We were a little bit nervous before travelling by train in China, mainly because of the language barrier. The station (Beijing South) was very modern and the train looked like rocket and it was moving with the speed of the rocket as well (300km/h). Standard inside was pretty ok, but there was no soap in the toilet.
At the station, Ying with her dad were waiting for us. They took us to their house where they prepared Chinese dinner – lots of dishes , made our bellies look like drums (we even prepared two dumplings). They wanted to give us all the best, and we wanted to try everything . Ying told us we should try the meat from the middle of the table . It had darkish color. It was not greasy and the flavor was new for us . Our friend asked us to guess what it was. It was a dog.
It made us a little sad, because we thought about our dogs – both died in the past three years. We couldn’t eat more of it. We don’t want you to think that we are hypocrites – in Korea we ate the pork, especially Jowita after staying in Japan attacked each piece of meat like a predator. I don’t think that the pig is anything worse than a dog. Ying told us that dogs are breed in China for slaughter, it’s a different kind of dogs than those kept in homes. However our cultural habits shaped in a particular form and it’s hard for us to overcome them. We’d rather not eat dog ‘s meat anymore.
Ying’s family gave us mountain of gifts and drove us to a very nice hotel where we spent the night. Jowita was very moved by all profound signs of Chinese hospitality.
The next day was a source of interesting experiences . We went to Zhoucun. Normally we would have to pay for entrance, but we snuck in as part of the New Year’s parade – consisted of various weirdos , lords and ladies dressed up in a fancy dress and doing a lot of noise using different musical instruments (for sure there was a lot of drums, but we remembered that it was a lot of buzzing sound). Of course, one of them was also a dragon. We were moving quietly behind the procession, responding to all the smiles we were getting. At some point, a participant of the procession instead of going along with the other members stopped and asked if he could do a photo with us . When the rest saw it they also wanted a photo and a little confusion was made.
At the beginning we were happy , we didn’t expect that after these timid requests would come something bigger . And it came . At the end of the parade participants were taking a common photo and a cop pulled us there firmly . Then the photographers saw us. After that wherever we went and stopped for a moment, or even when we were just walking calmly a few photographers appeared in front of us. Ordinary people sometimes did not ask us for a picture – they simply put a camera to our face and took pictures . At some point, the owner of a wine shop called photographers and told them something in Chinese . Then he dragged us to his shop and put us into our hands a bottles of his wine, in the spotlight . We were advertising his wines ! Everything seemed to us so absurd …
In addition, Ying’s dad wanted to buy us everything. We asked him not to , but eventually he bought us traditional for the city – sesame cakes (we were in a museum devoted to the sesame cake ) , and for Jowita he bought a beautiful silk scarf (there was even a small quarrel with the clerk who raised the price when she saw foreigners ) . They paid for all our meals (we will probably go back to the topic of paying for meals in Asia! ) . We felt overwhelmed by the generosity . They didn’t listen to us when we said that we pay . Ying told us later that her parents when they heard that we were coming said that they want to repay the kindness we showed Ying in Poland.
We spent a very nice time with Ying and her parents and it was sad to leave. We would stay longer but Ying had a plane in the morning, she was coming back to Daegu . Our trip to China was not exactly planned, we were wondering where we should go. We decided to go to Confucius city . At 8 in the morning Ying’s parents arrived at the hotel, Ying at that time was at the airport. Although we didn’t understand each other , we managed to exchange a few words. They took us to the bus station where they bought tickets , took us to the platform , put us on the bus and informed the driver and passengers where we go and asked them to tell us when we should get off . We carried a card on which the name of our station was written – 曲阜