China Recap: What we learned and Matt’s stats

This blog post is meant to recap China in a fun way.  If there are any stats you’d be interested in, let us know!

What did MAP learn in China?

  1. Most importantly, we learned a ton about Chinese history and culture.  Both of us were particularly impressed with Beijing.  It’s really amazing to see statues, relics, temples, etc. that are 500-2,000 years old and incredibly ornate/detailed combined with a modern city.  Phi loves the using following Feist lyric to describe China: “so much past inside my present.”  Phi: It’s hard to explain the feeling when you look out at the Forbidden City against the backdrop of a booming Chinese city. Whenever I think of that view, I just hear those lyrics in my head. The juxtaposition of old and new coming together -through the physical buildings but also metaphorically: old and new customs blurring together and the growing pains of rapid economic growth coupled with a deep, rich history of advancement.
  2. We did a good job of learning public transportation and how to get ourselves around effectively.  I loved the Beijing subway!
  3. In China, people drink only warm/hot drinks.  This includes water/soda.  I was not thrilled that he was not able to have a cold Coke with dinner.
  4. Everything you know about the right of way in the United States is not applicable.  Motorcycles, bicycles ride on side walks and both with traffic and against traffic.  Cars don’t yield for pedestrians.  Pedestrians don’t yield for cars, bikes, buses, etc.  It’s really a free for all.  Everyone honks their horns at all times.
  5. People are really intrigued by me and not afraid to show it, frequently doing complete 180s on the sidewalk.  We even caught a few folks video taping me.
  6. People expect Phi to know Mandarin and are quite upset to realize that she doesn’t.
  7. Cell phones are perhaps a bigger (at least equal) thing here than in the United States.
  8. Biggest American brands in China: Apple + KFC/Pizza Hut/McDonalds (we did not eat at any of them). However, Phi did check out the Starbucks to learn more about their Chinese presence.
  9. Chinese “ghost towns” are a real thing.
  10. Banking in China is more involved than in the United States.  It took ~30 minutes of transaction time to exchange USD.

Matt’s stats:

  • Maximum steps in a day: 31,584
  • Average steps in a day: 23,933
  • # of runs: 2
  • Average expense per day: $127 (excludes flight to China and insurance cost spread over trip)
  • # of nights in Airbnb: 7/7 (We’re fully booked in Japan in Air bnb as well, but will eventually use other accommodations)
  • Max # of days without a shower: 2 (Matt)
  • Let me know if you have any other stats to include…I’m sure I’ll add some more!

Phi’s Top 3 Chinese experiences:

  1. Great Wall hike + local meal at guide’s inn
  2. Buying and eating fresh produce from local markets (persimmons, Asian pears) and random local meals found (egg pancake, noodle soup, yangrou paomo)
  3. Re-visiting China with Matt and seeing it from his new eyes and perspective

Matt’s Top 3 Chinese experiences:

  1. Great Wall hike + local meal at guide’s inn
  2. Experiencing Chinese culture, way of life and transportation
  3. Forbidden City (history was incredible and it was big enough that you could get away from the tourists.  Loved the 2,000 year old Buddha statues.

 

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2 thoughts on “China Recap: What we learned and Matt’s stats

  1. I am assuming people were really intrigued by Matt? They could also be intrigued by Phi and how awesome she looks! This part was unclear. Miss you both and love you!

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  2. Wonderful recap! I’d love to hear about how much food and transportation costs compare across the countries you’re visiting. Is a typical meal <$5 or something more? What is the average cost of a bus/subway/train fare? Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Japan!

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