Now that we’re past colds, China tummy and have the Spring allergies under control, China is back to amazing. This country constantly makes me smile, with adorable packaging for everything and sparkles everywhere. How can anyone hate a country that loves pink so much? The first weekend in May is a three day holiday and we were kind of excited about attending a music festival on the Saturday before leaving for Shanghai. Imagine my surprise when it turns out the headlining act is Avril Lavigne. Yep, there’s no escaping her music(?) anywhere here. 

5. Ok, the Avril thing isn’t exactly true. Whenever Avril’s latest album isn’t on repeat, Mike and I have been hearing different covers of Whitney’s “and I will always love you” all over town. China loves this song. I think my favorite version is this chubby boy that sings it. He nails those fluttery high notes better than pre-crack Whitney. I love a country that unabashedly embraces pop and these guys are right there. Between the Bieber cuts, the anime eyes and choreographed dance moves, this track is my favorite:

If you don’t sit through “Getting Jiggy” long enough to witness the hot girl clearly dancing out “and then I’ll sleep over” you are missing out.

4. While I can get behind a nation that loves cheesy pop, I cannot be on board with the dating scene here. Couples act out meldramatic moments in very public places and also spend long periods of time in awkward embraces or poses. I think these poses might be considered dates. There is plenty of, “let’s sit uncomfortably intertwined on this bench in the park for an extended period of time” moments. It is interesting, but mostly because everyone involved seems to buy into it. If your girlfriend or boyfriend start freaking out, there’s no tight lipped, “we’ll talk about it when we get home” there is just an explosion of whining, yelling, girls melodramatically slapping their boyfriends, going rag doll limp and excessively wailing. 

3. Imagine every tall building you have ever seen. Multiply each by about 40. That is Beijing. Around every corner, there is another complex of buidlings and it goes on and on forever. At least, that’s what it feels like. 

2. One-on-one, everyone we meet here is the most kind, inviting and generous person ever. This is good, because I have no idea what people are saying and I have no idea where I am going. It’s nice that people really want you to enjoy their city, the food and the sights, because otherwise, I would have had to spend a month in the hotel.

1. The first day Mike came back to the hotel after work, the first thing he talked about was how it sounded like he was in a Jay-Z video all day. It’s true, whenever people are talking around us, it’s hard not to laugh. Apparently, the Chinese equivalent of saying “um” is repeating the word this or that, often 3 times before a sentence even starts. The word for “this” is zhege and it sounds like jiggah. The word for “that” sounds like people are going around all day, dropping n-bombs. It’s crazy.