, dat noem ik een goedkoop uitje! Natuurlijk hadden ik, Jessy en Noah - die ook van de partij waren niet alle 44 musea bezocht. Lijk me nogal onmogelijk, maar gelukkig gingen we wel langs onze favorieten. Check ze hieronder! 

@ Hinoki
Before we entered the cold artsy night, we warmed and filled our belly first with a bowl of ramen and hot sake. Oh yas.

More of this coming soon!

Maritiem Museum
The Maritiem Museum is a maritime museum and presents everything relevant about such as the sea, harbor, navy, fleets, marine power, boats, water etc. etc.
I thought this would be a total boring museum visit but oh boy how wrong was I! I`m quite surprised of how this kind of museum - whom I thought would not be my cup of tea could be this interesting, interactive and actually: fun!
I was super duper sick that day :( covered my face to protect myself and others.
This computer on wheels was actually our tour/info guide and was all self moving, following with an actual real live person behind the screen who speaks and also answers your questions if you had them! I even had a short conversation with the person and was really funny.

This was my least least favorite museum visit. There were here and there pieces that were beautiful but mostly it was too contemporary and too abstract. #tooweird
My girl Jessy who dragged me into this Museumnight event. (THANK YOU)
Seriously, what are these?


At this colorful eventful night at my favorite museum: Boijmans van Beuningen, I wanted to see one specific art piece called `The Tower of Babel` painted by the Dutch Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I have never seen this painting in real before other then on the internet and such but it`s a super detailed painting with a quite intriguing story behind it. I was also quite surprise of how small the painting actually is in real when I finally saw The Tower of Babel.
Why I speak Dutch and you 荷蘭人
Ever wondered why the world has so so so many languages? The Tower of Babel painting explains and shows you why. According to Wikipedia the story tells about an united humanity in a land called Shinar where people only speaks 1 single language with each other. Here they all agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. Their way of cheating to reach heaven on the easy way sorta. God, who was observing their city and tower, was not amused and punished them by twisting their one and only speaking language and multiply it into a thousands of languages. This way the people of Shinar could not understand each other and making it impossible to finish the tower and blocking their way up to heaven. (Genenis 11:1-9)

The Tower of Babel painted was painted in the year 1563.
How does it feel when we don`t understand each anymore? Me and J. had a taste of this miscommunication by joining a fun activity where you try to color a piece of The Tower of Babel the right way. The only problem is the clue is written in... Latin! O boy.

If you know Latin then this little piece of paper should be no problem but I don`t know Latin and so I was blind coloring my piece of The Tower of Babel.
Result: a mix of missmatching pieces of The Tower of Babel, being artsy and unique at the same time.
More Tower of Babel inspired activities.

Our last museum visit of the night was at the Kunsthal. They had a theme created that night which was called `a night at the circus. It was quite horrifying.
By Danish artist Michael Kvium.
And that`s it! Time to go home and sleep.