Week of New England Summer

I am leaving for China in less than 48 hours.  I’ve been trying to pack in a whole summer’s worth of New England fun in the few days that I’ve had off since the last day of school.  As I prepare for my journey, I’ve had some realizations:

Realization #1: I love summer in Massachusetts.  I am thrilled to be going on this adventure, but I also feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful place, so close to the ocean.

Realization #2: Food can tell you a lot about a culture, and it can be wonderful, strange, and everything in between.  Today, I went to a pig roast!  I’ve heard that Chinese people eat weird animal parts, like cow entrails and chicken feet, but every culture has traditions that might be considered bizarre to those from another culture. It was a bit sad to see that pig on the fire, but she lived a happy life on a farm and probably died in a much more humane way than most meat from a supermarket. I’m looking forward to trying some new foods soon.

Realization #3: Learning about a new culture is like being a little kid all over again. I spent some time this week visiting with my friends’ children on Cape Cod.  It was so fun to watch them discover new things, from new types of marine life to simple pleasures like the feel of the sand.  I imagine that when I arrive in China, I’ll be just like a toddler, with so many new sights, smells, sounds, and tastes to get used to.

Realization #4: We’re all living on the same planet, even though China seems so far away.  The beautiful sunset above is a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, but it’s the same sun that will shine down on me in Beijing.  Even though it’s going to take me about 18 hours of flying to get there, the moon and the sun and the wind and the rain will be the same.

It’s hard to believe that I will be in China so soon!  If you haven’t already signed up to follow this blog through email or facebook, please do. There will be posts coming soon from Beijing, and you don’t want to miss it.  Also, I’d love your help spreading the word about this blog. Please share with others who might be interested.

Categories: China, Global Citizenship, USA

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16 replies »

  1. Hi Sara, We wish a pleasant stay in China, we hope you’ll meet again several people there too. Probably you’ll also can add a few people to your friends list.
    We leave Thursday with the mobil home direction Slovenia.
    Friendly greetings, Jacques and Marina Belgium

  2. Have a safe trip Sara, I kind of realize the most pleasant things in my life before I travel , like the sound of my dangling earrings in the wind – the same wind ? One day in cape cod the next day in China:) looking forward to hear from you soon…

  3. hi Ms. Krakauer!

    it’s exciting to know that you’re adventure will begin so soon!!
    what do you think will happen when you get to China? in other words, what’s your perspective of China?
    i don’t think i’ll tell you yet whether we eat stuff like cow entrails and chicken feet, i’ll leave that part for you to find out yourself. 😉
    you’re lucky to live so close to the ocean!! i wish i could. based on the pig roast, are you near a farm too? i feel bad for the pig, too. 😥
    i like summer here too, but i like spring even more.

    😀 anyways, i wish you a Happy Summer in China!
    have a safe trip! 😀

    😉 ~ anna

    • Thanks, Anna! Wishing you a happy summer also! I don’t live TOO close to the ocean or the farm that raised that pig, but it’s all within a few hours drive away. I have some guesses about what China will be like, but there’s a lot that I just don’t know what to expect. I know that Beijing is a BIG city, so I’m expecting to see lots of crowds and big buildings there. I’ll let you know more about my impressions soon!

  4. Have a fun and safe trip Ms. Krakauer! Here are some places you might be interested in visiting:

    1. The Forbidden City

    The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, sits at the center of Beijing, directly north of Tiananmen Square where the famous portrait of Mao Zedong hangs on the palatial crimson wall. It was the imperial seat for Ming and Qing dynasty emperors from 1420 until 1912 when the last emperor, Pu Yi, abdicated. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

    2. The Great Wall

    The Great Wall winds its way across China covering over 5,500 miles (8,850 km). While the latest construction occurred after 1368 during the Ming Dynasty, construction of the Great Wall began over 2,000 years ago. In fact, the Great Wall is actually made up of a number of interconnecting walls spanning China that different dynasties and warlords constructed over the years.

    3. The Terracotta Warriors

    Discovered in 1974 when a local farmer was digging a well, the terracotta army, buried in 210 BC with the first emporer of the Qin dynasty, is a breathtaking site. The thousands of life-size figures have individually unique faces and hair and armor styles appropriate to their rank. The museum of the Terracotta Army is located in Xi’An, Shanxi province.

    4. Karst Mountains in Yangshuo

    Illustrating the 20 Renminbi (Chinese currency) note, the karst mountains are famously beautiful in China. Located in the south of China in Guangxi province, they can best be viewed from Yangshuo, a small town outside Guilin, a major city in Guangxi Province.

    5. Hangzhou – Paradise on Earth

    China’s “Paradise on Earth”, Hangzhou is a lovely city centered around the famed West Lake. This green city is full of gardens, tranquil temples and pavilions and bustling historic streets to venture through. The hills surrounding the city grow the famous longjing green tea. Hangzhou is close to Shanghai but is a much more laid-back, cultural city.

    6. Jiuzhaigou

    Jiuzhaigou Valley is a nature reserve located in China’s Sichuan province. A beautiful example of China’s varied landscape, Jiuzhaigou is famous for crystal blue lakes and multi-level waterfalls. It is populated by a number of Tibetan villages so is also a superb place to see and experience Tibetan local culture.

    7. Potala Palace, Lhasa

    Now a Chinese museum, the Potala Palace was traditionally the seat of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhists’ spiritual leader. Famous for its imposing white walls surrounding the inner red palace, the building sits at 3,700 meters or over 12,000 feet. The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

    8. The Bund, Shanghai

    The Bund, meaning embankment, was historically the seat of Shanghai’s most powerful businessmen in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Bund is a fabulous place to see examples of Shanghai’s rich architectural history, illustrated by the HSBC Building, built in 1923 and at the time said to be “the most luxurious building between the Suez Canal and the Bering Strait.” (Quote source: Wikipedia)

    9. Giant Pandas and Chengdu

    Heading out to Chengdu is a great way to get a taste of Sichuan as well as an in-depth understanding of Giant Pandas at the Breeding Research Base.

    10. Modernity in Hong Kong

    See modern China – and Asia – at the cutting edge with a visit to Hong Kong. Walking down the Kowloon side promenade gives the traveler a view of some of the most beautiful modern architecture in China, dominated by the Bank of China Tower designed by I.M. Pei.

    For more information, please visit: http://gochina.about.com/od/whattosee/tp/ChinaTop10_2See.htm

    Have fun! 🙂

    -Ameya HB Edelman

    • Thanks, Ameya! I’m en route and currently at the airport in San Francisco. I hope to see some of these places, probably the ones in Beijing and Shanghai. Air China awaits in just a few minutes, and then I’m in for 12 hours of flying. Happy summer!

  5. I hope you have a great time in china! I’m sure you’ll see many interesting things on your trip! Have Fun!! =)

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