China Update 14

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Asia » China » Shanghai » Fengxian
July 24th 2010
Published: July 26th 2010
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 Video Playlist:

1: My Apartment 621 secs
2: Outside My Old Apartment 213 secs
3: The Hongkou Football Stadium 154 secs
4: My Hotel Room for the CBM Expo 57 secs
5: Our booth at the CBM Expo 122 secs
6: Moving Oil Painting 212 secs

1 additional video(s) currently being processed
(i want to publish this now because the days are passing quickly, but i hope to re-read it and correct the grammar in the future)
I last left you guys on Monday night after Sarah had told me that Tuesday we were going to the Child Baby Maternity Expo. It's now one week later so please forgive my fading memories, but it's been a very busy week. Ha ha ha. much as the reader throughout most of my entry will have no idea where i am going, i did not know either. i'll tell you the plans for the future when i am told them from sarah. throughout this entire week i had no idea where i would be in the next hour.
I washed all my clothes monday night and woke up at the same time i do every morning on tuesday. Of course this did not give me enough time to iron that day's clothes and the two days worth of expo clothes. I had traveled a different route on the metro Monday morning in order to provide myself with an excuse for being late. I was 30 minutes late and it usually takes me 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to work. Around 50 minutes in the metros and 20 minutes walking. Of course this can fluctuate by fifteen minutes since you can wait up to 10 minutes for a metro train. My new route only took me 40 minutes and although this would be fast, I decided to take it again on Tuesday. (Note about monday: After getting one metro stop away, i paid a man on a motorcycle 30 yuan to drive me to work. There are many men on motorcycles outside of the metros, they drive between traffic and are much faster and more expensive than taxis. They are not legal, but accepted & not stopped by the police.) Tuesday i took the same route at Monday leaving at 8:20 instead of 7:50. I arrived at work at 9:15 which is 55 minutes and still faster than my previous route. As soon as I arrived, Sarah said they had been waiting for me and we were going to leave. So, we left at 10am. Ha ha ha. I had a few minutes to talk with my friends and check my email. Sarah, another girl, and I went to her car and drove to the hotel. I slept or tried to sleep most of the way. It was over two hours because of the traffic and I woke up once when Sarah was lighting her cigarette. I rolled down the window and went back to sleep. She and the other Chinese girl spoke in Chinese the whole time. When we arrived at the hotel, we went straight to our room. They already had one checked out and I was shocked. It had two twin sized beds and there were floor to ceiling boxes of our company's stuff. One bed had nothing on it and neither did the walk way to the shower. I was immediately considering offering her the bed and sleeping on the floor. I figured the other girl would sleep in the other bed. The bathrooms (as shown in the video i posted) have all glass walls which is scratched so you can't see though and there is an inch of space all around the bathroom door which is also glass and doesn't lock. Privacy isn't a big thing is you are already living with the person. we went to a restaurant across the street with about 6 people from the company. we had a private room because there were a lot of us. the air conditioning was not working well and several of the restaurant employees were running and jumping around the table trying to kill two flies. the window was open the whole meal. the food was of course all chinese and on a spinning wheel in the middle of the table. afterward one of the guys pulled out what appeared to be 15 plastic bags of beef jerky just like you can buy in the us. it was covered in beef fat which was solid and jello-like. the seasoning was good. i asked what we were eating and they told me it was cow ankle. i haven't eat more weird food than i want to count or remember while i've been here. After a while, Sarah told me to go with the girl who came with us to the hotel. I went with her down to the front desk and she tried to get me a room. I was very relieved that i would not be sharing a room with her and Sarah. Sarah is really pretty, but I've been learned the proper business etiquette for living in a hotel room with a businesswoman who happens to be your boss. They refused to let the chinese girl get a room for me because they need a record of all foreigners for the government (The government wants to record all the places foreigners go and where they are.) They would only accept my passport and i didn't bring mine with me. they would not accept my driver's license. in china, a driver's license is not an accepted form of identification. the girl called sarah and i explain the situation to her. I understood everything even though i don't speak chinese. then i gave the phone to the girl who explained everything to sarah again. sarah told the girl to tell the hotel staff of 5 people that my drivers license was acceptable in the united states, but the hotel still wouldn't take it. i told sarah to come downstairs and speak with them and hung up the phone. i told the girl to wait, but she would not wait and called sarah again who told her that she was coming downstairs. i hope the girl felt like an idiot for not listening to me. she frequently does not listen to me or trust me. in china, everything is life or death. people will fight and scream over the little things. sarah and this