The things I have missed the most about China.

This article was meant to be written before I came back to China, but due to certain circumstances, I had to delay this writing to after a few months of coming back for good to Malaysia.

The title of this article was supposed to be the things I will miss the most about China, but fast forward to few months later it has become the things I have missed the most about China.

Let me start with the things I don’t miss about the country. The pollution duh. In Beijing mainly, reaching a 300-400 score (0 being the best quality) for Air Quality Index(AQI) is absolutely normal. In Malaysia, if we even reach 100 for AQI, schools would have been shutdown! If this were to happen in China, schools would probably be shutdown two third of the year.

Beijing Pollution. Source: Google

I have never appreciated the Malaysia’s sky right until I came back. Driving everyday made me realize Woah what pretty clouds do we have here despite being in a skyscraper city.  Whilst in Beijing,having a blue sky on an exceptionally good day, you can’t help but to speculate whether the Obama had come for APEC meeting or there is another Olympic game coming up. But of course it is not all that bad either. During summer, having a great blue sky and amazing sunset at dawn are not unusual and it would usually be the highlight of my day when I was there.

The Absolute App

I have a few things that I have absolutely missed about China. The first and foremost being Wechat and its entire awesomeness. In Malaysia, this app is considered as lame and where people who can’t spell properly stay connected. I agree to disagree because in China, Wechat is life! It is one click away for everything right down from connecting with people, to buying movie tickets, ordering Uber and top up for your mobile phones.

Wechat App Icon.   Source: Google

In easy words, it is like Facebook, Instagram, Skype or Facetime, Uber, Bank and Kedai Runcit all in one app. Okay, I might exaggerate a tad bit there but indeed everything is accessible with one click away. I believe Malaysia is on its way by being tech savvy however at this particular moment in comparison with China, Malaysia is lacking a bit behind (or a lot behind).

Back in China, I could just carry a phone and a power bank to go anywhere because even small vendors right up the alley would be able to accept money transaction through Wechat. Now back in Malaysia I would have to carry a bulky wallet everywhere *annoyed face*.

Food fit for the Dynasty.

The other thing I missed the most about China has to be the foooodddddd of course. Initially during my first year in China, I was not a big fan of Chinese food from Beijing because it is quite oily. However, I’ve grown accustomed to it and have even become quite attached to them. Chinese cuisine are everything but the kitchen sink literally.

They have everything but ordinary stuff, bizarre really. I am somewhat adventurous when it comes to food but of course limited to the halal stuff. Obviously dog meat and monkey brains aren’t halal, therefore I never got to try them.

However, their authentic delicacies that I managed to try was the Peking Duck (北京烤鸭), hand pulled noodles (拉面), Sichuan Hotpot (四川火锅) just to name a few which are really really really good *drooling*.

Spicy sour cold noodle. Source: Baidu

But because I love simple family dishes, my favorite food has to be the lamb skewers (羊肉串), a type of cold noodle (酸辣蕨根粉) which translates to spicy sour noodle and also braised Japanese tofu(红烧日本豆腐). Before I came to China, I hated tofu, but soon after that it became my comfort food. My midnight snacks are usually made of these three dishes.

Environment.

When speaking of environment, China is not necessarily the most comfortable place to be in because it is crazily crowded and does not score well in the sanitary department. But it is definitely safer. Throughout my five years in China, yes I have seen people fight each other on the streets even in restaurants but nothing terribly serious and they are mainly misunderstood because Chinese mainland generally are very loud so it seems like they are trying to burn the place down.

For those who know me, would know I enjoy my freedom and I also enjoy walking around, so when I was in China walking in the middle of the night and coming back alone was fine and was very safe as well. Unlike here in my home country, even walking alone at 9pm, not even midnight does not really guarantee my safety. There has been numerous cases of theft near my house in recent years. So it is not ideal for a young lady to be walking alone.

Hence, making it nearly impossible for me to take a walk around my house so I would have to drive everywhere. It somehow limits my freedom to a certain extent.  That is a bummer. Nevertheless, probably a good chance for me to explore other areas that are safer than my own *optimistic mode activated*.

Uncovering God’s majestic creations.

The last but not least, of course I miss traveling in China. I love to travel in China, up till now I have been to more than 20 cities and yet I have not finished going around the terribly huge country and that is something I wished I had accomplished throughout my five years there, unfortunately time was not on my side and plus I was also doing traveling outside of China thus further limits my time and of course limits my financial capacities as well.

Initially, I was considerably shallow about the country. I thought China was mainly about Great wall and the dynasty and home of temples and that is basically it. I mean I was not entirely wrong but later on I learnt clearly this motherland has so much to offer. It is like the globe in one country. You can get Snow Mountains, crystal clear emerald lakes, vast grasslands, diverse ethnicity and cultures, with overwhelming choices of food all in one country.

Temple of Heaven, among the many temples of China.

The main reason I love traveling in China is mainly because of its trains. I believe there is so much to talk about trains in China therefore it deserves its own article.

So, these are the stuff that I have missed so dearly about China. For those whom have experienced it would truly understand how I feel, but those who haven’t should go to China and explore the endless adventure that the country are able to offer and trust me you will be amused.

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Mulyani Ab was an economic student in Beijing for five years. An avid traveler to a reasonable amount of places. Currently working in the property sector to enable her for upcoming adventures! Hoping everyone would be able to enjoy her passion of travel through her writings :)