July 2014, Guilin – The Arrival

Moving on to better and more recent events! LOL anyway. Remember when I was blogging about Beijing, and just awed by the fact that God made a way for me to return to China, and in a place I’ve never been? Well, after recovering from the excitement of Beijing last May, God allowed me more than a month of routine and rest before dropping the next bomb…

I’m going to Guilin! (桂林) Woohoo! 😀

For those unfamiliar, Guilin is an insanely beautiful place. It’s surrounded by naturally formed mountains, giving any shot (yes, even a random shot inside the city) a natural charm. It’s comparable to Switzerland in the sense that, wherever you go, there’s always a mountain to be seen behind any structure. 🙂

GuilinWe had quite a lovely welcome from our hosts, and I quickly learned that a main fixture in Guilin cuisine is luo han guo (siraitia grosvenorii in English – try getting a mouthful of that!), a sweet fruit whose inherent sweetness is 7 times sweeter than sugar. SEVEN! (Wikipedia says 300! OMG) The ironic thing is, it’s used as a treatment for diabetes, among others – now that is something my dad and other diabetics would like! Natural sweetener, safe for diabetics!

GuilinGuilinOne thing different about this trip is that I’m not so free to divulge the identity of the people who hosted us and the people we worked with. Disclaimer, though: this place which they run is approved and regulated by the government, so no worries there. However, better be safe than sorry, though! #sensitivematters

GuilinGuilinGuilinTake a gander at this thing. Dust, shine, and polish in one! We couldn’t really figure it out, but if it works, it must be amazing!

GuilinGuilinGuilinWe had comfortable rooms in a beautiful ambiance of nature… however, again, we’re not free to disclose where we were. If there’s something I can tell you, it’s that by actually living there, we got into trouble and managed to squeak out by the tiniest skin of our necks. Yes, actual drama went on!

GuilinGuilinDSC_5502Another thing I can tell you: I was there as a translator. The picture you see is of Ptr. Jim, our trainer, and Nancy, my fellow translator. I owe everything I learned about translating to her!

GuilinGuilinGuilinTo end this random post about our first few days at Guilin, behold – the famous 桂林米粉 (Guilin rice noodles)! I am NOT a fan of noodles, but I gulped down as much of this bowl as I could. Super delicious! To avoid a bad first impression, especially if you’re not a noodle person, I suggest you go to this place. (See the picture above with the sign and telephone number.) According to our hosts, who are locals of Guilin, this store has the best one in town!

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