Yes.. it is time for yet another holiday in China , International Labor Day.   On this holiday, there are no special foods to be eaten and no special clothes to be worn.  There are no special songs to sing or special traditions you must do.   This is just the day for workers to have free time.   Three days of travel, rest and personal enjoyment.

This also happens to fall on the first day of the Shanghai Expo. Unfortunately, I will not be attending the Expo at this time, because it is the first day and the busiest time.   I am thinking that fighting 70 million people on my holiday is not something I want to do.

What are my plans?  Well. my husband has been on a business trip for the last week and will be finally arriving home on this friday so I am thinking some quiet time together would be nice.  I am planning a nice outing in the countryside, and maybe look at some old traditional buildings and some beautiful scenery.  This is what I call a relaxing holiday.

Back to Labor Day, many workers will have an extend  weekend, which can translate into millions of Chinese traveling domestically and internationally.  Of Course, the travel fares are double and triple and advance bookings must be made weeks, even months ahead for international travel. Hoards of tour groups flock to the  major tourist destinations of China, so you can forget having a quite moment to yourself.

As with every holiday, the people will be out and about.  I try to keep away from too many small cities because these workers usually have never seen foreigners so they tend to point, stare and laugh rudely when they see us.   I know now what it feels like to be a superstar.

Last year at this time, I went out to the city center to enjoy the sunshine and that enjoyment quickly turned to disappointment.   After, a brief 10 minutes the attention quickly turned to me and my African friend and a large crowd of people started to surround us as we sat on the park bench sunning ourselves.  Not only were people pointing and laughing at us.. .. they were trying to push their children close to us so they could get photos with the foreigners.   After awhile, we became very irritated with the situation, because the circle of people came closer and closer to us.   We finally stood up and tried to walk away… when we did the entire crowd of people started to follow us.   My African friend became panicky and told me she was afraid and she wanted them to leave us alone.   She took off running down the sidewalk.   I pushed my way thru the people to try to get to her… when I heard someone calling my name,  It was one of my students coming to rescue me.  He grabbed my arm and pulled me thru the crowd of people.   When we were a safe distance away, he said to me… you should never go out alone during a holiday.  I thought to myself…. yeah, you have a point.

After that experience, my husband informed me that I was never to go out alone on a holiday and that he would be with me when we travelled.  I am not thinking that they would have hurt me in any way.. but they all wanted to touch me, look at me and take photos of me. It was more irritating than anything else.

So… that being said… we will be far away from prying eyes.. and spend quality time together in the countryside.

until next time….