My Insight on China

It  has  almost been 5 months  since  stepped  off the  plane and began my  new life in China.  I will admit that I was scared. I am  so  glad though that I took the  chance.  China  has  changed  me  in so many ways.  I lost  myself  in America but I am rediscovering myself as I stay longer in China.

Many  people  ask if I miss America. I do in some  sense but not in others. I miss the  ease  of  being  able  to converse  with people. I miss my dog, my church and  my niece Caity.  I miss Lisa and  her  children as well.  I do sometimes reflect on the  friends  that I left  behind. I knew  though in my heart back home that living in America was not  my destiny. My destiny lies elsewhere. Is  my destiny in China?… not  sure  yet but I am adapting to life in China rather quickly and I don’t feel the feelings  of  unrest here  as  I did  in the  states.

Did  my  life in China turn out exactly as I planned? Hmm not really. Heck I wanted  to step off the plane and find  my  soul mate a get  married  and  have  a baby.  Then  hang out  with Esther and Jo(black women who married Chinese men and  live in China) as  my married BFFs.  It  would  be  great we  could  get manis and  pedis and  sip on mimosas.  Hmm I still have  a couple  of  years though and  maybe I can have a daughter  and arrange  a marriage  between her  and  Esther’s new baby boy.

I was  being unrealistic  in my  time frame, I wanted  it now! I am sure  Mr. Right will come  into my life soon. There is  still tons  of  things  that I have  to improve  upon with myself before I am  fully  ready  to  receive love. That is  what  my  first ill attempted  love  affair in China  taught me. You can’t  force  and orchestrate  love. My  destiny is  still an unwritten book. I will enjoy and  be  ready  for this  adventure  known  as life.

Advertisements

Going to the Dentist in China

I knew this  day  would  happen! I had  to  go to the  dentist. People  who know me  personally  know  that I didn’t  go  to the  dentist  much in the states due  to the  cost of  it. Oh and  other reasons as well. Well I developed a severe infection in my gums  and it  moved to my  throat. I went to the  doctor  and  he told me to go to the dentist. I had a bad tooth.

My colleague Hansen(aka Reformed Grumpy Old Man) just  happened  to have to  go  to the  dentist that day. Jason was  accompanying him. I have nicknamed Jason H.B. He  is  turning to  his  little errand  boy. I  find  it hysterical.

I felt that it was an omen  from above that I needed to take  care of my  teeth right away. I  am aware what happens  when you  leave  an infected decayed tooth in your  mouth too long. It  can end up affecting your  heart and  cause  death. So this  chocolate  chick  does not want to die just yet. I have  no reason but  finances that  kept me  delaying this  process in the USA. Ok that  and  maybe  fear of  dental work.

I was ready to  go at around  noontime, Hansen called the hospital just  to  find out that we had to wait until 2:30. For  my fellow  expats in china you know that the Chinese tend  to have  nap-time from 12-2pm everyday. Americans  before  you chuckle, the Chinese are way more  hardworking than your  average  American , so they deserve a rest!

So I  napped. I love to nap! After  my nap, Jason called  and  said we were leaving  and the  cab  would  meet  us  at the  back gate. Then Cowboy said  the  cab was  coming to the apartment building. Jason was  getting impatient, he  said  we  should  go to the  gate. i was in pain and  evil. When I am in pain and evil watch out. so poor  Jason because my whipping boy. I was yelling at him. easy  target, i guess. He  called Cowboy like 3 times. Cowboy  came  in the  cab and we picked up Hanson. Cowboy didn’t come  with us, William one of  Hansen’s H.B came instead.

