5 Myths about China that are not true

1. Everyone eats dog meat

IMG_20150723_101435
A dog enjoying the calmness of that dirty river :’D

It’s true that there is a dog meat festival in a village in Guilin. These people are definitely the cruelest, dumbest, most ignorant and evil people in this world. Seriously, how can you possibly tortue and then eat a dog??!?!!?!??
Yes, this festival is a reality in China, but it’s the exception. I have never seen anyone eat dog meat where I lived in China. I also don’t know anyone of my friends who tried it or seen dog meat being offered anywhere.
Of course I am not trying to deny that this behavious exists in China, but it is also not true that everyone in China eats dog. It’s rather more common to see dogs being kept as pets now, and they seem to be more popular than cats. There are also more people protesting against the dog meat festival every year. So I hope that after a few years, the government will actually do something to ban it for good.

2. You will return with lung cancer

20160214_121031_Richtone(HDR)
That day the smog in Shanghai was stronger than on other days.

Another misconception that many people get after watching the news too much. Again, I am not trying to deny the fact that the air is polluted, but it is by far not as bad as you see in media. Of course, when you happen to live in Beijing, it is more serious, but if you happen to live in any other city, you won’t see the smog as often as you feared. I was living in small town close to Shanghai, and the only times it was really smoggy were the 2 or 3 days after Christmas.
December is a very bad time to visit China, because the pollution is gonna be the strongest. Since winter is really hard in the north, heating will go up during the cold months. The eastern and southern parts of China don’t have central heating since there is basically only one month of proper cold weather. Still, the smog from Beijing wanders east to Shanghai and the cities around it. I did wake up to a smoggy morning and I just cried in my bed. I didn’t know what to do other than wear a face mask.
Still, this only lasted a few days. The other days were maybe only a little bit more polluted than the weather here in Germany. No city nowadays is 100% clean. I guess you’d have to live up on a mountain or by the beach to have clear and clean air.

3. Street food is not safe

IMG_20160324_230513
Some fatty but yummy street food in Xi’An

Totally wrong! Street food is in most cases even safer and cleaner than restaurant food. You can actually see all the ingredients and how they cook it, so they can’t trick you. Also, most locals get streetfood on an almost daily basis, so don’t worry. It seriously is restaurant food that you should be worried about. Behind closed doors, those cooks use MSG and used oil and what else we can only guess about.
Street food is the safest option in Asia in my opinion.

4. Everyone is rude

IMG_20160604_152028
Some frown, some laugh.

I hear a lot of tourists and travellers complain about how rude chinese people are. I can see how that happens though. I also had my share of chinese rudeness, but it was mostly some mean taxi drivers refusing to take us because we were not chinese, or couldn’t speak the language, or didn’t have the adress in chinese characters. Other than those evil taxi drivers, I mostly met the nicest people on earth. When I was lost, there were people who would get out of their ways to help me. Once, a girl even took us all the way to our hostel although it was raining outside. Not only young people, but also older people are so nice when they see you are lost. They are actually the ones who will understand your broken mandarin the best :’D
Also, when you plan to go to China, you should get ready to learn at least some basic sentences in mandarin. People will appreciate it and they will be more eager to help you out. Actually, this is something you should do for every country you visit. In the end, you are the visitor.

5. It’s a communist country

IMG_20160313_234626
Mao is watching you

Of course, the party that rules the country of China is a communist party. Still, chinese people must be the most capitalist nation I have seen. They are addicted to shopping and real estates as well as tourism. China is a rising star, and without a capitalist concept, it would have never become the most powerful developping country.
I would describe China as a perfect mixture between communism and capitalism. I am sure, that the political situation in China will eventually get better and better after the following years to come. I kind of feel like China might be the next super nation since the US is doomed with Donald Trump :’D
Anyway, what I wanna say is that the political situation in China is actually not as bad as others imagine it to be.

So these were the most crucial myths people know about China before actually visiting. If you visit a country with specific misconpetions already floating around in your head beforehand, then it is quite certain that these things will actually happen.

So please, wherever you go, let go of your prejudice and enjoy the place in its purity!

Merveille.

Advertisements

Last view on Paris

Our last day in Paris has started, sad but true.

After having our last breakfast, we got packed and left the room. We asked if we could leave our suitcases until before our train departure and it was okay. We still had almost the whole day until 4pm. Then we should slowly get back to the hostel to collect our things and head to the train station.

But before that, we first wanted to go to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur and the Place du Tertre where artists are presenting their work and where you can get a portrait of yourself.