girl will be all upset and tense over something that doesn't matter at all. This is not an example of that, i'm telling you about the culture. sarah came down and spoke with them. they still wouldn't let us check out a room so we all went back upstairs. about five minutes later the girl went downstairs, and checked out a room, came upstairs and gave me the room key. i went to my room and someone was living there or had completely trashed the room. i told the girl instead of sarah who yelled at the maids. then we went back to her room. We pulled stuff out of different boxes and put them in bags for the expo for an hour or two. An older lady came and 'helped'. She talked most of the time and was not concerned about the work at all. She was very irritating. then sarah told me i could go to my room, since i had no idea about anything i asked her the time frame. It was 1pm and she told me that she would get me at 4pm. i went to my room and figured out the internet after half an hour of tinkering. the internet was terribly slow and unreliable, but i was grateful to have it. i fell asleep on the bed which was right under the air conditioner (another thing i was very grateful to have). she called me at four and told me to come downstairs. we went to a restaurant next door to our hotel. lots of people were there (we had four tables of 10). the food was much better and much more expensive. my goal was to sit at the same table as sarah since i didn't know anyone else. that is not happen, but i met some guys from HanZou, a city two hours south of shanghai. we have representatives in all over china who recruit and manage local distributors who will buy our products and sell them to grocery stores. everyone at the table had taken several years of english in high school and knew a few words. none of them were able to complete a full sentence and would tell me three or four words at a time. i would guess the meaning and say the sentence correctly, sometimes i would be correct, sometimes not. sometimes they would understand me, sometimes they would not. that being said we became very good friend and the man who runs the Hanzou group spoke the most english. he told me to call him Cool Man so i always called him Cool Man Jew because it sounds similar to my parents name of people with an asian beard Fu Man Choo. he taught me the word for girlfriend and told me to say it to the girl who rode with sarah and i to the hotel that morning. since the girl is not that pretty and i didn't trust him. i didn't say anything. after dinner i told sarah the word and she said it means the girl in a one night stand. i was very glad that i didn't say it and all the guys laughed when she told me the truth. I'm fun. we have fun together and they have fun with me. ha ha ha. they said we should go watch tv in their hotel so i went with them. they wanted a computer so i offered for them to use mine. then we went to my hotel room. we talked and watched some tv. sarah texted me and told me that i have a roommate who is coming. he doesn't speak any chinese. later the guys left and i got on the internet and talked to my friends in different countries. i continued talking with a particular girl. my roommate came in later and went to sleep.
the phone alarm went off at 7am. we got ready i went downstairs with my roommate fully ready for the expo at 8am. there was breakfast which is the chinese food that no one will eat for any other meal. i ate a piece of bread in 5 minutes which was the most western food there. then i stood with everyone else in my pink shirt and waited. at around 9:15 we went to the restaurant next store which completely confused me. i followed everyone else to the back of the restaurant though the kitchen to an elevator and stair case. we went to the second of 5 floors and found a very elaborate hall way with ceiling to floor mirrors on one side and brown cushions on the other. there were also bathrooms and three or four business conference rooms. we went to the biggest one of which i have many pictures. there was a stage with out new product printed on a background behind. it was very very nice and fancy. interesting we had to walk through the kitchen to get there. i found sarah there and spoke when her she said that they were going to be speeches to our new distributors from 9-11 (it was already 9:20) and then again at 4pm (until what time? who knows). she was suffering from a terrible hangover from the night before. apparently when i went back to the hotel, she went out with a different group and had 10 or 12 beers. i told her that i was bored all night and she said she would invite me out tonight. she wanted me to wear a big pink flower on my shirt which is refused to wear. later i realized that she, cool man jew, and the boss were the only other two wear the flower and put it on. ha ha ha. she had to speak a lot that day on stage and was trying to rehearse with me, speaking all chinese of course. she said that our distributors were in the middle and the company employees were on the ourside. our small office of ten employees had just grown into a team of over 60 and we had a greater number of distributors (and children?). i realize that our company was no small and pathetic, instead it was exactly the kind of company i would like to own: very low staffing to keep costs minimal. Sarah was the master of ceremonies and introduced the different speaks who all spoke for a few hours. during this time, i spoke frequently with sarah. our 9-11 presentation went until almost 1pm. then everyone went together downstairs for lunch. we all ate and then everyone seemed to be going back to their hotel rooms. i went back to my hotel room and spoke to a few people