The  name of the  dentistry hospital that we went to was called  Number One Dentistry Clinic (that is  what Hansen said)l. I guess it has  to be the  best. When we got there I have  to say it was  modern and  nice  from a Chinese perspective. Americans  would  wrinkle their noses  at it. Two nurses  asked me why I was here I explained via William my translator(I really need  to learn Chinese)

Oh, the mean time Hansen kept repeating,” VIP! VIP!VIP! We go to VIP.”   I went to the cashier  to pay for my  book and card. Then we were told that we had  to  go to the third floor. Hansen asked  if it  was VIP.  As we were in the elevator, Hansen explained that in China that usually interns do dentistry on people. Only as a VIP can you be  guaranteed a doctor

Photo courtesy of  www.123rf.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.123rf.com

When we  got to the third floor  we  saw tons  of people waiting. Hansen walked back and then informed us that this  was not VIP. He said  it was on the  4th floor. Once  we got  to the  4th floor Hansen go walked like we owned the place. In China, there is  this  strange obsession  with foreigners  meaning that we get top service and  quick service. I have  not seen this  happen to me  unless i am accompanied by a Caucasian expat. Mostly, I am treated like everyone else. i never really  got preferential treatment . So I would  like to publicly thank Hansen for this!!!

Hanson was in the chair  getting his  work done, they looked  at my mouth and  told  me I had to get my  teeth pulled. I had  to  go  down to the second  floor. since William was occupied  with Hansen, I was given a Chinese dentistry student that  spoke adequate English  to be  my guide. Jason tagged  along too.

When I  got  to the second  floor William brought me  right in. Wow  VIP, I guess. i am not use  to this, in the states i was treated  crappy, less than a person. I was tearing up. I was examined  and , I was told that I had  to get x-rays on the second  floor. The helpful lad brought me  down to the second  floor.

They gave  me  paperwork and I had  to go downstairs to pay the cashier before I could get my x-ray. I was escorted  down stairs. Then I was taken to the x-ray room. I don’t  remember the  last  time  i got  a dental e-ray. I forgot that I had  bobby pins  in my hair, so I had  to take that out. After  x-ray i was taken back to the second floor. They doctors looked  at it and  told me that I had three bad teeth  but two really bad ones. I opted  to remove the two bad ones.

I was given a slip to take  down to the cashier. So yet again, I was taken downstairs. I paid  the  cashier  and was given a receipt and went upstairs. i don’t understand  why i had  to go  downstairs twice. Why  could I not pay  for  everything together. I guess it is The Chinese Way.  Jason opted  to stay upstairs and talk to the pretty dental intern that was pulling teach.I don’t think he scored the digits, i am not sure he tried. Jason has  gotten domesticated lately(no fun)

photos courtesy of www.verynanchang.com

photos courtesy of http://www.verynanchang.com

Oh , before I  continue, I have  to describe how  this  particular dentist clinic  was  set up. Maybe  Jo, or  others  have   different experiences  than I did. Ok well in the US we have  rooms where the dentist treats  you behind closed doors. It is  all very  private. I like it that way. Well not in China, the operation was in cubicles. Everyone can see you! There is  no privacy. In fact while I was waiting I watched some cute  guy get  his tooth yanked out. I was to go after  him. Then  guess what? The chair  broke! They had  to get someone to repair it. I was told  to sit outside and  wait. Jason was  not helping the  situation. He was telling me  about  how  painful it was going to be. He  made  me even  more nervous. i was wishing Cowboy came. Cowboy has  such a calm demeanor.

Finally it was  my  turn the intern was  going  to pull my teeth. She  told  Jason it  would  take 20 minutes if I cooperated. Do you think I cooperated? Heck no!!! Firstly my gums  and  my throat were infected  so it was  hard  to open my mouth. Secondly the needle was freaking huge. Thirdly since  when has  anything been easy for  me??? So I was a challenge  from the  beginning. I was not  able  to open my mouth wide  enough and the anesthesia needle   hurt.  I am a big baby so I started screaming. Someone  came and  opened my  mouth  for me. I heard Jason  tell me  to  calm  down.

I had  to  wait  for a few minutes for the  anesthesia  to take  affect.  Finally  they  began to extract my teeth. The first one  came  out easy enough. The second one was a bit  tougher, I still had feeling in  my gums so I was injected  with more anesthesia. I  kept  closing my  mouth. The intern kept telling me  to open my mouth. I thought  that I was done, then she  pulled a third tooth. This tooth did  not want to leave. the  roots  were  strong. This  one was hurting I screamed in agony.

