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Published: August 31st 2010
hello, goodbye dinner
L to R. Back: Casey, David. Front: Brandy, student, Sarah, Me, Adrian, Candace. Casey went to Shenyang (40 minutes away) and Sarah went to Vietnam.
Disclaimer: These photos have nothing to do with entry. They're from a past entry, I think. I swear I'll figure this out soon...
Everyone! I am alive. We finally got working internet...I think. Yesterday we went to Shenyang to get a physical exam. This was required once to get the visa in San Francisco and apparently, once more in China. They did chest x-rays and an ultra sound as well as blood and urine tests, among the other basic stuff. Every kind of test was in it's own office and we just went from one to the other, like other foreigners there. We got done in 40 minutes. It was fast and efficient and not really expensive. However, there is no privacy. At all.
We spent a huge part of our afternoon cleaning our apartment. We've managed to get rid of a lot of junk and get it feeling somewhat homey. We have a lot of work to do still.
I am starting to get used to the way things work here. I taught myself numbers in Chinese yesterday on the way to Shenyang and how to say "how much is this?" Shopping for necessities on our own
31st floor view
from Adrian and Candace's apartment
has been quite the adventure so learning this seemed a good idea. As we walked the streets last night after dinner, I helped Helen barter for a stool/container. So instead of 25 yuan, (about 4.5 dollars) she paid 18 (about 3). Haha! I was really proud of myself. On the other hand, while at the supermarket yesterday, I needed to go to the bathroom, but couldn't remember how to say it. So I ran up to a girl standing by the toilet paper and tried to signal to her that I needed a bathroom. Brandy came up and made sitting down motions. So the girl led me to the chairs. Of course, how did we not see that coming? They don't use Western toilets. It wasn't til later that I realized I should have pointed to the toilet paper or done the pee dance or something. In China, the best ideas come to me once the moment has passed.
Also, the other night, we went to a Western restaurant for pizza. We had heard there was a Pizza Hut here, but we couldn't find it so instead we ran into this fancy little place. We were so excited, we
they were really fun
ordered two pizzas, french fries and a fruit salad. It was all really good! No where near REAL American food, but still good. The next day, all of us felt a little sick to our stomaches...and it wasn't even that we were getting homesick for that food or were unhappy with what we had been eating, I guess it just sounded good at the moment. Since that meal, my stomach has not been the same. :S
Today, David took us out to lunch. We thought it would be just another casual lunch. No. We took a taxi to what looked like a hotel. A man in a collared shirt with a tie and slacks opened the door, wearing an electronic device in his ear. We were led to the entry where about 5 women dressed in white suits were standing to greet us. One of them led me and Brandy and Helen to the elevator, through a few hallways and into a room with a large dining table and chairs. It was really fancy. We waited probably 10 minutes until David and another guy walked in. Clearly, this was some sort of business meeting, but since David didn't tell
cheering on the band!
us anything but "we'll go to lunch," and "right down the street," and "i'll order food, you go with her," we had no idea what was going on. As it turned out, we had lunch with the heads/directors of the public schools in Benxi, as well as two English teachers. There were 10 of us altogether. Tomorrow I will start teaching the public schools. I guess this is mostly what I will be teaching, plus the weekend advanced English class at our school. Anyway, there was a ridiculous amount of food, from clams, fish and prawns to chicken and beef noodle dishes, soups and vegetables. We drank beer like they didn't have to go back to work after lunch. Everyone said a toast and welcomed us and said we were "very beauteeful." I learned today that when you cheers someone you respect, you hit their glass lower (rim wise) than they hit yours. If they hit yours at a lower level, then they respect you. Good times at lunch in China. I have learned too, if you ever plan on coming here, make sure you can handle your booze. Otherwise, you might be in a little bit of trouble with
I don't know what this was about, but he liked us.
the locals. That said, running shoes, here I come!
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