Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Cruise Day 23 - Sydney

We were due to dock in Sydney at 7am, but we got up at 4:45 to watch us sailing in the heads. 

Our disembarkation time was 10:30, and we collected our luggage then got a mini-bus to the airport. I got an SMS and email that there might be flight delays from Brisbane due to storms, so we were put on an earlier flight. The one to Rockhampton was the same, so we had a bit of a wait at Brisbane airport before arriving around 6:35pm.

What we learned about China:
  • There are a LOT of people in China
  • Do not travel in their Summer Holidays (especially if you don't like pushy queues)
  • The people are really friendly, saying 'hello' or 'welcome to China'
  • They love taking selfies in all sorts of poses, mainly with 2 fingers
  • They want to have their children have their photo taken with you
  • Hot water is supposed to be good for you (actually it is just that tap water is bad, as in unchlorinated)
  • Chopsticks get much easier to use after a couple of week's solid practice
  • The squat toilets were no-where near as bad as I had worried about
  • Take your own toilet paper everywhere with you (where they 'do' supply toilet paper – in the Hotels – it is like sandpaper) – we were told it is because the people always steal it
  • Chinese like HARD beds
  • Driving is crazy, but somehow it works, if you see the rules as suggestions it will be alright
  • The people seem to really like Buddhism, but do not necessarily practice it
  • I am really bad at bargaining...as soon as someone says the price I completely forget I am supposed to bargain, and just pay what they ask
  • The people believe that their countryside is covered in fog, right through the day, and visibility through their 'fog' is down to 500m at times, except they 'do' accept that there is pollution in Beijing, but no-where else
  • A lot of scenic spots are on their bank-notes
  • Most of the movies on TV seem to be about the war with the Japanese (although it could be because it was currently the 70th anniversary of this)
  • Housing construction is quite interesting with concrete poured walls and floors, supported by temporary bamboo or wooden posts. The last window on each floor seems to be completed once most of the house is finished (presumably makes it easier to lift up fittings and furniture)
  • Concrete seems to be everywhere on roads, houses, rail transport (lots of lime and sand but not much oil?)
  • We seemed to know more about what was happening by watching overseas news than the locals
  • Health care, pre and post primary education, and special subjects such as English are paid for by the parents
  • The government owns the land and apartments can be pulled down after 70 years (another reason they like to buy overseas)
  • English names of places are shown on the newer motorways
  • All the motorways seem to have tolls
  • Soft sleepers are like our old Sunlander between Cairns and Brisbane (slow and always late but you never know who you may be sharing the room with) and are being replaced with Bullet trains capable of speeds over 300 km/hr
  • Despite the First Emperor standardising the symbols, different dialects remain
  • The Han make up 92% of the population and the remainder call themselves minority groups (about 55)
Things we learned about Japan:
  • The place is very clean although we found it really hard to find rubbish bins
  • Even public toilets have bidets (and lots of toilet paper)
  • People are very polite and helpful
  • Many commuters have trained themselves to sleep while traveling on trains (standing and seated)
  • First lot of commuters take the seats, second layer face towards those seated but none acknowledges one another
  • Younger commuters readily give up their seats for the elderly
  • We would like to return

1 comment:

  1. we would never voluntarily go back to China - but we had a lovely trip on the Diamond Princess with you guys - Steve & Shirley Dickson