The intrepid Aimee Groom (aka DFH) is on holiday in the UK and France, but in her absence we'll MEET THE GROOMS! Think of it a China Travel Reality TV holiday special (without the TV). So, without further ado, please Meet John and Lesley Groom, the backpackers with a bus pass. In December 2008, this intrepid pair of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Taiwan, Fujian, Guizhou and Jiangsu. In honor of the second anniversary of their trip, we're publishing the emails that kept friends and family back home entertained along the way, starting with Christmas Day. >>>Sent: Thu, December 25, 2008 6:51:21 AM
Subject: Travels in China
Have flown half way around the world to get away from Gordon and his recession. Here life is wonderful. There are just two things to worry about. Firstly the Shanghai police are trying to stamp out the use of "all day pyjamas". Sad really because we thought they were a great idea. Secondly the Government Ministry of Culture is trying to improve the Chinese way of life by outlawing white socks with black shoes. So overall not much to worry about!
Mind you entering the country was an experience. You stand there nervous and trembling whilst they check your passport visa and papers, then you have to push one of four buttons ranging from smiley face to Mr. Misery to indicate how you felt they were dealing with you. I really can't believe anyone would dare push any button other than smiley face.
Met at the airport by Daughter from Hell (DFH) and French boyfriend (FCUK: French Connection UK) with a car and taken to their flat and fed. Then to bank to change our travellers' cheques—pleasant hour and a bit during which the exchange rate changed three times whilst we waited!
Plenty of walking round Shanghai with DFH watching the usual selection of odd bods, doing exercises, flying kites, ballroom dancing, playing chequers, playing with tops and walking backwards to improve their health.
Today would have been Christmas day, however as you know Christmas has been cancelled for us this year—lovely presents, received and given—nice pleasant sunny day with the Chinese going about their business as usual. However DFH did provide a Christmas tree and one of the waitresses last night had a Santa Claus hat!
Tomorrow FCUK gets a car and we go off on our travels...
(Click here for more episodes of MEET THE GROOMS.)