Summer 2014 has been wonderful so far, I’ve been on various trips which can be counted as some of the amazing experiences of my life so far. Besides all the travelling, I hope to receive my driving license before I move back to uni, as I found myself preoccupied with a fairly intensive driving course and having passed my driving theory test not so long ago! PHEW. so fingers crossed.
In my spare time, as you probably know I hopped on the train and commuted frequently to Cardiff. HOW I MISS THAT CITY. As I am trying to find out the perfect place for afternoon tea, Pettigrew Tea Rooms is located in the beautiful Bute Park at the city center by the Cardiff Castle (some pictures of the park can be found HERE). It has been rated the top tearoom in Cardiff, so being a foodie like myself couldn’t resist the temptation. Last week I also discovered an organic food/bar called Milgi. Being a huge fan of healthy and organic products, I stopped by on a Friday night which was surprisingly busy for a bar of its size on City road. What I loved about the place is that not only it has the eco-feel reflected in its interior design as well as the mugs/cups of the drinks it serves but also it’s a relatively quiet place to enjoy drinks between friends and family as opposed to the main stream pubs/clubs which are pretty rowdy on weekend. Places like these are hard to find these days.
I can’t remember the last time I stayed in my garden, soaking in the sunshine and appreciating all the beautiful flowers raised by mum. Well lately that’s all I have been doing! So relaxing, sitting on the wooden swing, sipping my green tea and enjoying my thoughts to myself. The beauty of nature! It’s powerful isn’t it? I think I’m going to miss this what I like to call my “secret” garden when I move to university.
Lots and lots of food being offered, apparently China has this ”guest rule”, which means any guest will be showered with fruits, food, gifts and you can’t really refuse.
Traffic is absolutely crazy!! In his words: it seems that the only rule for drivers is don’t run a red light.
you WILL get stared at a lot( depending on where you visit in China of course), but don’t take it offensively, it’s just Chinese people being curious because they don’t see many foreigners. He has a tip: smile and wave back at them, usually people will shy away 😛
- If you hear the term ”Lao Wai” when you are walking about, more often than not, it means people are talking about you. But don’t be offended, it’s not a racist term, it means ”foreigner” and can be attributed to anybody who isn’t Chinese.
- Cost of living is VERY CHEAP compared to European standards in terms of food etc. However, surprisingly branded clothes such as Adidas etc are very expensive.
- The weather in China generally is warm, and can be very humid; however as Annie has already pointed out recently there have been very heavy rainstorms (perhaps I dragged the dismal Welsh weather with me).
- At meal times/resteraunts expect to have Chinese people looking at you while you eat, again this is not because they are rude they are just curious. If you can use chopsticks reasonably well then it may attract attention as there is a general belief in China that non-Asians simply cannot use them, people will be impressed if you can but if you cannot at least try to use them and experience the culture.
- If you plan on using taxis in China make sure they are from a big company as unmarked taxis or “black taxis” as they are otherwise known will often not have a meter and will charge ridiculous prices for foreigners.
- When buying something from a market stall in China be aware that nothing will have a price tag on it and the price is settled through bartering. If you are a foreigner people will believe that you are wealthy (which is a reasonable assumption since you are likely to have a lot of money on holiday), prices will start very high and you will have to bargain to bring the price down. However in big chain stores all goods will come with a price tag so it is no good trying to bargain.
- Be careful if you want to try any street food, with a lot of stalls there won’t be a problem but some are not very hygienic and the food may make you ill and ruin a good portion of your trip to China (for instance yesterday we walked past a stall selling the fermented “stinky tofu” and half of the street smelt like a cess pit).
- Public toilets in China are not seated toilets but sqaut toilets, which obviously means that there is no seat and you have to squat over a hole in the floor (sounds disgusting but most public toilets are), however hotels and apartments will have seated toilets.
- Some useful phrases are “bu yao” (No I don’t want it), “Xie xie” (thankyou) and “Mei shi” (I’m ok). In China if you are the guest of any Chinese people these can be very useful as being the host in is very important and as the guest you will frequently be offered food and asked if you are ok.
These are just some of the characteristics of China, and any bad points are far outweighed by the good. China is a great place to be at the moment, it’s just a shame that it is often portrayed negatively in the West.
Nothing beats a good day with the family, went for some sushi, did a little shopping, overall what a nice day! I found a really nice coat at Hobbs which I shall post later, now I’m back to my studies! Oh and thank you soooooo much for your support guys, received my notification last night got over 200 likes, it’s only been over 2 months but what an encouragement that is !! 😀
It’s been a while since my last post and don’t worry guys, you are not forgotten! So I’ve been quite stressed lately about the upcoming exams and yesterday was mums birthday so I had some detox time with retail therapy and a delicious meal at Chimichangas. Here’s some pictures:
Hey darlings, its late sorry about the bad update. I promised to write about my day at Cardiff city yesterday so here it is.
The morning started in a rush, I spent too much time doing my hair so I nearly missed the train by 5 minutes!! SCARY THOUGHT. Finally I met up with my bestie Daniel who came down to visit Cardiff for the day, once again nearly missing our train to Cathays by one minute haha! We walked around the campus area for a while, you know pretending to be younger like we had no UCAS experience ;). We then settled at this beautiful garden to relax and chatted about what we saw mainly how excited we are for September. With daffodils booming all around us, I am more determined than ever to being able to sit on this exact spot catching up with Dan over a coffee again. 😀
after our lovely chat, we headed to the high street and settled for a mexican lunch at Chimichangas, we both ordered a chicken burritos and it was delicious also very filling!!
After showing Dan some of the major sites in Cardiff we ended our day with a long conversation at Starbucks, overall it was so nice meeting him in a lovely day , now let the hardcore revision session begin ;)!! I shall write again soon.
So not going to bore you guys about my day in school or revision. I had a lovely evening, treated myself with a cheeky Indian meal and talked to my bestie about our day out on Wednesday which I will keep you guys updated about our day. Night for now! 😉