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Toshi came to Changchun


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I was too late going to the train ticket office on Thursday night, so I got to the station as early as possible on Friday morning. Toshi, my friend I met in Shanghai last year was meeting me for the weekend. I'm not sure why, but it was fun anyway. He is doing a little bit of importing cheap Vietnamese clothes and selling them online in Japan. He took a month off to go around China before heading back home again.

He's kind of an interesting person and way older than he looks, which is 51 years old. I didn't know that until this weekend, he looks so young and small. I wonder how long he'll keep up with his strange homeless lifestyle. Right now, he lives in Tokyo doing call centre customer service and training to be a foreign language teacher (of Japanese obviously, because I can barely understand his English most of the time). His end goal is to live in Vietnam permanently.
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Anyway, I got a train at 7 a.m. and arrived at around 8. Toshi was there waiting at the exit when I arrived. We dropped off my stufff at the capsule hotel I had booked a few days ago. Then, we went to the palace of the last emperor of China. When he worked with the Japanese colonialists, they built him a fancy compound to live in. Chinese people call him the "puppet emperor". Eventually, he was imprisoned and reeducated to become a model citizen who worked as a gardener for the rest of his life.
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There were lots of beautiful rooms on the property, two gardens and even a racetrack, which is now the site for children's riding lessons. We watched a few of the boarded horses get their exercise and went home exhausted and starving.
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We wandered around until we found a Japanese restaurant. Toshi was very happy and he finally put the debate to rest about wasabi in the soy sauce. He eats it that way but you can eat sushi however you want. There is no correct way, so there snobby Californians. I will continue to merrily mix my soy sauce with the wasabi and no one can tell me different. Toshi said it's OK.
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The next day we went to a ginormous "international" sculpture park in the south of the city. It was really great. The art was quite spread out and the whole place really had a European feel to it. We tried and failed to find a sculpture from Japan, though. Toshi thought it was a clear political snub, but we saw a Japanese flag outside, so there must be a Japanese sculpture somewhere in there.
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Exhausted once again, we headed back home and took a nap. Toshi found another Japanese place for dinner and afterwards, I went and got an electric bed warmer. I don't know why I never thought of buying one before. In the morning, I followed Toshi back to the railway station where he'd catch the train to the airport and I'd catch mine home.

Posted by baixing 17:35 Archived in China Tagged changchun

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Comments

The pictures are wonderful! Amazing sushi and that sculpture park looked beautiful and relaxing.

by Marian Brown

I just read this. I want to go to the border. But not endure cold weather,, next year in spring. Thank you very much.

by Toshi

Haha, you're not supposed to find it, there are lots of secrets about you on here.

by baixing

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