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United States or China! From Beijing, we moved on to Xian, home of the 7.000+ terracotta warriors buried in the tomb of a 3rd century emperor, the Atlantic City Boardwalk continued to follow me. As we entered the archeological dig, we were bombarded by street vendors with miniature knock-offs of the warriors in handy little carrying cases. Classic tacky souvenirs sold by classic tacky souvenir salesmen. I was instantly reminded of the schlocky souvenirs that I used to sell to tourists when I was a kid working at Souvenir City on the Boardwalk — invisible dog leashes, seashell ashtrays, and nudie cards. I laughed to myself how well these Communists (wanna be Capitalists) have learned to making a buck from tourist naiveté. Just like AC. In addition to taking in the colorful sights and sounds of China, food was an experience as well. Some folks were a bit shocked to discover that familiar menu options like General Tso, Happy Family, or even fortune cookies did not exist in China — all concoctions made up in the US for American palettes. However, the meals in China were quite interesting — mostly stir-fried dishes, wonderfully fresh veggies, and great tea. Although everyone in our Gate 1 Travel group enjoyed the chance to sample local cuisine, occasionally someone from the South Jersey delegation would say, “Boy, I could really go for a sub” or “A pizza from Tony’s sounds good right about now.” Dumplings and bok choy be damned once you get a craving for Atlantic City food! So, on Day 10 my trip was over and


back home I had to go. It was a fabulous experience and I saw great sights, met warm and friendly people, and experienced the mystique of China sprinkled with a dose or two of South Jersey unique. Funny how once you have sand in your shoes, you can never quite get rid of it no matter where you go or how far away you may travel. As Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home.” I didn’t know Dorothy was from the Atlantic City area!


“I was instantly reminded of the schlocky souvenirs that I used to sell to tourists when I was a kid working at Souvenir City on the Boardwalk.”


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FBKcpa.com njlifestyleonline.com LIFESTYLE | Spring 2012 33


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