Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

China 101

Here's a useful thing to note when in China: The exit symbol. (Since we're guessing there's no such thing as a fire code here...although the building we are in does have a sprinkler system...not that the controls for it are hooked up.) The symbol can be explained in this way: A dude or with his hands up in the air (or on fire) running and looking for the hole to jump out through.

It's also a nice commentary on my feeling after being over here for almost 4 days.

We got to experience Asia in all its crowded joyfulness today when we ventured about five blocks from the "western area" we've been safely containing ourselves in. It was straight out of a market scene in "Good Morning Vietnam". Picture a crowded screet, under a canopy of trees, with fresh fruit vendors, cigarette vendors, people shooting hoops (almost got you with the 'shooting' word didn't I?), people on bicycles, clothes hanging on clothes lines across apartment windows, and no stray dogs. Oh yeah, and three American guys sticking out know. Anyway, we would've taken better pictures, but we were all too stunned. The pic here is a little down from the described scene, and was a little more of an open area, but interesting none-the-less. Note the presence of everything in the picture, from a nice hi-rise in the background, to the apartments with laundry hanging out, to the restaurant at the far left.

We finally got back to our favorite area, and it was only then I got bugged by some little girl who said "you give money" about 50 times. And who refused to let go of my shirt long enough that one of the guys had time to take the camera out, turn it on, and snap a pic.

She finally let go without me having to use my "dad" voice on her. She really wouldn't let go, and then when she did, she hit me on the leg in that playful 5 year old way, except I'm not sure she was playing.

Better than last night when we witnessed three beer mugs being thrown across the garden we were sitting in. The guy was really mad about something, and it almost broke out in an all out fight. We were ready to hop the shrubs and run, but two Chinese cops appeared out of nowhere and whisked the guy away, never to be seen again. (kidding!) Actually the guy sat back down and they let him stay in the place, which we couldn't believe at all. Remind me to learn the word for Emergency Exit.

It's not all's a picture of the street where we ate lunch. It's a good illustration of one of the nice tree canopies that many of the streets have.

The Hunan-style lunch was awesome, it included about 10 courses for 6 people for around $30. The head was on the duck ala "Christmas Story".

They didn't sing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When it rains, it pours

Just when you think things are going a little more look at your work computer and see that some one, who shall remain nameless, who is under 2 years old, decided that she was hungry (shocker for those of you that have seen her eat). Instead of looking for some cookies or graham crackers, sure, feast on your favorite number and favorite letter.

3 and Z...I presume that this will be her fav's when she's older.

For now, I'll wait to see if they "pass" gross is that?

Thought you all may get a laugh out of my pathetic evening...and pray I find the keys...not in the poo either!!! D

A Note from the Girls at Home

Since my hunka hubby gets to post all kinds of interesting things, I thought I would give you a little view of what's gone on this week from home with Ryan in China...It's all very interesting and I"m sure you will be jealous:

This is one of many piles of laundry I have done...this is the last of them to fold. The little ones are doing a fine job of helping out by unfolding, but at least they are helping. Paige is trying to learn laundry skills...but there seems to always be something going on when things need done. Hmmmm...teenager approaching!

Well...this is me...sad and missing my hubby!

And when it comes to disciplining solo, along with everything else, this is all too often what I have looked like at the end of the day. Actually, now that I look at it, it scares me!

Okay...this is not very exciting to the normal person, but to those of my anal rententive comrades, this will be nice. I completely reorganized the pantry...and it looks so nice. Once the kids get ahold of it...who knows, but it's documented!

And, last, but not at all least, our little girls miss their Daddy!!! Here's some smiles from home, Dad!

We love you Daddy!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

China 09-26-06

Well...I've been in China for over a day now, and last night was definately the crash that everyone predicted. There's no way to get around the fact that you are exactly 12 hours out of whack with what your body expects. But it's nothing that 9 hours of sleep won't cure. So...these are some pics from yesterday.

This is the view from outside our office window. This isn't by any means the main part of Shenzhen, and there are plenty of large buildings everywhere. Shenzhen is a thriving city with lots of construction still going on everywhere.

The main roads all have a bike road on both sides. There is definately a lot of biking that goes on. Although the bikes all look like they are from 1950.

And, there is no trumpet playing along the roads either.

There is a large expatriate place nearby where everybody goes to eat. It's called Sea World, (no, not that Sea World). It had a McDonalds, of course, and a Starbucks that looked inside just like it came out of Hamilton County. And of course....

Beer Paradise!!! We didn't go here. Although we did have have a beer at the Irish Pub around the corner. They had an Irish guy, who I swear they paid just to sit out front and drink beer and garner customers, who said it was the "graitist beeah een town". So we went in, and I had a pint of beer and some nuts that cost all of 22 yuan, which is less than 3 bucks.

This is the mermaid that sits at the entrance to the harbour. It's about 50 feet tall. We couldn't read the significance of the thing, since it was all in Chinese.

Hah! We did see a stray dog! He was pretty scrawny though. This is to one side of the mermaid. It brings up a valid point that one of the guys on my trip noticed. It seems like they do a good job of making things nice in certain areas, but then they get to a point and just get tired and stop trying. It's this wierd combination of nice and grimy and clean and run-down, all at the same time. I guess that's the way many cities are, but it is very apparent here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

9/26/2006 12:30 (am in China, pm in Indy)

Greetings from China! My trip here was uneventful (thankfully). I wasn't going to blog about it, since it's a business trip, but I figure I'll take lots of pics; so I'll post those here instead of emailing them around everywhere, and you can look when you want to...

I started (of course) with a good old American meal made by D the night before...steak and corn and zuccinni and a toast of wine (which I suppose sounds kind of French). I say "of course", but it was D's idea to cook that meal for me, and it was good.

Unfortunately, my fingers got caught up in the toast. Very painful.

We rode on a 747 (huge). The meals were acceptable. There was Starbucks coffee onboard, which makes the food rating go way higher. For proof, I included a picture, cause I know you Starbucks drinkers won't believe me.

My girls would have been excited, because there was good fruit. The bread was rye, which everybody hates, I don't even know why they make the stuff. It must be the afterproduct that is left over after they make the good bread. The airlines probably get it on the cheap. I made sure to slurp down the ham on the salad for the guy eating kosher meals next to me.

It took us aboot tree hars to get der to da Hudson Bay in Canada, yah hey. This is the extreme western edge of the bay, kind of the southwest corner of the bay.

At this point in the trip, we were flying at about 28000 ft at 560 mph, at which speed, according to my calculation, still takes freakin' forever to get to China.

It's crazy to get on a plane in Indianapolis and fly over the north pole, but that's almost what we did. Below is a pic of the Arctic ocean and you can see some cracks in the ice. In the lower left hand corner of the picture you can also kind of make out a couple of polar bears, but they're hard to see cause there was a snowstorm.

They're very clean in China, and they're proud of it. This is the elevator in the airport. And no, after the word "penalty" you can see, it did not say "of death" or "of life-long imprisonment". Actually, this is in Hong Kong anyway, duh.

From home to hotel, it was about 22 hours. I slept pretty well on the plane so I still had energy to walk around the garden at the hotel and take some pictures of the city from a distance. The polar bear took this one.