So excited to have left rainy, cold Sydney behind for some summer days in Hangzhou. If you have no idea where that is, don’t feel too bad about yourself, I had to google it many times. And I nearly booked flights to the wrong airport, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be the first time it happened.

It was about 12 hours flying to Beijing and then another 2 to Hangzhou, which isn’t horribly long, but also isn’t ideal when the difference between upright and reclined is about 7 degrees. But time flies when the airline plays endless an endless loop of funny cat videos. Seriously, why is every airline not doing this? Would pay extra.

Becka meets me at arrivals, and we are meant to take two separate buses to get to her room, but I luckily made a Chinese friend, Trench, on the plane who pays for our taxi (and carries my bag the whole way off the plane because I “look very tired”― you’re not wrong, Trench, not wrong). He also takes about a dozen selfies with us, but it is a small ask considering how much he has just shelled out on the taxi… Impressed with the Chinese already.

But, my first day in China is even better than free taxi rides and street food: Becka and I adopt a turtle from the supermarket. He is way too big for his cage and we can’t stand the blatant turtle cruelty, so we buy him to save him from a life of misery. Becka is originally very off the idea of “contributing to turtle trade”, but I make a very convincing point that Liam Neeson once had to save his daughter from sex slavery and that was in no way contributing to the trade industry, it was just pure heroic.

At the small price of 28RMB (<$6AUD), Greg is ours. China is pretty great.

Read more about my time in China:

THE GALS EXPLORE HANGZHOU & WEST LAKE

BECOMING TRUE MEN ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

TO SHANGHAI FOR THE WEEKEND