Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pure Decadence

If I told you that I was experiencing native life in China, I would be lying. We're staying in a 5-star hotel, eating at 5-star restaurants and meeting at Beijing University (the Harvard of China.) There is nothing pedestrian about this trip...and I'm kind of okay with that :)

We checked-in to our rooms and noticed the luxury right away. There are feather pillows, down comforters and a bathtub with a retractable divider from the main area so you can see the television while you lounge. They even provide three complimentary bottles of water a day, as well as all the amenities you could ever dream of, including a beautiful comb made of wood.

Our meals have been at some of the nicest restaurants in town. Course after course is deposited in front of us, each beautifully presented. There were all sorts of interesting dishes laid before us. On this trip, I tried unpeeled shrimp, jellyfish, rabbit, and a variety of unnamed fruits. At the tea house in the Olympic District, I ate a soup made from some type of bark that was supposed to make me more beautiful and drank tea that was supposed to make me look younger. I almost asked for seconds when the traditional Chinese dancers came out and gave a performance for our benefit.

The next night, we ate at a restaurant which is famous for its Peking Duck. Again the courses flowed, one after the other. The table was full of sea cucumber, duck liver, orange chicken, ground duck, jellyfish and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Finding a Diet Coke here is almost impossible, but the peach nectar that they offered at dinner was a welcome substitution. With all of the great company and delicious food, the meal carried on well into the evening. Afterward, we went out for a foot massage.

While I miss my family greatly, the decadence of this trip is not lost on me. I understand that when I return home this all ends and it's back to dishes, laundry, and responsibility. I'll embrace that with open arms, but until then, I'm going to enjoy every minute of this!

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