Archive for July, 2008

Introduction to Zhengzhou

Some important notes unrelated to Zhengzhou…

  • This is my first time posting my own entry! Before this, Li-Wen has kindly been doing a lot of the manual, electronic grunge work because wordpress is not accessible for posting in China. Hence, all the fabulous formatting and design is all courtesy of Li-Wen Inc.
  • Our sincere and utmost apologies for not updating. Li-Wen and I have been crazy busy w/ life and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. Both of us are heading to graduate school this fall so this blog will probably fall off a hill quite a bit.
  • So up to this point, we’ve pretty much been censoring our comments due to courtesy to our hosts. However, after many long nights and pints of sinful chocolate ice cream, we’ve decided that it’s full-disclosure from this point on as we’re writing for ourselves, not for being political correct. Expect Gossip Girl material, Chinese style! (just kidding…)

Zhengzhou, right. Okay, your natural reaction may be (rightly so) , “where the heck is Zhengzhou”? Good question. The above picture should help; the city is the capital of the Henan province (for Henan’s location — think heart of the chicken/dog). If you’re a tourist, it’s probably going to be the first stop. Henan is also currently the most populous province of China (after Chongqing was made its own region out of Sichuan).

Henan’s probably most famous for its ancient capital Kaifeng which was the national capital during four dynasties of China’s long and glorious history including the Later Han and Later Zhou Dynasties. Henan is also famous for the Shaolin Temples which we’ve reported on already… and let’s see, the region is also notorious for people selling their own blood (Henan’s reputation is that it’s poor but the economic expansion is rapidly increasing) whereby, some of the poor villages had high HIV positive incidences due to inadequate sterilization*. Besides this…I know I’m forgetting something important… Hmm…

Whatever, Zhengzhou has an ubiquitous Chinese-city-look that to my untrained eye means nothing exceptional, not even in the parks, which were very nice, full of the old dancing, poker-ing, singing-away and young people just chillin’.

Anyways, after our week in Dengfeng, we went to Zhengzhou. It was a smooth transition except for the part where Dr. X dropped us off in a random street corner with a really random friend of his who bummed along for the ride from Dengfeng to Zhengzhou. Dr. X told us that he had already booked a hotel but when we went there, for some reason that I don’t recall, it wasn’t satisfactory. We waited an hour. I called him and asked, “how are you doing?” where he said, “I’m checking out other hotels. Wait there. I’ll be back soon”. One hour later, he took us to another hotel. Fortunately, this hotel was super fabulous in that it had an internet bar connected adjacent to the hotel.

Let me stress how important internet is here – let’s take it from the viewpoint of Li-Wen. Li-Wen has the following people to interact with 1) a food and sleep-obsessed one travel partner 2) weird and not always pleasant Dr. X and 3) incomprehensible patients who speak with the heavy Henan accent. In short.

Internet => portal to the whole wide world => sanity.

To his credit, Dr. X gave us each 50 kuai/day for food expenditures for three weeks. I’m still not sure where this money is from but we were greatly appreciative of it. I also must mention here how appreciative we are of Li-Wen’s mother’s connection, this fantastic woman and her apartment where we stored our all of lugggage (for the duration of our dengfeng trip) and how my uncle carried my 40 pound suitcase up seven flights of stairs to that woman’s apartment. So this marks our beginnings in Zhengzhou…

******I remember what I forgot about Henan: the Henan roast chicken is delicious and famous!******

*thank you wiki!


Read Full Post »