Thursday, October 28, 2004
Cody", not 'life of cody'. I'm an idiot. That is another one of the
downfalls of not being able to access my blog directly-i can go back
and edit out blunders like that!
We are still here in the comp lab, so what should I write?
There are some crazy shops here, selling everything from cop lights to
surveying equipment, all specialized and seemingly selling one product
type (not indicative of all shops in the city, just the couple of
roads we cruised down earlier today). There are also science type
shops. Rachelle just blew her budget for the month. I don't know if it
was the erlenmeyer flask or the titration machine, but she went gonzo.
She bought the erlenmeyer, and had been titrating iodine into our
water bottles in precise amounts to make sure we are not wasting any.
but wait, it doesn't stop there. she then procures a sample and checks
it under her new microscope to make sure there are no swimmy things
left running around. That is why we are still here typing. Her typing
is continually interrupted by her 'experiments' and her maniacal
And it gets worse. We went into McD's today (which sits adjacent to a
Starsucks. Yes, I got a pic). I ate a fry or two, but R got the full
spicy chicken meal. And guess what? It looks just like a McD's at home
(with some extra chinese speaking people). Same menu, basically.
Though you could buy a hello kitty charm...oof. Some chick sat down at
the table next to us and stared. Fascinated as if she couldn't figure
out why white people were in there. It was rough, but I have not been
traveling as long as her so maybe the urge for USAish food will hit me
later? I'll let you know (probably not).
I am not the sole object of curiosity in our traveling vagabond
brigade. R's blonde hair is no match for my face. Let me explain.
Chinese men have very little hair. I had this illustrated to me thru a
bad game of charades and a semi-translator. On our t-ride to Xi'an, we
ended up chatting with 3 other guys. One of which spoke english. The
one dude, who very much wanted to communicate with us, looked at me
laughing, pulling on the hair on his arm (just one. Like a bad hairdo
he'd wrapped it around and around his arm in the strangest comb-over
I've ever seen) and then pointing at mine. His friend let me know how
strange the guy found all my hair. Yes, I am hairy, I know this all
too well. I offered him mine, in all seriousness, but he declined. My
point? Since I am now sporting the full shaggy beard (no razor has
touched my face in over a month, and won't until we hit thailand.
Can't have a beard on the beach, you know?), I am like a bearded lady,
only not so much a lady (how would YOU know?). I now garner all the
stares wherever we go to R's delight. Guess they've never seen a
Wookie walking around in town? Who knows.
More cultural plights
Standing in line yesterday, after 17 hours on a train, waiting to get
a ticket for 3 days hence to Tai'an. That's the situation. We found a
line that had a sign over the ticket honcho: "english spoken here". we
chose wisely. 2 people from the front of the line (believe it or not
there was an actual line. No personal space though. The older woman
and dude behind us kept walking up into our very obvious backpacks. I
kept swinging mine around in maddened glee! Feeling it hit them and
shove their little selves out of the way made up for their riding up
our asses), the woman starts cussing us out!! As if it was our fault
she couldn't stand back a bit. It was great. I let her know how
minimal my chinese is, and offered her some advice that would correct
her problem-STAND THE FUCK BACK! Yes, it was annoying. As I was paying
for our tickets (R was off hiding behind a pillar) she tried to push
in front of me to order hers, as did the guy on my right! My
basketball coaches would be so proud of my boxing out skills! She
cussed as I left, and I mocked her. I am a bit worried to get back in
the states, because lowering my shoulder and knocking into people is
the norm (and necessary) here. Not so much at home.
One more. Getting onto trains, as I've mentioned, is a huge pushing
match and then a foot race. 2 trains ago we decided to join in,
thinking the sooner you get to the car the better seat (lowest bunk)
you'd get. So we shoved up front early, pushed thru the turnstiles and
got our tickets checked (did you know: when you get to your
destination you need to show your ticket to get out of the station?
odd.), and started almost running. Then we shoved up to get on the
car. And you know what? It don't matter a bit. You are where you are,
no matter when youget there. We are done hurrying, though our
curiosity has only increased at this phenomenon.
One more one more. Ramen is back!!! It's the in thing here! I love it!
Here's the catch-it's so much better than in the states! We've been
getting little buckets of it (super cheap and great for trains.
they're about a quarter0 and they come with full peppers little chunks
of meat and are the best! the best, jerry, the best! so there, take
seriously guys, I gotta eat!