Xi’an – more than home to the Terracotta Warriors

The World Horticultural Expo is taking place in Xi’an until 22nd October this year. Famous for being home to the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an is also the city where our Feather Roses are made. You’ll understand why I was so interested when I saw this amazing photo in the China Daily news today.

Rainbow Roses

Rainbow Roses in Xi'an

Another photo that caught my eye in today’s paper is from the Mud Festival in Yunnan Province. This looks like a lot of fun! 
Mud Festival in Cangyuan

Mud Festival in Cangyuan, Yunnan Province


Origins of Dragon Boat Festival a tragic tale

It’s pretty quiet this week, at QPS Importers, at least on the talking-to-people-in-China front. That’s because the people we deal with on a daily basis are on holiday, celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival.

Of course, it’s a good time for us to work on our marketing or administration tasks, but it does make a difference to our day.

I found this article on the China Daily website, that explains the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival. What do you think of it? When I compare our 200+ years of Autralian history with thousands of years of Chinese history, I am in awe.

Five almost lost “favourite moment” photos from China

We thought all our photos from our trips to China were safely stored on an external hard drive. Unfortunately it failed recently. As a result, I’ve been thinking about the photos that we lost and the associated memories. Here are five of my favourites, along with copies that I found on facebook.

1. My silly hat in Beijing. When we went to China in February 2009 we were freezing in Beijing. It was so cold that I bought one of those caps with flaps that come down over your ears that you can tie under your neck. I knew I looked ridiculous in it, but I didn’t care. Graham still laughs at me today about that hat, which I have safely stored at home, even though I’ll probably never wear it again. I love it. I was wondering how I’d manage to describe it to someone, now that the photos were gone. Luckily I thought that I looked silly enough in the hat that I might have put the photo up on Facebook to share with my family.

Standing across from the Forbidden City in Beijing

Me and my silly hat across the moat from the Forbidden City in Beijing

 2. The photos that we were going to miss the most were the ones with people who we thought we might not meet up with again. We can always go back to Guangzhou and find the hotel, but the bellboys who were so much fun on our trip may not be there. Even though they didn’t speak English and Graham doesn’t speak Chinese, they didn’t have any trouble communicating during the week we stayed at the New Century Hotel. When we were leaving, they worked up the courage to play a trick on Graham, which had the bellboys and me in stitches, while Graham pretended indignation. The bellboys were delighted with the success of their trick. 

Bellboys at the New Century Hotel in Huadu Guangzhou

Graham made friends with the bellboys at our hotel in Huadu, Guangzhou

3. This is the photo Graham was most upset about losing. It was taken while we were at the Terracotta Warriors Museum. While we were having coffee we saw one of the workers sweeping snow from the outdoor tables. He started to make his snowman on one of the tables while his co-worker pretended disdain. Soon after, the two of them were on a mission, relocating the snowman to the edge of the garden. They attracted a small crowd of onlookers. I think Graham would have like to have joined in.

Workers building a snowman at Terracotta Warriors Museum

We watched these workers building a snowman at the Terracotta Warriors Museum

4. This photo was taken at the end of our tour of Qingdao’s Number 1 Beer Factory, where they make Tsingtao beer. Kyle and Billy took us sightseeing after we visited their factory. We’d expressed interest in seeing Beer World, but it was closed at that time of year. Instead, they took us to the Beer Factory Museum. They were going to wait outside patiently while we did the tour but Graham bought them tickets. They had a fabulous time, and so did we.

Tsingtao Beer Museum in Qingdao

Graham and I drinking beer with Billy and Kyle in Qingdao at the Tsingtao beer museum

5. We’ve become more and more adventurous about eating in restaurants where there’s no English translation of the menu. In some places there are pictures and in others there are plastic replicas of the ingredients. At this restaurant there was neither. The owner went out of his way to help us. Between his kindness, our phrase book and the universal language spoken by beer drinkers when there’s an option of beer on tap rather than in the bottle, we ended up getting a decent meal. We enjoyed it so much that we went back there a few days later.

Owner of the Harbin Restaurant in Huadu Guangzhou

Owner of the Harbin Restaurant in Huadu Guangzhou