Arrival and settling in.
25.07.2015 - 26.07.2015 36 °C
After 3 plane journeys we arrived in Jinan, China, on Saturday. Today is our 6th day here and so far everyday has been an adventure!
On our very first evening we looked out of our apartment window to see some very strange (at the time!) things going on:
1) Crossing the road
Like in England there are lights at the pedestrian crossings, with a red person and a green person to help you know when to cross. Don't be fooled though - cars will still drive at you even when it tells you to walk, people on motorized scooters will drive over then across the crossing (often going the wrong way) amongst other things. We have soon learnt that you need to walk quickly, have a 360 degree swivel on your head, walk with purpose and just keep going!
2) Moving market stalls
Looking out of the window we noticed some rickshaws full of goods at the side of the road. Then we looked closer - there was a mini-market going on in the middle of the road! People had blocked the road in four directions selling various goods from fruit and vegetables to balloons and clothing on racks! It turns out that this is a daily occurrence and that the 'stalls' must move around the local area.
3) Food stalls
Below our apartment there is a paved area that during the day is filled with parked cars. As the evening comes in however, tables and chairs are set up and little pop-up food stalls appear. There are fresh selections of ingredients to choose from and your dish will be cooked there and then right in front of you! We then noticed, over the road, a huge long row of permanent stalls that were serving up a variety of dishes.
4) Places to sit
Anywhere can be a seat. Even the kerb on a busy road. With a baby on your lap!
After seeing all this, we were undeniably excited.
Since then we have spent most of the last few days setting up our new apartment and orientating ourselves around the local area. Around us we have many supermarkets and convenience stores in which you can buy pretty much everything you could want. About 15 minutes or so walk away there are two large shopping centres, both of which have department store-style supermarkets in the basement so getting anything we need isn't a problem. We have also been brave and have used the local buses into the city (10p a journey!) and have got a taxi back from the supermarket with all of our shopping (90p!).
We are settling into life in China so far, like I said before, everyday is an adventure! Plus, they have Rilakkuma in China!