Category Archives: daily travel update

a daily update of my travels

eating insects

Honey Bee
Honey Bee

Eating insects is good for the environment. As a vegetarian, I have made the decision to eat insects. I guess now I’m a insectarian. Or something. We were at a restaurant called the Southern Barbarian recently and we ordered a plate full of Mealworms, Grasshoppers and Honeybees. Delicious! They are obviously fried to make them taste good and crunchy. The Mealworms are my favorite, but the Grasshoppers are nice and crunchy as well. The bees are a little bland.

Insects contain protein. This is good.

Why is eating insects good for the environment?
– Less feed is needed. For one kg of cow meat we need 10 kg of feed. For 10 kg of feed we can produce 9 kg of insects.
– Food inputs from waste. The waste from animals can be used to produce insects.
– Less greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are bad for our oxygen amongst other things, mkay.
– Saving water. Much water is needed to raise animals.
– Animal welfare. For the love of animals.
– Less risk of disease. Swine flu, bird flu, mad cow disease.

Eat insects, not meat.
While we’re at it: make love, not war.

vacation on vacation in hangzhou

The Shanghai family also known as Da Pu Lu family (us) decided to go on vacation on vacation. The destination: Hangzhou. To our knowledge this is a cute little town only an hour away by train from Shanghai. We booked a hotel room, quite luxurious for 13 euros per person, we had a girls room and a boys room, and upon arrival we put on our tourist shoes and roamed around looking for sights. The lake in Hangzhou is beautiful, we saw many Buddhist temples and the nature surrounding the temples was stunning as well.

We had a bit of a shock during one lunch when I searched for the inhabitant amount of Hangzhou which turns out to be nearly 8 million people! We had realized that it was bigger than we had anticipated, but we were thinking this city could be about as large as Amsterdam, not half the size of our country!

The atmosphere in Hangzhou is way more relaxed and easy-going, the people are friendly and when you cross the street in a designated place; the cars actually stop to let pedestrians cross. We were amazed! Later we found out that Hangzhou is the happiest city in all of China. We completely understand and concur.

At times we compared certain areas to Amersfoort or Scheveningen. We Dutch tend to compare places to ones familiar to us, for example I call Shanghai: “the Chinese New York City”.

My brothers head
My brothers head

We had a beer in a coffeeshop
We had a beer in a coffeeshop
The big Buddha is Chinese
The big Buddha is Chinese
Where's Henjo?
Where’s Henjo?

Westlake
Westlake

Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist carvings
Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist carvings
These ladies and I had an exchange of smiles as a means of communication
These ladies and I had an exchange of smiles as a means of communication

IMG_8570

tea addiction

KuDing tea - one leaf tea
KuDing tea – one leaf tea

This whole tea ceremony thing is getting out of control. Yesterday it was a holiday in China; dragon-boat festival. We brought our friends to Pudong airport in the early am. We spent the rest of the day indoors upon returning after hitting up the market first for fresh fruits and vegetables which we devoured during the day.

During these nine hours we had a constant tea ceremony, I was the ceremony master for this entire time. We drank nine liters of tea, five different kinds of tea and had about 9 bathroom breaks each.

The teas we drank:

  • KuDing tea
  • Jasmin
  • A 2 year-old black tea
  • Green tea
  • Another, younger, black tea
  • Besides this one crazy marathon of tea I have been performing constant tea ceremonies for me alone when at home. I might be doing other things during the ceremony, like writing this post; not very mindful, but the tea keeps flowing.

    It makes me wonder that tea might be addictive.

    shanghai up high

    The well-known skyline
    The well-known skyline

    Shanghai has many skyscrapers, everywhere you walk it seems that the little traditional Shanghainese blocks (with the before mentioned Lilongs) are being torn down and big ones pop up in their place. This is sad, but it’s also impressive to see

    My brother Henjo took us to two Hyatt hotels in Pu Dong, which is the right side of the river from Henjo’s house, where we can check out the view without paying entrance fee and check out the two hotels while we are at it.

    The atrium typical for a Hyatt hotel
    The atrium typical for a Hyatt hotel
    The view from the Hyatt
    The view from the Hyatt

    The second largest building in the world – besides the gigantic one in Dubai – is being built in Shanghai and this is what it looks like at the moment:

    Shanghai tower
    Shanghai tower

    The Chinese seem to be able to pop buildings out of the ground like it means nothing.

    thanks for the puppy

    Selma, our friend Mina and I were walking down the street on the way to the Bund at night to look at the view. On the way we passed a labrador puppy, I asked Mina if she could ask the owner if it would be ok for me to pet the puppy, since the Chinese generally don’t like strangers coming up to them and she asked for me and I played with the dog. Eventually the man asks me in Chinese if I would like to have the puppy which Mina translated for me. Have the puppy?! I replied that I don’t live here permanently, but Mina’s response was that she would want to have the puppy. The man said the puppy pees and poops inside, we think he didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he bought the puppy. So eventually it wasn’t the three of us walking to the Bund for the view, but the four of us. His temporary name is Bruno and he is the cutest thing ever.

    Does anyone have an idea for a name?

    Suddenly Mommy
    Suddenly Mommy

    Baby Bruno was sleepy
    Baby Bruno was sleepy

    For all of you worried if he has a safe home: Mina lives with her father and he is home 24/7 and he loves dogs. Mina is taking him to the vet today to see if he needs any shots, etc. Mina was already acting like a puppy mama from the get-go.

    Only in China.