Walking to the hill where Sacre Coeur was reminded me a little bit when we walked up the Parc Güell in Barcelona. The street was aligned with shops left and right. We found a cookie store and bought some, but had to find out that they all tasted very strongly of soap :’D So if you come pass that store, don’t get in!

When we finally arrived at Sacre Coeur we were a bit out of breath, and I personally was a bit annoyed by the several street vendors, trying to trick you into buying some stupid stuff. Usually, I am really tolerant when it comes to things like these. In the end, they also have to earn their money. But there is a limit when someone violently grabs your arm and hinders you to continue walking. I screamed at him, wriggled my arm out his grip and quickened my pace. That was really rude and creepy. Anyway, take care of that when you walk up the church. Other than that, the view was beautiful, the sun was shining again, even on our last day and we sat down on a bench in front of the church, ate some cookies and took some selfies:

Before entering the church, we walked by a musician, playing the harp and people surrounding him and enjoying his music in such a beautiful weather, in one of the most beautiful cities.

We saw that the queue was not that long and were relieved. Inside, there was church service with a full choir and everything. I have never seen such a splendid church with such a glorious musical performance. I don’t really go to church since we are not christian, but I have been to the church a few times when at school, and once for our friend’s mum’s funeral. And I have also been to all the big famous churches around the world you can visit as a tourist. The Dome in Cologne is probably similar in its greatness to the Sacre Coeur.

We didn’t stay too long, so we left pretty soon. It was also not really allowed to film or take photos because of the service.
From there on, we continued walking on the left side behind the church that should lead us to the Place du Tertre. On our way there, we saw something quite bizarre: A woman walking her pet ferret. It made me go sick. People really have no other hobbies nowadays…

We soon found ourselves in the middle of the small but cute Place. I literally felt like in a french movie once again. It was like a dream:

The portrait artists were mostly busy, and my sister and me just casually looked around until we saw how a woman was drawing the portrait of a cute little girl in colour and we loved her style. We then decided to let our portrait be drawn as well, together in one picture. It took around an hour in total, but the result was amazing! We were left in awe:

After having our portrait drawn, we continued to walk into the tiny alleys of Montmartre to find a place to eat. I actually wanted to go to a certain restaurant, but we found another one on the way there which served typical french food, including Escargots which I wanted to try. We went inside and had a seat. I asked if I could only try one Escargot to decide whether to take the whole dish, because I never had it before. She said it was possible and she brought us two little nsails and I tried. My sister was disgusted, so she just filmed me eating it. It wasn’t bad actually. The consistency was okay, not too chewy. The taste was very garlicky and the colour was green due to some herbs it was cooked with. It really wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t used to the strong garlic taste which also makes me feel sick sometimes, so I opted for beef bouignon, the same as my sister.

It took quite a while until our dishes came. The mashed potatoes were good, but the beef was a bit fatty for our taste. We couldn’t eat all of it. Not really our best food experience in Paris. After that I would have preferred the snails :’D

 

Slowly, we headed back to the metro station. It was already early in the afternoon, and we still wanted to go up the Arc de Triomfe. We heard the view to be amazing from there as well, not as high up as on the Tour Montparnasse. It didn’t take long and we found ourselves on the Champs Elysees once again, this time in the middle of a sunny day.

We had to go through the underground passage to arrive on the island of the arc. The entrance to the top was free for us again, so another thing to be happy about. What didn’t make us so happy was the steep ascent to the top. We had to walk up the tiny winding stairs, and it made me both very dizzy and breathless.

But finally, we arrived at the top and the view was beautiful. When I see the pictures now I feel a sting in my stomach and a tiny burn in my eyes. It is just so beautiful. Paris, you are more beautiful than I could have  ever dreamed <3

Unfortunately, we had to slowly descend and leave for the metro. We found ourselves too soon back at the hostel again. We shopped some snack from the supermarket next to our hotel and headed to the station. I felt really sad to be going back to grey Stuttgart. I’ll be coming back for you Paris, I promise :*

I hope you guys enjoyed my trip to Paris. If you haven’t been to this city, I can only recommend you to put that city on top of your travel list. It comes from someone who had prejudices against this city but turned out to fall in love with this place.

The following posts will be travel advices for China and the experiences I had there. I still have to catch up a lot.

Thanks for walking along with me.

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 3/5

Food: 3/5
Shopping: 3/5
Nightlife: –
Transportation: 4/5