What can I say about Harbin? Well besides the obvious (that it was freakin’ cold!) I felt the strangest, unsettling feeling being there. Shanghai is so safe. The taxi drivers will not try to rip you off and take you for a “fun” ride. But here in Harbin, I’m sure anything goes. Thankfully we had a friend of Lu’s father show us around. I wish I could just communicate freely with him, but instead all that I could muster was the answers to his questions. “Yes it’s cold.” “No , I’m not hungry,” and “Yes, I had a great time!” etc.. I would love to know his story, but my Mandarin just isn’t there yet.
We went to the world famous “Harbin Ice Festival” and “Snow World.” There were astonishing numbers of giant sculptures of snow and ice illuminated with bright colors.
My favorite part was petting an arctic fox. I was sad to support their business when I handed them 20 yuan because well, you could tell it was heavily sedated, but alas, I wanted to pet an arctic fox-and so I did.