Posted by: da76 | October 25, 2010

Back in Australia

Well, we are back in Australia after a whirl wind trip to China. Shanghai is an amazing city but with a population of over 23 million (plus those attending Expo) it was daunting to say the least. The Chinese have no concept of personal space nor of the concept of queuing. To say that this was a tad wearing would be a gross understatement.  We can only assume that this ‘rudeness’? is an affectation of a third world, incredibly populated country that is struggling with quickly changing cultural practices clashing with western cultural expectations. It was a daily challenge not to vent our annoyance with them but hey, it’s their country!

We survived just over a day and a bit at Expo, queuing for 3 to 4 hours to get into a pavilion was path of the course. In hind site choosing Shanghai as an expo excursion was possibly not the most clever decision! Next time Afghanistan maybe would be a better option. at least it won’t be so crowded!

Being on a tour in a foreign country with Philippinos was quite an experience. The group was wonderful and watching them interact with the Chinese was fascinating. Being on a tour had its pluses and minuses. On the plus side it solved the (significant) language barrier but on the negative side we were dragged to third rate restaurants that were very disappointing. After a couple of days Fiona and I decided to go it alone and find our own way around (and our own food) this was the best move as we found some wonderful food and got to see some neighbourhoods that are not on the usual tourism trail. All in all the trip was a great experience and we will definitely head back to China and explore more, especially more of the country side. Our time in China reinforced our decision about the Philippines. The language issue is not an issue in the Philippines and frankly the people in the Philippines are much warmer than the Chinese and much more ‘like minded’ to us.

Our next step is to head down to Brisbane to catch up with Nadia and the family and see what happens next! Stay tuned!



  1. Hello you intrepid travellers. We are so jealous as both Mike and I can imagine doing what you are at some stage.Once Finn is settled we want to to Volunteering abroad, I can almost smell the atmosphere and feel teh grit in my teeth when I read your blog. You sound like you are having a fabulous time and making a difference. I have always liked the Phillipino people and have thought it would be an amazing, but unlikely for me , place to visit. Alternatively we are pretty static with our lives as Finn chuggs through his schooling and we through the mortgage. Life is pretty great really and we are enjoying a phase of belonging to a community and having a garden ,dogs and friends. Not neccessarily in that order though sometimes that how life seems. Finn is great and has discovered computer graphics and animation as a new passion.He has read 13 books in teh last 3 weeks si is still an avid reader. He also likes swimming and this year has risen to the challenges at school. He now loves Maths whereas a year ago he thought he was useless at it. He has an amazing young male teacher who gives them plenty of support and freedom. He is truly inspirational. Mike and Finn are both into Mountain biking and Mike recently did a 80k race, reputed to be the hardest track in NZ. He did cramp up and had a nice 25 year old rub his thighs. Needless to say he wants to do another one. Alternatively I continue with my Pilates and books. We love hearing your news and miss you both. Let us know when you settle your feathers again and we will be in touch. Loveand hugs, Mike Wendy Liz and Finn Liz got into medical school!!

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