Last year was full of travels, mostly for work. One of the most exciting travels I had to do was going to China. This was my first time going there, first time going to that continent. And it was on my birthday! (30th birthday too)
I was in Xi’an during that time of the week. Busy week: out of the hotel at least 12 hours a day, 1h30 transportation each way everyday. Just tirering. It was also the end of the year and there were other things going on at work that I had to take care of before the year would end.
On my birthday most of the team had made it to Xi’an. Three of us where from the US, the rest were chinese. After a long day, we came back to the hotel to have dinner, and I told them it was my birthday. So at the hotel, we got a private room and decided to have chinese food. They ordered a lot of different plates.
Here are my observations:
- There were 2 sets of chopsticks next to each person: one to eat, one to grab from the common plates.
- That turning table is amazing. I love the idea of sharing and being able to eat a lot of different things. Although most americans were grossed out that everyone gets their food from the same plate.
- They ordered me lifelong noodles. A soup of noodles with tomatoes. It was delicious. I love noodles and this was a different way to eat them that I had never tried. It also thought it was perfect timing that I was eating these noodles as I was turning 30. Hope it serves me good.
- They also surprised me with a cake that they just went to get made while we were eating.
Overall I fell very welcomed in the team, meeting them for the first time. I was going through the obvious cultural shock but this was warm and friendly, and helped me going through the rest of the though week.
I am sad that I couldn’t have my birthday with my family but these strangers made it such that it was a good one and will stay in my memories forever.