Weihai: Final Days (Trying Tea, ‘Ping Pang’ and Depressed Rabbits)

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» Weihai: Final Days (Trying Tea, ‘Ping Pang’ and Depressed Rabbits)
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Posted on: July 21st, 2010

It’s still kind of hard to believe that tomorrow will mark the end of my trip in China and I’ll be getting a ferry to Korea! We’ve finished up in China on a relaxed note over the past few days; here’s what we got up to.

The day after we came back from Jinan, we didn’t really do anything, although in the evening I watched Angels and Demons with Satnam, Reem and Bhavneet. Bhavneet came out with some hilarious lines like “So is the Vatican City real?” and “Does Tom ‘Hank’ really study at Harvard?”; brilliant!

On monday we had our last scheduled events; a lecture on tea and an hour in the ping pong courts.

The lecture on tea was suprisingly interesting, we learnt about the different types of tea in China and the proper procedure of making tea from an expert. We also got to try a couple of teas for ourselves.

The university actually has a basement complex dedicated to ping pong (although the Chinese call it Ping Pang) and the students can spend hours in this room practicing ping pong. While in the UK it’s a casual activity, the students in China consider it a serious competitive sport (and I think this applies in other parts of Asia as well). We were all given a chance to try our hand at ping pong against the pros. I was really rocky at the start, but within about 10 minutes I was definitely holding my own and I think the pro and I were about even by the end of the hour! Maybe if I come back to Weihai they can consider me for the team 😉

Yesterday, inspired by the lecture on tea; we all decided to head into the main town and seek out our own tea sets and teas. Issac took us to a small tea shop called Jotike (which came recommended by the teacher from the tea lecture). I found a great clay tea set with a dragon teapot (the spout is a dragon’s head). The others wanted to see what some of the other tea shops had to offer first though, so on Issac’s recommendation we all headed to Weihai Small Commodities Terminal Market (it’s supposed to be Wholesale not Terminal, but they translated it literally!) to find another tea shop. We discovered one with a great selection and when we went in they started pouring us teas for us all to try. For about half an hour we sat there trying various types of tea, it was a totally unique ‘shopping’ experience! The others bought they’re sets there and we all grabbed a ton of different tea there including some white tea, black tea and pu’er tea (all of which we got to sample); freshly packed and processed in-store.

This morning, I went back into town with Issac because it turned out I’d got the wrong tea set (I’d been given one from the back but it was different to the one I asked for on the shelf!) and we spent a good 20 minutes convincing the owner to swap them 😛

Then this afternoon, I went downtown for a third time with Sam to find a souvenir for mum (finding gifts for her is always impossible!) and it was also a good chance to properly explore the main town (which I hadn’t actually done the whole time I’ve been here!) and see what shops there were. Eventually I found a Chinese Sony MP3 player which was perfect, and trust me it’s genuine! No really, honest! While Sam and I were browsing the shops (and crossing the insanely busy and chaotic crossroads with traffic coming in all directions!) we stumbled upon a bakery. It had been a while since we’d had dessert in China so it was great to be able to get some chocolate cake and jam roly-poly! Also we saw a couple of unusual products, one we both found particularly funny were the rabbit cookies which all had sad faces (see the gallery)! Also I bought a pizza-bread man; like a gingerbread man but made of pizza, pretty unique!

Finally, this evening I went to the Beachside BBQ Bar (the one we all went to a couple of weeks back) with Deniz where we had a very entertaining conversation about his misadventures with a russian girl! Then we met up with Reem, Bhavneet and Satnam and had one last drink at the Besttime beach bar and reminisced over the trip.

So it’s been a good last few days and a nice way to end our time in China. Tomorrow, everyone will be making their way back to the UK and I’ll be embarking on the next part of my journey, posting from Seoul in Korea! Until then, 再见!

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I'm a 21-year-old university student currently living in Oxford, UK. I love travelling and hope someday to move abroad permanently. The best part about travelling for me is having new experiences, soaking up all the culture and making new friends from around the world. As well as travel, I love music (live or otherwise), gaming and cinema.
Marc
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