Confession (and not one that will be surprising to you): I have been incredibly delinquent with this here blog. And I have no valid excuses. Offline, things have been rather busy and yes, I’ve been travelling, but that’s not a real excuse for abandoning the loveliness that is blogging. It isn’t even that I don’t have anything to say. I just can’t get my proverbial ass into the proverbial chair to write something witty and chocolatey.
So, erm, sorry.
The thing is, I’ll be on the road for the next four weeks. I’m packing my insanely large suitcase and heading to a place where I hear that access to Google, Facebook and Twitter are suspect. A place that is home to 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (though I won’t be visiting all 40—just three of them) and an incredible diversity of food that makes my mouth water.
That’s right, I’m heading to China. On the itinerary: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and sites in between.
(Incidentally, China is one of the largest potential markets for chocolate, but problems with reliable storage, temperature variations and shelf life prevent it from being a lucrative market. So far, anyway. I’m curious to see what passes for chocolate in China. I wonder if certain so-called luxury brands will do well, simply because they’re western. I will report back.)
I’ve never been to the Mainland, and the last time I was in Hong Kong, I was five years old. I got off the plane, saw a sea of Chinese faces, extrapolated to the only place in Vancouver that also featured a sea of Chinese faces, and asked my mom if we were in Chinatown. I can see the look on her face, crystal clear, as she realized just how Canadian her daughter was.
Anyway, this Canadian girl is in for some culture shock and a crash course in Mandarin. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’ll be tromping around the Great Wall of China, standing in Tiananmen Square or eating Peking Duck where it was invented. Also on the itinerary: one line item that simply says “Dumpling Feast” (insert ecstastic dumpling dance here), a trip to a tea plantation and a visit to a silk factory.
And you’d better believe that I’m bringing my eating pants and a half-empty suitcase.