TRAVEL MUSINGS TOURING CHINA - Peter Stewart Photography

By Peter Stewart | May 2013

Just got back from a month in the mainland. Here are some of my strange encounters and thoughts on the middle kingdom. I wrote down all these snippets into a notepad whilst I was traveling. 

- today i sat in a restaurant and they had the same song on repeat for one hour

- my phone service stopped exactly half way between crossing a bridge connecting Hong Kong with Mainland China. Freaky

- the Chinese dont wait for you to get off the subway, they barge on in

- mainland Chinese girls are gorgeous. 

- overloading an elevator with too many people will cause it to break down. Note: elevators in China are regarded as the least safe in the entire world. 

- i always seem to get a table near where the waiters hang out. So they can laugh at me while i eat.

- in Shenzhen i saw a woman throw a baby at a man in the street. The baby landed on the ground. Police busted in. It was chaotic and very very disturbing. Police merely picked the baby up off the ground and 'tossed' it into the back of a buggy. Later on the news they would play CCTV footage of the event without censoring the violent act. 

- you might as well just kill yourself now, because using any two wheeled form of transport here is suicide.

- A few 'ni hao's' and 'xie xie's" go a long way

- organised tours to tourist attractions are for losers. Do the research and go it alone. You will have a far more interesting experience and not be bogged down with middle aged western tourists. 

- people will constantly stop you to take their picture with you - met a girl who spoke Mandarin and French...but not a word of English. Whats that about? Our conversation in French lasted about 2 minutes. The amount of time it takes one to get bored taking about baguettes,

- Chinese rock music is shit

- Chinese classical music is hauntingly beautiful

- today a girl stopped me in the street to take a photo with me. I made her pose like James Bond whilst taking the shots. 

- using an iPad to take photos is not ok. IPads take shit photos, and you look like an idiot holding up a tablet in zero light conditions.

- i saw a very old man doing the Gungnam Style dance.  

- i spent 6 hours on a train learning basic Mandarin. Get to Gailin, they dont understand what i'm saying :(

- its gotta be tough when you're American born Chinese (ABC) and you don't speak the language.

- the song "lemon tree" is really popular here. Like REALLY popular

- asking ticket touts which bus to take always gets a response of "bamboo boat" !

- in China, buses dont leave on schedule. They leave when they're full.

- today i had to pay $23 to ride an elevator to the peak of a mountain starting trail. I got over this extortion by spending 30cents on a magnum icecream.

- evan at 3000ft high up in a mountain, you will find McDonalds. I am seriously not kidding. 

- when i went to McDonalds for an icecream, the couple in front of me took literally 5 minutes to order a fucking burger.

- in rural Hunan Province, i stick out like a lepper. Except that everyone wants to have their photo taken with this lepper

- learning to read and remember Chinese, is a hell of a lot easier than attempting to speak it. This helps when hailing down a bus without a single word of english or pinyin written on it.

- i would gladly pay $2000 for google glass if it had realtime chinese to english translation overlay on the HUD

- The average price for a flat white coffee here at a coffee shop is $5.85. On the flip side, a can of beer is 30cents

- i love paying extra for the fancy bed on long distance trains, only to get onboard and find someone else sleeping in it.

- i hate it when im browsing in a shop and the assistant just stands next to you the whole time pointing at random things. Just go away!

- today i saw an old lady with pus filled holes in her legs, she was plugging them up with bits of tissue. I almost brought up my lunch!

*none of this should be taken seriously. It's just the ramblings of a poor travelling photographer with nothing better to write about. 

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