including a particular girl. i'm not sure if i took a nap or not. i went back to the meeting room at 3:45pm. i spoke with sarah for a while and then presentations started again. throughout the entire day, i sat next to her when she wasn't speaking and we spoke frequently. following is everything we spoke about: i found out that they were having problems with the hotel because they paid for all of the transportation and lodging for the sales representatives and distributors. every person has one bed and every room has two twin beds. the man from HangZhou came with his wife, brother and several employees which was expected because they will help with the expo. all of the distributors also came with their families which was no expected or wanted. one of the distributors came with his family of six people: several children, wife, and parents. all of the distributors of course paid for their rooms and told our company about the extra costs. while this would be laughed at in the US, according to chinese culture, it's expected for a host to completely care for and take care of their guests. our company paid for all the distributors extra transportation and lodging costs, except for the lodging for the family of six. we only paid for two rooms for them. they then did not come to our product launch presentation that day. they were offended because we were not good hosts would no longer do business with us. therefore, why waste their time listening to our presentation? that did not hesitate coming to all of the meals at the very expensive restaurant. oh, and all of the cost of every room in the hotel was tripled because of the expo (Child Baby Maternity Expo or the World Expo, i don't know). we were also paying for all of the distributors to live in the hotel for three nights: tuesday night, wednesday night, and thursday night. the employees were going to stay in the hotel longer and go home on saturday. yes, there were a few bad going through my head at this point. i really did not want to wear my two pink company shirts for 5 days or live in the hotel for five days. i'm supposed to work monday to thursday. the presentations ended that night at around 7 and everyone went down to the restaurant and had dinner. this is a very nice and big dinner. they continued to serve us new platters for over two hours. in the US everyone gets one meal. it's tradition in china for there to be lots of platters that everyone eats from. at a meal for 5 people, they may be well over 15 large platters. the table will not finish any individual patter. vivian has told me before that she was insulted because when she went out to eat with three americans they ordered five platters for four people. i told her it was cultural and normal for us to only order one thing per person. it's important to remember this when inviting a chinese person to dinner. a very nice restaurant may only charge $4-5 dollar for a large plate. it's not really cheap; you are expected to order +30 plates for every ten people. the owner also went around at toasted every table with BaiJu which i have said before is around +50%. we had the very expensive stuff for dinner. sarah followed him around with a small pitcher of baiju refiling his shot glass sized wine cup for every table. there were now eight or ten tables. i told her when they got to our table (about 4 or 5 tables in) that she should probably water down the baiju or she would have to carry the owner out. she thought it was a great idea and set out to do so. i don't know if it happened or not because i was very busy at my own table. they poured me an inch of baiju and everyone was very eager to toast me being a foreigner. when they cheers, you have to drink the whole glass. they are big glasses and they pour about 3/4 - 1 inch of baiju in every time. after several of these which were terrible, one of the guys thought it would funny to pour me over two inches of baiju. there was no way i would be able to drink that so i added some beer to it and was able to toast people that way. then i was called over to another table. the first guy there 'cheers'-ed me, and being very friendly to our distributors i drank the glass. it was not go too well after this, but the high amount of water in my system and food helped. i went to the bathroom and drank more water a few times. i met a guy in a the bathroom who was from a different company in a conference room upstairs. he introduced me to everyone and gave me his business card. then i went back downstairs. i was pushed into smoking a cigarette by some of the very drunk distributors which was not as bad and it sounds. i did my best not to inhale by doing a kissing motion with my mouth to make the cigarette burn. it didn't work well and the cigarette went out three times. after about a quarter of it had burned it put it out when someone came to the table and everyone turned. the smoke tasted terrible. most business people i have spoken to have told me that i would smoke and drink doing business in china. apparently that is true and doesn't make me feel like a bad person. perhaps i am predisposed like most people to believe i am good person no matter what i do or maybe smoking a cigarette for a business deal in a country and expects it is okay. my roommate was also planning on going to our room earlier at 9pm and had sarah ask me to give him the key. i did and he left. by the time all the people started leaving at 9:30pm, i felt fine which was pretty amazing to me. all the asian guys were very drunk and had trouble speaking, filling glasses, walking straight etc. i told sarah that i did not want to go out and she was still feeling the hangover as well as the beer she drank that night with