China experience

Updated 2019-07-05 11:48:08

4.Aromatic street barbeque of different meat varieties is highly inviting and worth trying.

5.Though I was reluctant to taste Tofu because of its odour, I rejoiced eating it with brown sauce, chilli paste, garnished wonderfully with chopped green onion. I, thereafter became a fan of different varieties of Tofu.

6.Tanghulu, the sugar coated fruit toffee is abundantly found at all popular tourist destinations. Unlike stinky tofu this was like love at first sight for me. It was so eye-catching that I couldn't resist myself from trying these fancy looking fruits stuck on bamboo skewers. The fruits like Orange, strawberry, Pineapple, Kiwi etc coated with hardened sugar syrup were arranged attractively. The sweet and sour experience could be relished at the end of each bite.

Delightful Dining style

To my surprise, unlike in India, most of the dinners/ lunches outside home happen in small dining rooms of the fine dine restaurants. Neatly organised room with six to ten chairs and a dining table with a rotating table top to facilitate easy pick-up of ordered dishes. Food is served in small cups and saucers instead of the usual dinner plates. Forks are replaced by chopsticks. These initially embarrassed me. Nevertheless my handling of chopsticks improved by the time I left for India. Drinking liquor during dinner is an old tradition in China. It is served and cheered upon in an unique manner. Chinese people propose toasts of the traditional liquor in a small goblets to their friends and others sitting at the table. They touch their glasses gently on the rotating glass top to cheer others dining in the cubicle. To my surprise, it is customary to cheer on every sip of the drink, and colleagues often go to the other end for pouring drinks and greeting their friends.

Shanghai: The Dream City

Shanghai is China's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district's futuristic skyline, including 632m high Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. The skyline of the city is a perfect blend of modern futuristic skyscrapers with oriental structures. What interested me in Shanghai was the urban planning and development. The buildings convey about the city and dreams of the people residing there who wish to excel in modernity by blending age old traditions.

The city has a plethora of food delights served as per the traditions of Beijing, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangzhou and of course the local Benbang dishes. My local student guide offered me spicy Hunan food as farewell dinner, that literally made my eyes moist.

Amazing Transport system

The journey by high speed bullet train is an amazingly pleasurable experience, certainly better than air travel in India. Even the jerks and shudders of bad weather felt in air travel are absent in the smooth speed of 325km per hour. The digital boards inside the car displaying the train's speed pump your heart out. Strikingly neat and clean ambience of the train car, made me feel shy when I accidently dropped tissues on the floor. The railway station was so huge, that for a moment, I felt as if I am at the Mumbai International Airport. The sit outs, security check, boarding line-ups, food joints, passenger movement space and other passenger amenities reminded me of our airports but certainly not our railway stations. Such is the unbelievable train system of China, not to mention the precision, speed and time of arrivals and departures. Even the travel in huge metro network of Shanghai, Wuhan and Hangzhou and Beijing is surprisingly pleasant for a first time foreign traveller. Ticketing, payment system, boarding and exit from metro stations, despite language barrier, is so customer friendly, that one need not look out for assistance, though assistance desk is available at all stations .

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