Some of you may remember that last year Nick E took a trip to China to speak at a conference. This year, they decided that they wanted someone even more awesome to come, so . . .
I GOT TO GO TO CHINA. How ridiculously amazing is that?
And now, through the magic of the internet, I will share my journey with you. It was a quest filled with adventure (the Great Wall!), drama (I’m on stage and my computer just exploded in a shower of sparks!), and heartbreak (I want to eat more food but I’m totally full!).
Join me as we journey to the other side of the globe, where everything is upside down—but that includes you so it all looks right side up anyway.
The first couple of days I was speaking at the conference and watching my fellow speakers share their stories. I know it looks like I’m doing a magic trick—and maybe I am! You’ll never know for sure.
During the conference, I got to hang out in a very special place:
That’s right, I got the straight up VIP treatment. In China, they know how to treat you right.
What goes on in the VIP Lounge? It’s INSANE. There’s, like, sandwiches. And power outlets. And free water. It’s totally baller.
Also, they had a famous Chinese artist create caricatures of all the speakers. Here’s mine:
Yep, even in a caricature I’m still devastatingly good looking.
After blowing some minds at the conference telling them about the great games and community that we have here, I got to take a few days to check out the sights.
So where did I go?
The Forbidden City
Chinese emperors lived in the this palace for over 800 years, up until the early 1900s. It has huge courtyards and massive buildings, and I can only imagine how exhausted the messengers must have gotten running from one building to the next.
Since this is me we’re talking about, you can be sure that I acted with the utmost of dignity and grace in this deeply historical location.
In China, the elephant is considered a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good luck.
Coat me in gold and I’ll scare trespassers just as well as this guy.
Such grace and majesty.
Okay, you got me. This one wasn’t actually taken in the Forbidden City.
By the end of the day, the locals were ready to boil me alive.
The Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs were the final resting place of many Chinese Emperors. They are beautiful architecture situated in a peaceful valley. I was lucky enough to stop in when they were performing a traditional sacrificial ritual. Luckily, the sacrificial cows were made of plastic, so sadly there wasn’t a barbeque afterwards. But at least no animals were harmed.
Also, this happened.
The Great Wall
It's probably illegal to go all the way round the world to Beijing and not visit the Great Wall.
Here’s the obligatory selfie to prove I was there. The thumb in the corner proves that it's authentic.
I totally climbed to the top of the Great Wall, and did not fake this picture by having my bottom foot cropped out. Kids, don’t try this at home. Also, don’t try it at the Great Wall.
If you’ve played Infinity Ring Episode 4, which takes place on the Great Wall, this scene should be familiar. If not, you think I’m a total weirdo. Well, you probably already thought that. But this proves it for sure.
This is by far the most important part of any trip. And China did not disappoint!
Eating Peking Roast Duck is a whole skill unto itself. My waitress gave me a lesson, and I spent the whole meal practicing. You basically have to learn to build and fold a mini burrito . . . using only chopsticks.
China has all the major US brands, often with a slight twist.
There were many mysterious foods. Most of them were good. Some of them exploding in your mouth with the heat of a supernova, leaving nothing but a shattered shell of a person behind.
The best food of the trip came on the last day when I wandered into a random restaurant where no one spoke English and had to order through a mixture of pantomime and telepathy. But the flavors were intense
China rocks! This was a great adventure, and I’d love to come back again some day, once I do daily exercises to stretch my face out into even more ambitious expressions.
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Author of Josh Baxter Levels Up.
- "Smartly paced and emotionally engaging, a book even those who have never held a controller will enjoy." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Sample and game at scholastic.com/joshbaxter