Airports & Long Life

It seems that I am becoming quite the expert in Chinese airports. For example, I can tell you about the best food at the Shijiazhuang airport, where to get good coffee in Beijing Capital Airport, the best place to sleep in Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport and that the Xian Airport Hotel is a total dump. Today we are in Qingdao – at the airport, of course. We are staying at the Red Crowned Crane Hotel, next door to our school’s Qingdao office.

We had to come up for some visa paperwork, and the chance to see something different was welcome. After our arrival we had a big lunch with the school bosses. I’m always amazed by the amount of food that is ordered – we had clams, octopus, fish, wood ear fungus, cucumbers, cold pork meat, broccoli & shrimps, rice soup, meat soup, small fried shrimp, cold vegetables & soybean paste, kimchee, mushrooms, dumplings, and fruit. (And we were 8 people, but the Chinese custom is to order a lot of fun.) The food was great. But that was not the highlight of the day.

For dinner we ate Korean food in the hotel and afterward we decided to have back massages in the hotel spa. Massages in China are by no means “light touch” and there were a few painful moments, followed by intense relaxation. Towards the end the masseuse covered my back with wet towels, sprinkled alcohol all over and lit the whole thing on fire. I was a bit concerned at first, but it actually felt quite warm and comforting. As she massaged my face, all I could thing was this is the secret to long life and good health.

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