Where Not To Go For Chinese New Year: China

China is usually a pretty cheap country to travel through. Not the cheapest. But definitely affordable.

However, if you’re thinking of coming to China, beware the public holiday. Not only did I almost have to run out to one of the loan companies near me in order to afford my two day trip on Chinese New Year ( How I found a local loan company lol: http://www.financeflamingo.com/payday-loans-near-me/.) But I also had to spend the weekend getting up more close and personal with complete strangers than I have with some of the people I’ve dated in the past.

Here’s the thing about Chinese New Year. Everyone in China gets it off work. Obviously. But there are over a billion people in China. And they all have the exact same 10 days a year off. 5 of which fall on Chinese New Year. No more, just those 10. All billion people.

So because it’s one of only two opportunities Chinese people have to go anywhere other than home or to work. They go to the same tourist spots that I, as a visitor to the country wanted to go to. All of them.

That means that suddenly there were no good hotel rooms, no good train or flight tickets, and everything that was left cost the same as my entire life savings.

So that’s how I came to spend all of my money on the worst weekend ever.

As someone who doesn’t like crowds, or being the centre of attention. The most famous mountain in China, on a public holiday, was probably the worst place I could have gone.

Not only did I spend the entire weekend posing for photos with strangers whilst looking like a real life scarecrow.

But I also spent the entire second day ‘queueing’ in the rain. I use the term loosely because having the entire population of China try to push you off of a very steep precipice while all of you painfully slowly force your way to the foot of a mountain isn’t what I would call ‘proper queueing etiquette’.

But then, maybe I just have unrealistic queueing standards. Like not having my life put in actual danger.

Nail Salons: 5 Things to Watch Out For ( Guest POST)

This is a guest post by my lovely wife. She lived in china for 2 years. Rather than talking about pollution, she’s going to talk about something more fun. Nail salons!

Being relatively new to nail salons in general, and brand new to nail salons in the western world. I was surprised to learn that there are rules.

When I was living in China, the nail salon that got my business was the nail salon near me. I knew nothing of these regulations. It was a more innocent time. One not filled with nightmares of fungal infections, or worse.

Now that I’m home again, I’m on the lookout for a ‘go-to’ nail salon. And by all accounts, there are a few things I need to pay attention to. So these 5 of the things I will be checking in a salon before I part with my hard earned cash.

  1. The price

Bargain hunting is an activity best suited to clothes shopping. When it comes to a manicure, you get what you pay for. And I don’t want ‘what I pay for’ to be unsanitary equipment and exposure to bacteria. Also, with so much attention drawn to the exploitation of some salon staff in the media. I naively expect a higher price-tag to mean higher wages.

  1. The smell

It goes without saying that I don’t want to spend an hour of my day in a place that smells awful. If it smells dirty. Bad sign. Equally, if there’s an overpowering scent of chemicals, I won’t be sticking around for long enough to inhale them all.

  1. Licences

Yep, nail technicians need licenses to practice. So if a salon has 10 technicians, but only 1 licence on display you can bet I won’t be giving them my business.

  1. Masks and gloves.

Technicians should be wearing both. In China, people wore masks all of the time. The nail salon was just about the only place they weren’t in use. So now I’m watching out for them. The masks, show good practice since them chemical might harm technicians. The gloves protect us both from transferring bacteria.

  1. An autoclave

This machine, used to sterilise equipment will save me from all of the terrifying potential infections I never knew I could pick up from the salon tools.

Here’s hoping I can find a salon that fits all of my new requirements before I break a nail. Now that I’m back home again, I have to find another nail salon near me. The fun starts all over again 🙁

At least the hair salons near me look pretty good 😛