Sunday, August 19, 2018

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

EN

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.
  
NL

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~
 

I AM ASSERTIVE
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 AM PATIENT
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
A PROUD CHINESE
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?

10 comments :

  1. Welcome back! It looks like you had an incredible time traveling and I can't wait to hear more about your trip! I imagine you can learn a whole lot about yourself during long trips, especially when traveling to other countries and being immersed in different cultures.

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    1. Thank you dear! I can't wait to share my stories on my blog ^_^ checking out other countries and their
      culture is one of my favorite thing to explore Xx

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  2. Oh no, I left my comment on the wrong post *face palm.* My comment on your museum visit was meant for this!

    I'll get it right the next time LOL!

    xx, Des | https://www.itsbetterinheels.com

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    1. Haha no worries and thanks! I think you should always be proud of your roots!
      Xx

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  3. omg i am obsessed with all the food you were able to eat!
    xx jen
    http://lilthoughtswithjen.com/

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    1. Haha :P food discoveries abroad is one of my TOP favorites thing to do!
      To be continued! xx

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  4. The Great Firewall of China is pretty ridiculous! Somehow I was able to keep up my Blogspot when I was in China (maybe it wasn't blocked yet?), and Instagram wasn't blocked until I left for college. I remember going back to Beijing for summer break and getting so frustrated about not being able to keep up with blogs on Bloglovin'. I could never tell if some blogs weren't loading because they were blocked or because the internet connection in China is so slowwww. // My mom loooves hot pot and will have it any and every season! I'm really bad with heat, so I'm usually against eating hot pot in the summer, but sometimes I give into the hot pot if the restaurant is air conditioned ;D // It must be an amazing feeling to connect with your ancestry and explore your culture in all its beauty, especially if you didn't get the chance to growing up! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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    1. Yeah :c I was pretty off-grid when I was China haha... and my family says the same thing about
      eating hot pot in the Summer. It just doesn't have the same kind of cozy vibe as in the winter.
      But I guess eating hot pot at a restaurant with ac is ok :P Xx

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  5. Quite jealous of your Asia trip. I've heard a lot of the same thing about China as you've reflected, but appreciate your take on things. Also - love all the food pics!

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    1. Awww don't be dear! And that's nice to hear we experience the same thing about China and thank you!! #foreverfoodie you know :P Xx

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