dinner (she had avoided baiju by pouring it for other people) so she didn't go out either. i went to my room and stood outside pounding on the door for waking everyone in my hall who was asleep before 9:30pm. i had sarah call him too because i figured he has passed out in bed, but he finally showed up at 10pm because he went out drinking with some friends. he went inside, went to the bathroom. then he came out took off all his clothes and slept on the bed completely naked. i turned the air conditioner on of course and kept it running on high as cold as it would go all night. yes this makes it super super cold. this is normal for me and i was also hoping his would cover his more private areas. it failed. i texted sarah three more times asking what time to meet the next day. she never texted me back. i spoke to my friends online until about 10:30. i was tired and no one was online so i went to bed.
i woke up at 4am and wrote email a particular girl and im-ed some of my friends. i texted sarah asking what time to meet downstairs. she never texted me back. then i went back to bed at 5:30am. my roommate's phone went off at 5:45am. he finally got it five minutes later and got in the shower. he got ready and left the room at 6:45am. there is no way i was going to wait downstairs with him for several hours so i went back to bed. i woke up at 8:30, got dressed, and went down to stairs at 8:45am to find no one was there. i went back upstairs and called sarah three times and texted her again. I pondered whether i had done something wrong or failed in some way. i spoke with a lot of my friends online including her. I laid on my bed and my body fell asleep and i thought and thought. No one told me what time we were leaving. No one came and got me. should i just wait in the hotel room all day? may i go back to my apartment? she i go back to around 10:30 Sarah called me and told me to be ready in 10 minutes so i shook the blood back into my limps and went downstairs. when she arrived i got into her car she gave me an ice cream. i felt very good. ha ha ha. she told me that she had forgotten her phone in 'the room' and had her husband bring it to her. two other guys were forgotten at the hotel too. one guy got in the car and then left after a few minutes to get the other guy. we left before they got back in the car. i think everyone left the hotel at 8:30 to go to the expo and set up before 9am. when i arrived at 11, the expo was packed and everything was going well. the expo was very impressive because it was at an expo center or something. apparently a different industry has an expo there every weekend. i tried to take pictures of the building. they making airplane hangers look like small took sheds. we could have easily fit six of my two story houses in one buildings. there were like twelve buildings in two groups. the Child Baby Maternity Expo had six and another expo had six. there were almost no foreigners at the expo and many people had come from all over china to attend the expo. people were coming to our booth and talking to us just because i was working there and a foreigner. many of our distributors took pictures with me. i smiled the whole day and went around straightening the products after all of the people moved them. i also would smile at the other employees and make them smile to. they realized i was a great asset there and really liked me. i went out to eat with sarah, the owner, the girl who rode with us, and cool man jew for lunch. everyone ate bad chinese food like we normally get for lunch. the five of us left and went to a cafeteria and ordered... chinese food. i bought a sandwich too. the expo closed at 5pm but we didn't pack up until 5:30 because there were still people there. it was very funny the way we packed up. most people just put two strips of tape around their book and put some paper on the tape so every could see it. they would also move a few chairs to the outside. we treated our booth like it was fort knox. all our can products were moved to the center. the product boxes were packed into other boxes and we took them with us. all of our product samples and fliers were packed and we took them us with us. we put tape all around our book and moved all the chairs. what everyone else did, we did times ten. then we went back to the hotel. i noticed a metro station across the street from the expo center. i asked sarah if i could live in my apartment tonight and just come to the expo tomorrow. this was because i really wanted the fast(er) internet (still not fast) and the chocolate i had. i can also cook non-chinese food for myself. she agreed and after dinner i went got my bag and she told the boss i was going home. she asked if i could leave before the meeting because i needed to take the metro home. he said it was fine but i needed to take a taxi because she needed to attend the meeting. she found me a taxi but he refused to drive me to a metro because it was half a block away! i walked there and went home, but i wasn't able to eat in my apartment because i had eaten so much food for dinner. when i arrived at home, i washed my shirts because i had a small stain on my tie and shirt from lunch. fabian and his chinese girlfriend happened to be home. i had no seen him in a week or something. Fabian is german (a foreigner so he could have found a prettier girl). when i was going to shower i waved hello to them because the door was open. they were in the middle of something private. i was just walking by and didn't stop. i felt very rude, but their door was open and i didn't look knowing what they were doing. i wrote some of my friends online later that night and went to bed heart broken because of a particular girl.
