We are heading to Guangzhou tomorrow, so not much time tonight… nor did we do too much of note today. But I couldn’t resist posting this picture of Cole, it’s one of my favorites of the trip so far.
Onto the tip of the day…
Tip #3: If you’re a coffee drinker, at all, bring some from home. Do not expect Chinese coffee to be anything remotely similar to US coffee. You might think you can handle the stuff that is called “coffee” here, but be prepared for something comparable to the consistency of tar. And no amount of half and half and sugar can make it consumable in my book. And believe me, I have tried. We brought some Folger’s Singles from home and they have been a great help during the lull of the afternoon (post nap, that is). I hadn’t brought any before but did at my sister’s insistence and I am so glad I did. If you’re a fancy coffee drinker, you might want to consider bringing a coffee press and your favorite fancy grounds… I don’t think they have coffee grinders in the rooms. There are some Starbucks around, in some airports and in some larger cities. And the coffee there is just as good as the Starbucks back home, as long as you don’t mind paying around $5 US for a cup of plain ol’ joe. And I kinda do, so having the coffee in the room has been great.
On the subject of liquids in China, if you are a diet Coke drinker, prepare to do without it. The Chinese really don’t drink much soda and diet soda is even more scarce. They do have ‘Coke Light’ in GZ and in some bigger stores in many provincial cities, but the taste is just not the same. Regular Coke is available just about everywhere, as is Pepsi, but that’s about it. Lots and lots of bottled water. Lots and lots of hot tea. We brought along some Crystal Light ‘on the go’ type stuff and it’s made the water much more drinkable. That’s saying a lot from someone who can barely stand the stuff.
And on the subject of foodstuffs, don’t bother with dragging a bunch of snacks from home. (Can you tell I had a long nap?? I am on a roll, man!) If you are a very picky eater (and I can assure you, there is none pickier than my beloved sister) you will find plenty to snack on at the local Carre Four type store. Even without being able to read Chinese, you will recognize many American snacks… I’ve noticed that more and more are showing up in stores here. Beyond that there is a huge array of nuts, dried fruits, crackers and yummies… I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you’re expecting to survive the two weeks on Power Bars and peanut butter. And I can’t speak to all of the provincial cities, but the food in the cities I’ve visited, and the food in Guangzhou is quite good at local restaurants. In GZ, there is a new Italian place that is as good as any upscale Italian restaurant back home. I didn’t think it was possible, but on my last trip here, La Dolce Vita gave Cow and Bridge a run for the title of my favorite restaurant in GZ. And with that, I am certain Cow and Bridge is heaving a huge sigh of relief as we head that way tomorrow. The other popular restaurant on Shamian Island, Lucy’s, isn’t my favorite, but it offers US type cuisine… just a bit on the non-descript side. And, don’t say I didn’t warn you, if you get the cheeseburger at Lucy’s, prepare to have meatloaf on a bun. I’m just sayin’.