Whenever I see the word “Chongqing”, I think of king…which I suppose can sort of be related to the layout of this land. Think back to when you were young and used to climb a big hill and say “I’m the king of the castle, and you’re the dirty rascal!”. Compared to Wuxi, which is the city Ryan and I are in now, Chongqing feels like you are the king of the castle. Wuxi is so flat you can see for days, while Chongqing is quite hilly wherever you go. Honestly trying to walk around the city, you have to be quite careful of where you step. Not because it isn’t paved, but for some reason they’ve created steps in some areas and just regular slopes in others. So I was chatting away with Ryan when we were doing some exploring on our first day, and I unexpectedly tripped a bit because I thought I was on a continuous downslope, when in fact my foot landed on a step. I saw a few people trip as well because they were on their phones when they should have been paying attention! Oops!
Back to Chonqing, the proper way to pronounce it is “Chong Ching”. Super Chinese right? It’s a really beautiful city! But it is PACKED full of people. About 30 million of them. I was often wondering why they weren’t at work at 2pm in the afternoon. I still don’t know the answer to that one…
I think almost everyone in China knows about this place, and they often call it the mountain city, which is totally true! Chongqing is also known for it’s spicy food, especially when you speak to Chinese people in Wuxi. Wuxi is known for their sweet food, so it is even quite the difference in food to Chinese people.
Ryan and I took a trip to Chongqing with some of his co-workers, because his work is opening up a new plant here in 2017. Because of this, Ryan and I will be moving here next year which I’m really excited for! It’ll be a nice change in scenery and experiences. Several evenings we got to experience the taste of Chongqing. On several occasions, I found myself (embarrassingly), coughing my lungs out because I accidentally inhaled one of the intense spices that you aren’t supposed to eat, but are drenched in the food. Seriously the little buggers are everywhere and they’re tinier than a pea! Probably the size of pepper before it’s ground up. When you chew on this specific spice, it makes your tongue go numb. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t last for more than 30 seconds. But because of many of my coughing fits, one of Ryan’s co-workers thought I was sick and she didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t. Any time I sneezed or coughed, she made sure I was okay and gave me some warm water to drink. So cute she was worried for my health though.
Side note: If any of you have been to China before you may understand the cold vs. hot/warm water debate. For those of you that haven’t, I shall explain. Cold water=bad in Chinese culture. Women during their menstrual cycle will avoid cold water because they believe it will make their cramps worse. Warm water is often favoured, especially for the elderly. This is because they believe if they drink cold water, they will get sick. So even when is 40 degrees out, you will see people drinking hot tea. At first, to me this was so shocking! But I’m getting used to drinking warm water now and I’m kind of enjoying it because it can be hard to find cold water sometimes. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Maybe I’m getting healthier because of it…?
Anyways, Ryan’s co-worker’s name is Tina, and she’s one of the tiniest/cutest people I’ve met. She is also the one that was so concerned about my help. She was showing us around Chongqing and helping us find possible apartments to live in when we move in a year from now. It was really just to get an idea of some places we like and what area we want to move into. We think once the plant gets built that the moving process will be rather quick, so we need to get some ideas together first so we can make a quick decision when the time comes. Tina showed us some really nice places, but it definitely depends on the tenant that was in it before (mostly how clean they keep it). Ryan and I really, REALLY liked this one place that was in a nice gated community, and wasn’t right in the centre of the city. This takes us away from all the noise and commotion that you’d normally find. It also takes us away from the many people that at home we would consider crowded. We thought being a bit away from the middle of the city was important so that we don’t feel too overwhelmed by people. Also, the area it’s in is just really nice; it has grass which is surprising to see sometimes, as well as palm trees that makes you feel like you’re in Florida. So we hope it’ll be a nice little paradise! However, hopefully they have spaces available when we’re looking in a year from now.
So far, we’re pretty excited about Chongqing! Not only for the great views, but it also seems like there is a lot more to do here because it is such a large city; especially in comparison to Wuxi. But this is the gist of Chongqing so far, and I’ll be sure to have more info on it when we go to visit again. Our next trip should be sometime soon, if not for sure in 2017!