i woke and left at 8:10am. sarah told me to go there at 8pm because it would take me an hour. that is 10 minutes less than to the normal building. it requires a lot less walking and i only change metro lines once. ha ha ha. i got out of the metro station at 9:00 and began walking the block to the expo place. there were lots of guys on motorcycles offering me a ride for only 5 yuan (the distance was very short). it was very hot, but i wanted to walk. i arrived at the booth at around 9:15 or 9:20. no one cared that i was always late. i was talking with sarah and told her that i was tired of the expo. i was not supposed to work friday or saturday, so i was not going to work saturday. before she told me that i was working saturday. when i told her i was not supposed to work either day, she asked why i was even there on friday. (i guess i should have spoken up sooner, but i didn't know if i could without being rude) i told her because it was important for the company that i attend friday. she told me the boss was specifically asked her if i was going to come on friday and she had told him that she didn't know. i have been pouring into sarah since i met her. she is very educated and she listens when i speak sometimes. i have been teaching her a lot about cigarettes, being nice to people who are not nice to you, having patience, and putting other before yourself. she was amazed that i could smile all day. i explain to her how to make your entire face light up when doing a fake smile. i also told her the importance of a smile when selling and in the lives of those around you. she told me that the meeting the night before went until 1:30am. then she told me that after the first night she had no been living at the hotel. she was living at her apartment which is an hour and a half away. they ran out of rooms. she had forgotten her cell phone at home and that's why her husband brought it to her the day before. this means that she was very hung over one night and didn't get good sleep (tuesday). the next night she didn't sleep too much, maybe 5 hours (wednesday). the following night, (thursday night) she got home at 3am and had to wake up at 6am. she put her head down at one of our tables and sleep for about 10 minutes at 4pm. afterward she got in an argument with one of another one of the old ladies at our company. the argument was very short and i didn't even notice. then she quit the company and was leaving. she came back because she realized that she had given me her and the boss's phone to watch for when they start ringing. i gave her both phones and she went to give it back to the main boss and tell him good bye. she got caught by the head of sales and he spoke to her for ten minutes. then she spoke to some other people finally we left. we walked part way out and then stopped because the boss called her and told her to wait. there were a few other employees who wanted rides too. while we waited, she vented to me everything that was upsetting her. before she could finish the whole company had finish and was walking out. we joined them and ended up talking for about 10 minutes about who was leaving with who. the guys from hangzhou wanted me to ride with them, so i would not leave with sarah. they knew she was not going to the dinner. i didn't want to go to the dinner. i really really wanted to cook my own food at home, STEAK! sarah, i, the girl who came with us the first day, and a guy i had not met before left together. we sat in traffic for the twenty minutes to get the one block to the metro station. they were continuing on. but for twenty minutes i got to hear them gossip in chinese about the old lady who had made sarah mad and all the bad stuff she did. my name came up several times. i could understand what they were talking about of course, but not what they were saying. i was mentioned because i had told sarah that the boss permitting the two old ladies (there are only two) in the company to yell at him for over half an hour frequently would not be allowed in the united states. our boss