Mrs Readalot just returned from the Chinese Consulate where she went to get her Visa for China. Less than four weeks until Mrs Readalot and Miss Fab venture into the orient on a mother-daughter adventure.
It was through books and reading that Mrs Readalot first learned about China. It seemed a mysterious place, full of history and untold stories. Many books were consumed over the years, biographies and novels and they all added to the mystique.
The land of Revolution and footbinding, the Long Walk and pandas.
Never in her wildest dreams did Mrs Readalot ever think she would visit there herself, but somehow the books about China continued to fascinate.
Mao's Last Dancer...
The Good Women of China...
Then Mrs Readalot's dear friend and fellow blogger went to live in the land behind the Bamboo Curtain.
It was fascinating to seeing pictures and read daily accounts of how this land was planting itself so firmly in her friend's heart. As her friend's six month adventure stretched into an 18-month odyssey, Mrs Readalot found herself wanting to go and see China for herself.
She wanted to experience what her friend was seeing so she could understand what it was about this place and its people that had captivated her friend so powerfully.
Through an unexpected windfall, it became possible for Mrs Readalot and her sweet girl to embark on a once-unthought-of adventure. To travel together into the land of China and see it for themselves, to spend time in this foreign land which now seemed so familiar and even more fascinating after seeing it through her friend's eyes.
So now Mrs Readalot is going to visit Book Depository and stock up on some more China Stories to get herself in the mood. Last Saturday she watched Mao's Last Dancer. Maybe tonight she'll cook stirfry.
The adventure is nearly here; the departure date less than a month away. She is beginning to anticipate all the sights she will see, places she will visit, shopping and long coffees with her friend, all the new things she will experience (and eat).
It will be life-changing.
To go to a place where hardly anybody speaks English and foreigners are still an uncommon sight.
She knows to expect lots of staring.
But whatever happens Mrs Readalot promises that she will not, under any circumstances, be eating fried bugs on a stick...
[All photos courtesy of Gail's Most Excellent Blog]
Planning to Read before I go (as recommended by Gail):
Mrs Readalot's Bloggy Bookclub
If you are a keen reader, we'd love you to join in with our bloggy bookclub.
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THIS MONTH: August Bookclub is being hosted by Stacey at Dear Future Me
Stacey over at Dear Future Me is hosting and has come up with a great idea for Bookclub - rather than choosing a specific book, Stacey has picked a theme: "Books that Make You Want to Travel"
"As I'm currently in England for a couple of years, travelling, I want my Bookclub Theme to be books that make you want to travel or help you feel close to a country (similar to what Meghan has said about 'Cry the beloved country' and how that made her feel about South Africa.) There are other books like 'The Kite Runner', 'The Bronze Horseman' 'The Help' etc that have that same effect... Fiction or non-fiction books that draw you in to a country and particularly to its history and culture."
Please share with us a book (or books) that make you want to visit a country, or which capture the essence of a place for you.