Friday, June 3, 2011

China year

This year is China year for me - a bit like the year of China in France, when you have all kinds of events, concerts, exhibitions about China. I spent a whole month in China in April, and I've just booked my tickets to fly to Shanghai again this summer.
This past month in China was really awesome, I cannot believe I had not been there for almost 5 years, 5 years too many without visiting my definitely favorite country! It's not that I do not like other countries, it is just that I know and understand China too well, I will not be able to get the same interest for another country. Been too tiring to get to that level of Mandarin anyway...
So I was supposed to fly to Shanghai beginning of April, but I was extremely needed one week early ^^ to work on a project. Of course this is not an issue, I will pack in a few hours, and Saturday night I am flying out of CdG to Pudong. 8.30 Monday morning, after a short night trying to recover from the jetlag, I am sitting in front of my computer making sense out of what I am supposed to do for that first week in Kunshan - but here I am back in China. And I just love it here - what a surprise!
I spent 3 days in Kunshan, then 2 days in Wuhu meeting with colleagues I had welcomed in France a while ago. We started the training - the original reason why I was travelling to China for work. Good atmosphere and it looks like we are doing a good job together, but two weeks is such a short time to teach them my job! I especially appreciated the very Chinese dinner offered by my very Chinese colleague, excellent food and Chinese wine. I think our cooperation is only just starting...
I took advantage of being in Wuhu at the end of the week, to spend the weekend in Nanjing. As a great coincidence, I have never been to Nanjing, and my friend Clover, met in Malaysia last year, lives there and is adamant I should stay for the weekend! She is absolutely lovely, welcomes me in her home with her parents, and takes me to all the nice places in Nanjing.
Clover in Nanjing park
Ming tombs in Nanjing
Visiting Nanjing also includes some excellent culinary experiences... Clover took me to plenty of different restaurants, and as she enjoys spicy food I will get to enjoy Sichuan vegetable wok, a fish hotpot, then shuijiao (boiled dumplings - from North China), lotus roots filled with sweet sticky rice, xiaolongbao (I call them tangbao in Wuhan), which are dumplings filled with soup - one of my favorite dish in China, very hard to find in France!
Sichuan spicy wok
Fish hot pot
Clover also took me out with her friends: one bottle of Nth year whisky (supposed to be very good), green tea and coke, pick the mix you want to get! I do not enjoy that drink as much a ginzhu naicha, but it brings all kind of good memories back.
That was the first week in China... Soon to come, second week, Kunshan, Shanghai, etc.