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Ratke On The Road | 2017 China Trip Awards

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


It’s time for the first-ever Ratke on the Road China awards.

What an awesome tradition this will grow to be if I ever decide to go to China again.

Here are the winners of the ROR Awards. Trophies will be mailed in five to seven business days. We do not deliver on Leap Day.

Best Food

Our translator and China tour guide, John, brought us to a place called Hot Pot in Shenzhen.

What is Hot Pot, you ask?

It’s a giant pot, that is indeed hot, full of spices. You don’t just eat the spices. That wouldn’t be very satisfying at all. Instead they bring food for you to boil in the pot. There’s potatoes. Various meats. Carrots. And even the crowd favorite, cow stomach. I did not participate in the cow stomach, but those who did said it was a bit rubbery, which is what I’d imagine a cow stomach would taste like.

For everything I had, it was tasty and filling, but not too filling. I’d recommend it to someone who wants to get something outside of the box, but nothing too crazy.

I also had a Blizzard from Dairy Queen in Shanghai. Oreo lava, I believe it was. Very tasty. There was no cow stomach in that.

Trip MVP

This might sound silly, but with how busy our schedules were, we couldn’t really find any time to work. So, the 20-hour flight was actually somewhat helpful for this. Would I ever volunteer for a 20-hour flight? Never. But I’m also a weirdo about checking things off my to-do list and the flight helped with that.

What did not help was the severe neck pain from accidentally falling asleep on the plane. And the 4.5 pounds I gained from flight meals.

Trip LVP

Jet lag is real and it’s horrible.

Right when I finally got used to China time (13 hours ahead of Minnesota time), we flew back to Minneapolis. We landed at 4 a.m. on Monday. I had the day off. I fell asleep at 10 a.m. Woke up at 3 p.m. Then went to bed at midnight before waking up at 4 a.m.

On Tuesday, I left work after Tim Faklis told me that I looked like a hot bag of trash, which is much worse than a cold bag of trash. I took a nap from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. I then went to bed at 9:30 p.m. before waking up at 4 a.m. Now here we are.

Movie You Should Never, Ever Watch

Brangelina. I tried to watch this on my way back to Minneapolis. It’s about the breakup and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and my god it’s the worst thing I’ve ever watched. It was a 47-minute film and I watched all of it because when you’re on a flight for 1,200 minutes, what’s 47? If you’re watching this movie, a complete waste of time, that’s what.

Underrated Part Of Trip

Probably that my phone worked. I was worried about that. Would I be able to text, call and check my fantasy football team? All yes!

A close second was having a million pillows in my hotel bed. Prior to this trip, I was on the fence about pillows. Now I’m in.

3 Things I Learned

  • For some reason, no water is ever cold. You want a water bottle after working out? Boiling. Enjoy!
  • I learned how to use the coffee machine in my hotel after three days. Turns out there’s an on/off switch in the back that you have to press. When I was young, you just had to plug things in and they’d work.
  • The hotel staff just enters your room to clean. Even if you say “no” and you’re typing in your boxers while eating Doritos. Just a heads up.

That’s all we’ve got today. Until we hit the road again.