Well well yet another blog…forewarning its long:)
Note: China decided to block wordpress.com soooo it took me a couple weeks to figure out how to post my blogs, but no worries I did it so keep in mine this post was intended to go up about a week and half ago….
Although it hasn’t been long since my post I figured I would fill you in on a little of what it is like to live in China…Things I have noticed since arriving here approximately two months ago, there is trash everywhere! No exaggeration you cant find a trash can it is completely appropriate to just drop your trash where you stand, but you can expect some old lady with a homemade broom to sweep it up in the next few days. Not only is trash everywhere but everything on the ground is trash from leaves to bark to trash itself if it is lying on the ground its considered trash.
Now for the driving the in China, I would find this one of the top two scariest places to be a pedestrian the other being Italy of course. The driving here is outrageous, there are “laws” but when no one follows them do they count? For example at a crosswalk the light turns green for pedestrians to walk yet cars are still running red lights and making it near impossible to cross….rule #1 if one car runs a red light the next must follow because its silly to allow just one car to get away with it….rule #2 lanes, what lanes? If there are 4 painted lines across the interstate (making 4 lanes) that is some sort of code to meaning actually 6/7 lanes of cars are allowed to be driving at once…..rule #3 there are no rules, any piece of cement they can qualify as driving space, is….aka always have your eyes peeled as one may come out of nowhere and nearly hit you. No worries they will honk to tell you that they are about to hit you….rule #4 honk at any pointless thing that irritates you, honking here essentially means move otherwise I will hit you, not move Im tired of waiting, or excuse me I need to get through here its basically your warning of death:)
So my main mode of transportation has been buses and taxis, I figure Ive gotta be “safe” somewhat in both? Although when you bargain to take the bus, plan on at least 100 Chinese people to be body to body with you and all of them staring at you….some may not think its worth the hassle but hey its only like a 25 cent ride to go anywhere in the city. Taxis you occasionally have to be careful about them ripping you off, but I have only had one encounter thus far where they have tried to rip me off. Key is stand your ground and dont be a pushover and they wont mess with you.
I know I have talked about how great the food is here but really I wasn’t kidding….and no its not the weirdest things you could think to eat cooked up in some grill and fed to you (although they have that too:)) My two favorite restaurants are the “hot pot” place, everything is cooked in the pot sitting in the middle of everyone, the things we typically put in it; spicy beef, pumpkin, potatoes, noodles, dumplings, quail eggs, pig brain (sometimes), bokcho (sp?), occasional random piece of food….My other favorite place is a “chuan chuan” (bbq) style cooking you pick out the food (all on skewers) you would like to eat out of a refrigerator and then just cook them over a mini grill. Both are delicious and cheap! But what food is really good is the street food….the other night Ryan and I got our whole dinner on the street for approximately $1.50 and that was going to 3 different vendors….Now what did we get? We got a type waffle, bowl of sauteed and grilled potatoes, and fried dumplings…..all equal amazing, I just wish you could try this food its sooooo good:)
Per request here are some photos of our hangouts around Chongqing….This photo is “International City” it has all foreign restaurants and just cool place to hangout along the river (really pretty at night).
Now my final observation…buildings here are only made to last for 5-10 years….they arent looking to far down the road….its amazing the difference of structure between buildings built now and ones built 5 years ago (they look ancient)…the other amazing aspect of China and buildings is they go up so fast, the productivity and efficiency of building here is extreme.
Since I have been here I have seen dozens of new buildings go up and have businesses or people moved in. They are always building something here at all hours of the day and night, and anywhere there is open space (prime building space), at least in Chongqing buildings are stacked on top of one another literally….
These are all the stairs I get to walk up and down everyday:) Yeah Im going to be in great shape soon….Im sure
On an entirely different note….I figured I would bring some humor to topic and share some of the English names my students have chosen; Fruit Z., Sherbet, Steven King, Show, Raisin, Necklace, Cinderella, Hapisweet, Error, Christ, Black, Shorten, Little Red, Fear, Starbucks….sooo there you have the creativity in my class or extreme unawareness that these aren’t really English names….
I have been asked multiple times if I am related to Kelly Clarkson, I dont take this as a compliment but either way its happened at least 60 times….so there must be some similarity according to the Asian eye. This is the first I have heard of this resemblance but apparently its a strong one..
Another thing my students cant seem to wrap their minds around is that I play sports and am half way decent, it first takes them awhile to understand that a girl plays sports especially the physical ones, but then that I can beat majority of my students in basketball and soccer is a whole different story…I will say I do enjoy “beating up” on my students in a little one-on-one basketball and soccer….its fun to shock them and hey its a good workout. So thats what Ive been doing to try and stay active while the Drake boys here have joined an expat team of Rugby. (Expat: Foreigners) They had their first tournament last weekend and won which I guess pretty exciting for them as the team had not one the tournament ever…Sean got a little banged up and tore his leg up on the turf so he has tried to heal that up with random Chinese products (were not really sure if the products we bought are what he needs for the cut or not) but it seems to be healing slowly but surely…
Speaking of Chinese drug products, I had the flu a couple of weekends ago, possibly one of the worst things to experience in a foreign country especially China….it made me extremely homesick as all I wanted was a bowl of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup and someone to take care of me. Apparently its too much to ask for in China:(
Now as most of you may know from my last post, the first Chinese holiday is here, National Day. The holiday takes place October 1st- October 7th, we kicked off the celebration on September 29th with a Banquet held by the government of Chongqing to essentially talk about how great China was and where they came from and all the awesome things they have done. One student told me China invented pizza….yeah pizza…..really? This was their explanation; Marco Polo came to China and fell in love with Dumplings when he returned home to Italy he tried to recreate dumplings and failed instead he made an “open” dumpling that turned out like pizza, therefore China invented pizza…..again really? I love the logic….
So that was the beginning part of my banquet, we then went to the Great Hall and watched a performance again to be uplifting and talk about where they have come from and all they have persevere, basically one big patriotic production. It was actually really cool for about the first 30 minutes, then it turned to a bit of WTF, then it got to be too long….It was about 2 hours of songs and dancing, and it probably would have been more entertaining and easier to follow if I would have spoken Mandarin but I knew nothing they were saying and could only enjoy the dancing which half the time didnt make sense to me.
The National Day holiday is the wedding and shopping season, this is when all the good deals happen in China for shopping or so Ive been told. One of my professors has 5 weddings in 7 days to attend, I think that definitely qualifies National Day as a wedding season.
How I am spending my holiday, I will be in Shanghai visiting a friend from Drake some of you may know him, Ike. It is also where most of the Drake crew will be meeting up so finally get to see all the people from the Shiz, Tianjin and Guilin hopefully. Looking forward to getting out of Chongqing and exploring the new unknown.
Till next time