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China

Pandas Don’t Want A Human Experience

Considering most people have only ever seen pandas in cartoons or YouTube videos, a lot of them are mighty judgemental at my going to the conservation centre in Chengdu and not taking the opportunity to hug one.

To be perfectly honest. I think it’s cruel. Pandas, if their behaviour is anything to go by, would actually quite like to just quietly die out.

I mean they eat for 16 hours a day and only move if they absolutely have to. They also hurl themselves around as though they want to fall on their head from a great height. And then they appear confused when they do in fact, land on their head from a great height.

Does that sound like a creature that cares about its survival?

Animals that want to achieve extinction do not want to socialise, not even with each other. So why on earth would they want to hug a family of 6 humans from Sheffield? Or me?

Also, pandas are kind of dirty when you see them in real life. You can’t expect something that lazy to keep up with its hygiene, they probably smell really bad, it would have rubbed off on me and I have this weird thing where I don’t like to stink of shit.

Not to mention the fact that the ‘small donation’ you have to leave in return for a reluctant panda hug would have alleviated me of my life savings.

So rather than run off to find a loans place near me, which I did: http://www.financeflamingo.com/payday-loans-near-me/, and spend an awkward 10 minutes having a camera shoved in my face (which I get to experience in China for free most days anyway).

While I sit with an animal that has been dragged in and out of the same room all morning to be embraced by all manner of strangers and doesn’t want to be there. And end up with a photo I look awful in and a desperate need to take a shower.

I chose to just keep a respectful distance, for not a million dollars.

I Went to a Nail Salon For The First Time… in China.

Yo Peeps! Long time no see. If you don’t have me on twitter you wouldn’t know I was just in CHINA working. Of all the cools things I saw and did, I thought this experience was probably the most interesting to share,  so here we go!

Getting my nails done

Language barriers can be tricky things. I should know, I spent most of the last year living in the world’s least English speaking country. In my experience, being unable to communicate in words equals awkward moments. And so when it came to life’s luxuries. Haircuts, manicures, take out food, paying my rent. I did what any responsible fully functioning adult would. I avoided them like the plague.

Now usually, I do my own nails at home. But being in China, I quickly slipped into the luxurious expat lifestyle and refused to partake in such manual labour. So, eventually, after spending 3 months with the nails of a potato farmer, I could put it off no more. I donned my big girl pants and headed off to the nail salon.

I stepped through the door, stood in the middle of the salon, and proceeded to mime ‘nail painting’ to the room full of onlookers. As they stared open mouthed (apparently they didn’t get many blonde haired, blue eyed customers), I continued. Becoming increasingly more animated in my charade.

After around 5 minutes of this awkward interpretive dance. I was ushered to a seat and handed an iPad containing every nail design known to man to choose from. Still unnerved by the staring which hadn’t eased up since my shock arrival, I panic-picked the first design I laid my eyes on that didn’t involve blinding diamonte’s and sat back.

The next hour involved sitting in silence while several women sat around and closely inspected various parts of my face. All the time laughing amongst each other and pointing. Occasionally barking an order at me in Chinese repeatedly, until I stumbled upon what was being asked.

When I finally left the salon it was with brand new shiny nails. Was the whole experience incredibly awkward? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Did it stop me from committing nail care blasphemy, and…gulp…picking off my manicure, simply to avoid another visit? It did not.

However, now I’m back in the English-speaking world I’m very excited to reacquaint myself with the nail salon. Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to try new things, I get my nails done now. And I like it. I had some trouble finding a cool salons near me, but ended up finding an awesome site that I recommend checking out: http://www.salonscompare.com/