China Q&A

As I stated in my last post, I’d love to receive some questions from my readers.

Well, one of my avid readers, my Aunt Sherryl sent me some excellent questions which I will answer to the best of my abilities.

1) Is The Great Wall of China really GREAT?
Yes, I thought so! Visiting it not once but twice, it seemed even more expansive and “great” than upon my first visit. My first visit in 2007 was to a more authentic area of the wall named Simatai. Authentic in regards to less reconstructed and also less touristy (of all the areas it is furthest so therefore it is visited less often), but upon visiting the most highly sought after area over my winter holiday, 2011, called Badaling. This area had the most spectacular views I have possibly ever seen in my approximately two decades on Earth. In addition, to think about the amount of manpower that went into building the over 8,000 km (5,500 miles) distance the wall stretches is, to me, mind-blowing. I don’t think modern construction could even dream of building something as magnificent as this, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

2). How do Chinese citizens stay so “in shape”?  Is it genetic, predisposition, their diet, or exercise, or a combination?
It’s interesting you ask this because I often think about the same thing. Although with the continual Western influence, specifically McDonald’s & KFC into the Chinese food market, it is becoming more and more common to see overweight Chinese. Yet, they are still not overweight in the same way as say Americans. Parents also dote on their children, due to the one child policy and many children want to eat fast food so as I said it is increasingly becoming more common to see overweight children and adults alike. But, still, most of the Chinese do stay slim, or “in shape.” My boyfriend is a prime example of this. He is considerably thinner than me weighing in at 65kg. It’s all the above you have mentioned: genetic, predisposition, diet, and exercise. Firstly, their body build is completely different from ours. I don’t think I have ever seen a “big-boned” Chinese female. Most, if not all, have no curves to their bodies. Perhaps this is why I have an indefinite amount of trouble trying to determine the ages of Chinese people. Women in their 20’s don’t look much older than 16 or 17 (this also has to do with the way in which they dress). Secondly, their diet is less consumed with sweets, soda, and meat. They may eat meat once a week. Meals will consist more of fruits and vegetables. Chinese food isn’t necessarily healthier but you will notice that Chinese food goes in one end and comes out the other quite quickly. It contains very little nutritional value, it is low in protein. The food is quite high in carbohydrates (a lot of rice, noodles, and yes, even bread), salt and OIL. Chinese people tend to go for a long walk after eating and the biggest meal is in the middle of the day, so usually the food is burned off by bed time.  

3). Do u miss the US, or are u totally acclimated to your new home?  Could you see yourself actually staying there, making a life there?  More likely in Xi’an, Beijing, or somewhere else?

Yes, I miss the US, specifically all my family & friends, and Mom and Dad’s cooking. I do see myself staying here for several years, but not a lifetime. I already discussed the possibility with my Mom and Dad of getting a Master’s in Chinese Studies. This will require me to study Chinese for another year or two before I can pass the HSK (an exam I must master to show a certain level of proficiency in Chinese).  For now, I will stay in Xi’an, teaching at XISU again in the coming year. After that, I am not sure. Beijing or Shanghai is a lingering possibility in my mind. 

I hope I have adequately answered the latter questions. I’d love to be able to make this into a series so keep the questions coming! 

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