Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello my faithful followers!

Thanks for sticking with me while I try to figure out how to get around China's firewall!  I have so much to share with you all...not even sure where to start.  Joel found out within a few days of us living in China that he had a business trip to NYC April 6th.  So I of course had to tag along.  So here we are, after less than a month in China back in the states.  It doesn't feel too different, all big cities are inherently the same I think, but is still exciting to be here.

So I thought I would start my return to blogging by telling you some impressions I have had so far living in China.  Here are just a few things I have learned...

Pro- Everyone is really nice and helpful...
On our second day in China Joel and I set out for Ikea to start getting some stuff for our house.  We, being the innocent new foreigners, set out thinking we could get a cab and just say ikea.  Like, doesn't everyone one in every language know the word Ikea?  Apparently not.  After attempting to get in 3 different cabs and explain that we were going to Ikea our efforts were stifled by the language barrier.  So we were going to give up and wait for another day when we could take someone with us who spoke Chinese. Just as we were heading home, a cab driver who had seen what was happening to us pulled over and flagged us down to get in his cab.  He tried to call someone to help us translate but they didn't answer so he drove us to the Marriott, we all went inside and the concierge was able to translate for us.  I mean, how nice is that?

Another Pro- Some things are very inexpensive...
Not everything is as cheap as we thought it would be but the things that are inexpensive are very inexpensive.  We have shopped the markets several times and always come home with really fun things for way less than you could get them in the states.  Joel is obsessed with these little toy helicopters and can buy then for just a few dollars.  He also had some really nice suits made for only about $100 a piece in the fabric market.  Some restaurants are also very inexpensive.  You can go out for a really great dinner for around $10 or $15.  Joel said the best meal he has had there was a huge lunch that cost him $1.50.  So that's pretty cool.

I'm going to mark this next one as a pro and a con- The food...
I think that this is mostly a pro, like I said before the food can be very cheap.  And its (mostly) delicious. Not really at all like American Chinese food.  We have tried so many new foods that I can't even list them here.  Our favorite so far has been the Dim Sum.  My mouth is watering thinking about it!  Now another pro to the food there goes back to most big cities being the same.  Like any big city you can eat food from a different country every night if you wanted to.  Except Mexican...they do have a few sad attempts for us Expats to recreate it, but its not the same.  (insert long nights dreaming of green chili)  The con in this column is that the Chinese eat some things that, trying to be tactful here, are very strange to us westerners.  Now this doesn't have to be a con because you can mostly stay away from these types of things.  But several times we have gone out to eat with Chinese friends from Joel's work or our landlords and couldn't avoid some of the things they ordered for us.  We would feel rude to not at least try it.  Like jellyfish for example.  Not for people with weird food texture issues.  They also eat parts of chickens and other animals that we would normally throw away.  Like chicken feet and tendons.  That really isn't for me.  Now, forewarning to my next few sentences... skip to next paragraph if you are weak stomached or have an affinity to collect dogs. (five is not too many!)  Joel saw a man on the street who had just hung a dog and was skinning it to cook for dinner.  Like a little white fluffy ellie dog.  I haven't seen dog on any of the menus but it is something they eat. Ok, moving on.

Con-  Let's just vaguely title this as habits...
(And I will be stereotyping here because these do not apply to everyone.  Just the majority of the public that we encounter everyday.)
The Chinese hack and spit anywhere and everywhere, even cute old ladies.  I was told that some even have things to spit into in their office although I don't know if that is very common.  Smoking is more common here than anywhere I have been before, in the States and some places I have been in Europe smokers are at least conscious of the people around them, but not here.  They will sit down directly next to you and light up.  (I know from personal experience)  Also it seems that the Chinese aren't really sure how to form a line, or how to wait in line, or really what a line is at all (I have been elbowed out of the way by someone who looked like the Chinese version of my grandmother).  Things are much more chaotic,  and not as organized to us Westerners.  It took us about four hours to get our cell phones set up (thank goodness we had our American friend Adam with us who speaks Mandarin), several days to get our internet set up and still haven't figured out the TV.

So all that being said we are actually very happy in China so far, come visit if you want to see so for yourself!  So I will end this ridiculously long post by sharing some very happy news with you all.  I think I have figured out how to keep updating my blog from China!  We head back in the morning so I will test my new found knowledge then.  So goodbye for now,  miss everyone!  Pics in the next post, promise!

1 comment:

  1. That was fun to read! I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself. I promise, I'm looking into Skype, I just have to finish my last class and then I'll have a lot more time. I did write you a ridiculously long email. Love you and thinking of you!