Ni hao, friends!
Well, I made it to China. I’ll be staying here for the next week, accompanied by some of the other Entrepreneurship Scholars from the University of Portland. We have all set up meetings with professionals in our respective fields. I’ll be meeting with independent publishers, food and drink editors, feminists, chefs, and locals from all walks of life in both Beijing and Shanghai.
The first 20 hours of traveling included a layover in the Tokyo Narita airport, where I grabbed an Asahi and took a stroll through the terminal, stopping to gaze longingly at the intricate and adventurous snack options. I came across shrimp, mayonnaise and honey flavored rice crackers, “Tokyo Banana” treats that closely resembled Twinkies, and, of course, the unmistakable golden arches of McDonald’s. I’m not afraid to admit that I ate—and enjoyed—a Big Mac meal. I figured I would make this my last “Western” meal before completely committing to eating only the local foreign fares for the next several days..
I also popped into a well-stocked magazine shop that had me drooling over some of the most gorgeously designed publications I had ever seen. Despite not being able to read a single Japanese character, I could still appreciate the sharp layouts and beautiful photography. My short jaunt through Tokyo Narita convinced me that Japan is definitely next on my list of future travel destinations.
Wondering what culinary delights we received as in-flight meals? I’m glad you asked! For dinner, I had orange “chicken,” a “salad,” and what I think was supposed to be a “dinner roll.” I wasn’t expecting a five-star dining experience, but lets just say that none of the food was very spectacular.
After finally landing in Beijing, we made our way through customs and hopped on a bus to our hotel. I was exhausted and knew I had a big day ahead of me, so I went to sleep almost immediately.
Tomorrow’s agenda: The Great Wall of China (!!!), Ming Tombs, and some feasting.