The majestic entrance of our hotel in Penglai
We’ve been in China for almost a week, six days to be exact. We’re here on a business trip, well Em is, I’m just tagging along. It’s his second time having to travel here within two months, and this time he made me come with him.
The first time he was here on his own, it was only for five days and yet he managed to fall terribly ill, lol. He had fever, diarrhoea, stomach ache, he was vomiting – the complete package. So since this second trip is going to be for almost the entire month of February, he wanted me to be with him so that I can take care of him in case he falls sick again.
My big baby .
Right until the day before flying off, I was still not 100% sure if I wanted to come along, even though I already had my Visa approved. I decided to just give it a shot in the end, since it’s very unlikely for us to want to travel here on our own, I might as well just take this opportunity to see what the country has to offer.
We took a direct flight from Gimhae Airport and landed at Yantai Airport 1h 50m later. I was thankful Em did his research and mentioned this to his travel agent. His colleagues who didn’t do so, had to take a transit flight at Incheon, which is so leceh and takes up so much time. Em was given the same option too in the beginning! And this is not the first time. Honestly we have no idea how the travelling agency won the tender from Em’s company, they’re so incompetent.
Passing through immigration is a bit tedious if you’re Malaysian, somehow.. Happened to each one of us. We have no idea why. But according to Em this time was much better than the previous one. So…
Our chauffeur picked us up at the airport and took us to what they claim to be one of the fanciest hotel – if not the most – in Penglai. The journey took us about an hour. Penglai is a small industrial city in the rural area of Shandong, where the shipbuilding yards are located. They still use coal plant so the pollution is pretty damn bad, not ideal for an asthmatic person like me.
Most of the time, I’d just stay in our hotel room and would only go out at noon to find food at the supermarket located right next to our hotel – armed with face mask. So far I’ve only bought fruits and red bean bread, itupun kinda takut-takut nak beli because I’ve seen too many videos of fake food being sold in China, vegetables made of plastic etc. Not too sure of the kesahihan but gurl, I’m just gonna be safe than sorry. Breakfast is provided, so I’d usually eat a lot then. Em usually eats with his bosses for lunch and dinner. We brought instant noodles but I try to stay off them unless I’m desperate (have only eaten it once, so far).
My first experience going to the supermarket was quite exciting. I found exotic fruits (to me) and took photos of them, I’m sure the locals found me weird.
Not sure what type of fruit is this but it resembles a kerbau head, right?!
Looks like some kind of fruit from One Piece.
There was supposed to be room service but I couldn’t find the menu anywhere in the room, and the receptionist wasn’t much of a help. None of them could converse in English. I tried calling the room service direct line once, they hung up on me .
There was a halal restaurant near the hotel but every single time I went there, whether alone or with Em, the place was closed. I think it’s because they were busy preparing for Cap Goh Mei. Btw, the celebration here was crazy. They started playing fireworks from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Thankfully we were really sleepy that night, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get some shut eye.
We left for Weihai that same Sunday afternoon (yesterday lol), so we’re currently staying in another hotel. I think there’s a steel cutting ceremony at the Weihai’s shipyard, but I’m not sure / kinda forgot. Em doesn’t like to talk about his work anyway.
Upon checking in, we headed straight to the mall behind our hotel. It was a ten-minute walk, not as convenient as the mall in Penglai which was right next to our hotel, but this mall is bigger and definitely better. They even have a cinema! We checked out the movies, in case they were showing John Wick 2, but the only international movie they had was Assassin’s Creed.
We dropped by their supermarket to get bread and Nutella, which they did not have. But we found this Kakuna-like bug (I assume) being sold. I held it because I wanted to take a close up picture but immediately regretted my decision because it was so squishy!
I probably held it at their body part instead of their shell. I don’t know, but I expected it to be hard which is why it caught me off guard, lol.
We ended up going to the Korean supermarket upstairs and got ourselves a jar of Apple Jam, because we trust Korean products better and at least they’re something we’re familiar with and able to read .
Oh yeah btw, according to the Chinese shipyard staff cum Em’s tour guide, there are a number of Koreans here, which is why they have a Koreatown in the surrounding area and of course, Korean restaurants. There’s one small halal restaurant downtown but it’s 20 minutes away, so we might head to Korean restaurants during our stay here.
Eating at a regular Chinese restaurant is quite challenging for us, because they don’t understand even the most basic words of English, and we don’t understand Chinese. Most of the time their dishes come with pork. I dah terkena sekali ok in Penglai, I managed to spit it out but still, I was so speechless…….
Other than that, this new found freedom that I have is quite exhilarating – no chores, no needy kids to cater to, having the hotel staff do our laundry; it’s magnificent! So far I’ve been spending my time watching TV series and reading my book whilst listening to calming piano music. To be honest, I did feel overwhelmed when I managed to read peacefully; without having Abu meowing non-stop next to me asking me to bobok her to sleep, Theodore and Mongsil sitting on my lap asking to be petted, Kanye biting my book, and Ttompokki randomly meowing asking for attention every now and then.
I also managed to soak and read in the bathtub alone, by myself, on my own, (I really feel the need to stress on this lol), without having the kids meowing at the bathroom door non-stop until I let them in, and then having them meowing right next to my ear whilst I’m in the tub, asking me to hurry up.
But I really do miss them. It feels kinda weird waking up when I’m ready to, without having Abu stomping my face and stomach at 5 o’clock in the morning. And being able to sleep in a straight position, wow haven’t experienced that in the longest time lol.
That being said, I have to pace myself with the reading. I only brought two books with me (my bag couldn’t fit in more) and I’m almost done with the first one, despite reading it at the slowest speed possible. Since we stayed / currently staying at a rural area, we doubt there’s any bookstore that sells English books. So… scary days ahead….
Anyway, I’m going to abruptly end my post here. I did not realise how much I’ve jotted down lol. This was supposed to be a quick and short update, but I guess I just have so much time on my hands and when you give that to a girl who likes to ramble, this is what you get LOL.
Until then, (perhaps tomorrow LOL), toodles!