Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
101Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Yeah, we were on a half day trip and McDonald's was the high point for me and my friend Debbie. I got to hand it to Mickey D's. They are the one fast food restaurant over here that combines a fair price with a menu the resembles the US menu. KFC fails by comparison. They have no mashed potato's with gravy and slaw
Once we were safely back in Xiasha, the three of us went to a fancy restaurant called C-Straits, where you can actually buy a decent steak for 12 bucks or so. Beer prices are way ridiculous, but it's nice to have a steak and listen to the grand piano player. I wish every restaurant had a grand piano player for entertainment. If I could afford the drinks I would go to just chill and listen to the music. All the drinks including coffee, tea, beer, soda, is about 35 Kwai, or over 5 dollars. The place is classy and spectacular. I guess that overcharging for liquid is how they pay their bills? I'll still go back every two weeks or so. Might have to bootleg the ole flask though.
Poor Working Chinese....
I feel comfortable among the regular, common, blue collar Chinese folks (I might like the wealthy ones too but I haven't really hung around that many). I like the students as well
This morning I am heading back to the hospital to take some blood and urine tests. We need to find out why my ekg is messed up and why my legs are swollen. It is getting more and more painful to walk, and the 5 floor hike up to my apartment can be excruciating. We go to the hospital, stand in a line where 50 people get their blood drawn every 10 minutes, they hand me two narrow plastic urine specimen tubes, I go to the bathroom where many dudes where trying to piss in their test tubes at the same time, all needing a hand wash afterward
Drove my little bike around afterward searching for a new coffee place near my school to no avail. So I drove back near my place and had coffee and 2 breakfast pastries at Cafe Meil for 14 kwai (yuan) or $2.15. Pretty expensive breakfast but the coffee makes it worth it. The pastries really weren't. Note to self: Next time get the ham and mayo pastry again.
This evening I went shopping for an E-Bike again, but they all felt like badly made toys, when compared to my motorcycle collection back in the states. But I do want one so I can drive to Hangzhou, or explore the distant countryside, a quick way to get to class during the bone chilling winter months... Ok, I'll be honest. I want another toy
Ate a dinner at a higher end hotel Chinese restaurant. I was able to point to the beer I wanted, so they bring me a hot one of course. I demonstrated that I wanted a cold one by pointing to the beer than acting like I was cold. Sheesh, I dead monkey would have gotten this one. So three other waiters came up to try to figure it out. I pointed at the beer, then the teapot, and waved my hand and shook my head like no this is bad. Then I pointed at the beer and started shivering and acting like I was cold. They just looked at me like they didn't get it. I swear I can and have done this to a thousand Germans, Africans, French, or any other group of people and my acting was so obvious, they have all instantly got the message. This is a reoccurrence here. The brilliant Chinese, and we all agree are excellent scholars and learn very quick. Just suck at charades? Maybe it's too easy for them. I have traveled the world and have never had an issue with telling someone that I want a cold beer. So after bringing the entire wait staff to embarrass me, one brilliant waitress, brings me some ice. By then I was grouchy enough (and I admit I was wrong for this), but I insisted they bring me a forking cold beer! (The Chinese will not take anything back no matter whose fault it is) I pushed the beer to the other side of the table, shook my head and demonstrated in a way, that a baby would understand, that I wanted a cold one! They acted like they didn't understand until I handed them 8 yuan (the price of the hot beer) and told them to bring me another cold one. They refused the money so they didnt lose face, and instantly brought me a cold beer (almost like they knew what I wanted but didn't want to take it back)! Next time I'll just use the ice, it's really not worth it. Actually, I take the full blame because if I want cold beer, it's time I learn how to ask for it, or at least write it in my little note book, so I don't have to go through this much shit. The fact that Chinese suck at charades is shared by many of us who have tried to use that fine method of communication. But this lazy shit (me) really needs to change his ways and learn more Chinese. Heck, it's been a month and I need to communicate better than I currently do.
I stopped at a pharmacy and managed to find Ibuprofen, but can't ask for a friggin cold beer?
Someone from Xiasha found this blog and found where I can get a "Flying Pigeon" for like $80, it's nice that now the search engines can convey what info I gather about Xiasha to the rest of the world. I will try to leave more usable info in the future, but half the time I don;t know where I am eating or even the street I am on since much is in Chinese. Hope to be of help to all present and future Xiashans like me. God knows, there isn't much info on the net except "Hangzhou Expat" website, which I highly recommend for those who plan to move to the area.
Headed for home, but first bought some Muslim bread/pizza/whatever the heck it is, since I didn't eat much. Hate to disrespect the local cuisine, because obviously it;s good stuff but I just don't get it. There are nearly a hundred different recipes in most of the good restaurants and the locals love their food. There is probably one restaurant for every 9 people here or some similar number. Unfortunately things like bones, chicken feet, jellyfish, and other exotic stuff just doesn't do it for me and other buffoons from the west. I know this is some great food, but I am just not used to experiencing what the locals like about it. I will keep trying to expand my horizons and try more and more of what this area has to offer. I am getting to be quite the noodle fan already, since they are made fresh and all. Maybe some of the pigs kidney dishes will start to appeal at some point.
(work still in progress. Please return again once its edited and complete.)