is a pansy because he won't fire them or tell them to 'sit down and shut up'. i kind of begged sarah to work two more weeks because no one else at the company spoke english. she told me they would find someone to translate for me. i told her that if she quit, i would quit too if i had completed enough hours to receive credit for my internship. after she vented at me waiting for the other employees to come, she decided it would be better to finish the expo and work the half day on saturday. when i arrived home, i bought some sushi for 21 yuan and some beef to cook at steak for 9 yuan. you buy the pieces of sushi individually and they are 2, 2.5, and 3 yuan a piece. i buy whatever i feel like eating that day. i spent a lot of money, 21 yuan on sushi that day. when i got in, the 5 female landlords were there and fighting over the rent. i may have explain it before, but someone is divorcing someone because both of the people were cheating with women. now all the women are fighting over who owns every apartment because they all have been signing contacts and collecting rent. one of the ladies wanted me to pay rent. i only withdraw 1,000 yuan at a time from the ATM because that is max that you can withdraw and there is a $5 charge very time you do so. i told her i did not have the money so she gave me her phone number and told me that she wanted the rent and not to pay anyone else. fabian was moving out. he was very upset and told me to keep copies of all my receipts because they had charged him an extra 400 yuan. his girlfriend corrected him and told me it was 200 yuan. this is nothing to normal people, but after living in china for a nine months, 200 yuan is a lot money! if you want, it can last you two months or half of one meal. he went out to dinner with his girlfriend while i was cooking. when they got back, they got all his stuff together and moved out. he gave me his whole DVD collection which was a lot of empty cases and only around 30 actual DVDs. i was very tired and went to sleep.
I slept until noon. i talked to my friends online and studied french. i cleaned out the refrigerator with my roommates because fabian had tons of junk in there. then i took a nap for three hours. i went out at 8pm. I withdrew some money from the atm to pay the landlord and buy dinner. i bought some meat from the store and cooked it. For dinner i had chicken, i think. i used the wine, sugar, and black soy sauce like peggy's mom taught me. i know how to use that and a combination of lime and peppers. i added the meat to some bread to make a sandwich with a garlic & herb butter. it was delicious. i bought some sushi for 15 yuan at e-mart but i wasn't hungry and decided to eat it sunday morning. I called the landlord to pay my rent. One room $2500. i went to bed at midnight because i was meeting vivian to go to church on sunday at 8:30am.
i woke up at 7am and started getting ready for church. i ironed my clothes, ate breakfast, checked my email, etc. i headed out at 8:15. i waited four minutes to board the metro and it took about six minutes to get to People's Station where i was meeting vivian. i walked across the metro to one of the furthest exists to wait for her. since i was a little early, i took some pictures of a room called the 'metro security pavilion' or something. the picture were rather funny. she told me she was going to be fifteen minutes and so i waited for her. after 30 minutes i felt she was being rude and left to go back to my apartment. i walked back across the metro station, paid another three yuan to use the metro again and went to line 8 to ride the two stops back to LaoXiMen where i live. i didn't get on the first train though. and i didn't get on the second one either i felt like she should have a little more time to catch me if she wanted. the trains are seven minutes apart. she called me and then found me. i was sad and disappointed in myself. (doesn't makes sense does it?) she explained that her parents had taken her to
people signed in... people signed in... people signed in...

