Nascar drivers vacation in China?
My cousin Eric has been working in China for the past year. He recently emailed me this very funny story of his first Chinese New Year’s experience. Stories like this make you appreciate how wonderful our great nation really is but also fill you with a sense of longing for being able to go out in the world and experience life adventures for yourself. A few notes to fill you in on before we begin the story:
-Eric is very tall, probably at least 6 feet 5 inches. He is also well built.
-Eric’s nickname is “Bic” or, ironically, “Little Bic.”
-My cousin, Eric, travels with his friend from work, also named Eric. My name is not Eric. Not confusing at all.
-He was an engineering major, thus the spelling and grammar are far from perfect.
Chinese Spring Festival Trip
“新年快乐 (Happy New Year) While all of you in the US were celebrating
Valentine’s Day, China was busy celebrating their New Year. I once
again find myself on an airplane, this time on my way home, well my
Chinese home. It’s hard to believe that this week has gone by so
quickly. As I look back through the pictures from this week I’m
reminded how many different things I did and got to see. It never fails
that each of my trips are jammed packed full of adventure and countless
funny things that happen along the way. One of the advantages of being
in China is there never a shortage of things to laugh at.
I took a day of vacation from work on Friday so we could get a head
start on traveling before the weekend rush of everyone trying to get to
wherever they where headed. I was on my way to ZhangJiaKou (pronounced
JohnJackHo) with my intern Eric. He invited me to celebrate Chinese New
Years with his family in his hometown. My driver took us into Shanghai
where we took a flight to Beijing. There we met up with Eric’s parents
who had driven to the airport to meet us. I found out later that they
were so excited that I was coming to visit they had arrived at the
airport 4 hours before us just to make sure they were there in time.
Their kindness and generosity continued my entire stay with them. They
didn’t speak any English other Hello so Eric had to translate for me
most of the time.
During the car ride home they asked me if I knew how to drive. I, of
course, answered yes which was immediately followed by us swerving off
the road and the car coming to a screeching halt and the doors flying
open and before I knew what was happening I was being ushered into the
driver seat. They were absolutely insistent that I drove. Well, knowing
that there are no enforcement of any traffic laws and all Chinese are
terrible drivers, by western standards, I reluctantly agreed. My
thought was that I’d drive a little bit and then we could switch back.
This was not the case, Eric’s Dad took this opportunity to catch up on
some sleep and I ended up driving most of the two and a half hour drive
to their house.
By the time we got to their house it was already getting late but they
still prepared a monstrous feast for me. Everything was very delicious
and well cooked. They had arranged for me to sleep in Eric’s
bedroom. However, being of the taller nature the bed was not quite long
enough for me. So, they brought the footrest from the couch in and
placed it at the end of the bed to extend it for me.
Continue reading here for more and with pictures (because I am too lazy to re-post it here!)