maybe this is upside down. ha ha ha i have no idea
breakfast and then dropped her at a metro station and she of course had to eat with them and stuff. there are some parts of chinese culture that i don't understand and really dislike. the worst part is that finally we went to church is was across from a different exit than the one she told me (like 10 feet from the metro entrance/exit). had she told me the right exit, i could have been in church the whole time! when we got there at 9:30am (an hour late), lots of people were leaving. we went inside and it was packed. the pews were very very close together. when my back against the back of the seat, there was about two inches between my knees and the pew in front of us. it was a christian orthodox church. there were no paintings or statues of saints or mary the stain glass was mostly crosses and one large Jesus (not being crucified). a cute girl who vivian teaches english to decided to join us. since everyone chooses an english name, she chose for her english name to be Echo. weird, i know, but sweet. the church service started at 10am. the entire service was in chinese and i felt terrible rude talking to vivian and echo during the service and looking at the pictures on their cell phones which are both nicer than my US cellphone. the service went until 11:30 or noon. it was quiet painful. the music was interesting. it was good to be in church but i didn't really get anything out of it. it was dead. after church we went to eat hotpot. we didn't eat hotpot like they do in the street. we ate hot pot in a really expensive restaurant. vivian said it was one of the best in shanghai. it was very good and a completely new experience. i was hungry and made a fool of myself a few times be being the first person to do things, but it was very delicious. i also finally got to eat fresh spinach and i was very grateful. never be the first, DaShiFu Freir taught me that. see how it's done and then do it better. don't guess or assume at what is expected. afterward we went to Vivian's house and she picked up her laptop. i got to meet her parents and they drove us to an HP store where they worked on her laptop. the HP people told her that her CPU is bad, and they would need to send it to beijing. there is enough time before she leaves to england, but the headquarters in china are natorious for replaces broken high quality chips with working old ones. so she might get a cpu from 5 years ago. i had time to speak to her mom with Echo translating and then i spoke to Echo for a while. she was nervous at first but she english is very good now. then we went to my apartment. they loved the view. vivian used facebook and echo used the super laser pointer i have to create a crowd of people a block away and make cars swerve. ha ha ha. then we went to the store. we bought some meat, sugar free cream puffs (the bakery makes these, they do not make ones with sugar and they are not refrigerated). then we went across the street and bought some chow mien from the guy i used to buy chow mien from all the time. he said the boy who used to work with them went back to school. we went back to my apartment and the french guys were there. they had a british friend (who has never actually lived in britian) over. i cooked and forced vivian and echo to speak with them. it was very painful at first but when they finally stated talking things went well. i'm trying to teach vivian and echo how to have western manners and speak with people. not be very rude and stand-off-ish. it seems to be working well. i put the meat i made on top of three bowls of chow mien. the girls liked the meat and thought the chow mein was too spicy. they promised me that with my newly gained free time away from the internship, they would help me find stuff to do, places to go, and people to see. i made plans with echo to go to a museum on tuesday. (currently in seven hours) and plans with vivian to see the world expo on wednesday or thursday. she just told me today that thursday is better. echo said she would try to take me to a nearby town and she me around. i've very happy about that. vivian said she would like to go to the movies with me on a tuesday. in the end i was very very glad that i waited for vivian in the metro. i may be able to meet up with her next year when i'm in germany! ha ha ha.
I did nothing. I slept in. I wrote my friends online. i ate lunch in fabian's room overlooking the city, calling my great view the Cafe L'Ruben. i watched a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. then i started writing this blog entry. it's taking forever. ha ha ha. tomorrow i have plans to go to a museum with Echo, she just called me. i have spoken to lots of friends today and met a guy from HangZhou. i'll go visit him and then meet with our representatives there. since i will be seeing him i can visit the distributors without sarah being there. she is too busy and i'm not happy about it, but that's okay. i also spoke with sarah. she decided to finish out the month! she asked me why i didn't come in. i said because she told me she wasn't going to go in! since she is there, i and the boss has someone to contact me i asked her if i should go back in (is there any real work for me to do). she told me to enjoy china. we have plans to have dinner this saturday. i need to bring someone. it's going to be her, her husband, me and someone else. i really want to bring Alyx, but she might not be in town then. then i'll invite someone else, vivian i think.
here are my plans. they are changing all the time...

July 27 Tuesday - Meet with Echo 9:00 people's exit 3 go to the museum
July 28 Wednesday - Pay for tours with zoey
July 29 Thursday - World Expo with vivian
July 30 Friday - hang out with Peggy
July 31 Saturday - BBQ with Sarah
August 1 Sunday - hang out with Kama
August 2 Monday - write internship essay
August 3 Tuesday - movies with vivian
August 4 Wednesday - nothing
August 5-8 Thurs/Sun - HangZhou
August 9-13 Mon/Fri- Beijing
August 14-17 Sat/Tues - Guilin
August 18-20 Wed/Fri- buy souvenirs, say goodbye to friends
August 21 Saturday - flight back to the US
August 22 Sunday - Church
August 23 Monday - start the new semester

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