It wasn’t budging, she had  to call over the  dentist.  He tried but it was not  budging and I was screaming in pain, he was  not relenting. I started  to cry and  Jason told  me  people were  gathering around. They applied more anesthesia  to the area. The demented  dentist was at  war  with tooth. He was not gentle  anymore. He  pulled and and  pulled  he was  being a bit rough now. finally  he  won the battle, the  tooth was out that area was throbbing. I began to cry. I had  cotton shoved in my mouth and was unable to talk.

I was waiting  on the scripts. the  doctor  did not write  out a script. They told me  to get antibiotics from a pharmacy, they wrote  down what I needed. in Chinese. Also the doctor felt that I did not  need a painkiller. Americans are weak we need  painkillers! I was crying shaking my head trying explain. Jason was trying to explain to the intern as well. When  Hansen found out he went  with William  to get the scripts. I have  a feeling Hansen went up there  causing havoc. Gotta love him!!! He came  down with the scripts which we got from the pharmacy down stairs.

Yeah  so my first trip to the  dentist was  full of tears  because  I was a baby! I cried the  whole  way  home in the  cab. It was cheap though  get a tooth extraction. It  cost 160 kuai to get 2 teeth pulled. That is roughly 24 USD! It  cost  way  more than that in the US. Oh  and I paid  for  two teeth to be and they pulled the third one  for  free. Buy 2 get one for free what a deal! I wish though i had a sexy Chinese boyfriend to  come home  to and  comfort me. I took my  meds and went to sleep, I dreamed of handsome Asian men though!

Night Out in Nanchang

I was really excited  about my first night out in Nanchang! I have  been  cooped up in this  college  far too long. I have  said before I am in the  boonies. The biggest excitement here is  counting the  amount of time the rooster crows each day. It is  peaceful and  picturesque. It can get  very lonely here  at times. If it was not  for  my neighbor Jason, I would  have  gone mad  already!

I really  don’t  mind it, but I get lonely and it is very hard to meet  people on my  isolated  campus. By  people I mean single Chinese men. age over 24 but under 40 handsome  and open minded. Funny and  smart and loves a rubinesque black woman named Amber. I just love  Asian men, yes I admit it! I have been struck down with Yellow Fever and i don’t want a cure, I just want a husband, so maybe if I go out more I can find  a man.

We had  a  BBQ on the  roof to welcome  Jason’s friend, a former  teach at my school we  will call him Dick to protect  his  identity. He was an intense Texan  guy, I liked  him. He was definitely a square peg! Best of  all he  rented a KTV room! Finally my chance  at KTV. i love  singing. I have  wanted to  go to KTV since I was living in the states. We have  a KTV place  near my campus, it’s  neon lights are mocking me! Well ok KTV was a no go!!!! Well first there  was no alcohol and the  Irish  drunk man was  not having it. In a sense  he  was  right if Richard rented  the  room then according  to Chinese custon he  should have  provided  alcohol for  everyone. He did  not and  since  we  were the  foreigners  we  would be  the  next one  to be looked  upon to  provide the adult beverages.

So I did  go into a KTV room but I did  not  sing. I am so sadden by this! One  day I will get my moment  to sing!!!! We went to the Drunken Irish Men new flat. I liked it it was a  duplex. He had to shower, the guy  showers 3 times  a day!. I only shower once, I am a stinky bitch!.  The  drunken guy’s girlfriend was there, she is  so beautiful. Just  so graceful and  feminine. I feel like a fucking water buffalo. The Zambian girl was there  too and  she is like a sexpot. The girl just oozes  of  sexuality. That song Brickhouse was written about woman like her. Yeah, I guess i was a bit jely. So I was like a frumpy grandma in my sneakers and  frumpy baby doll dress.

I went to my  first Chinese  bar and  what  a let down!!!! It was  like I was the invisible woman. Just like in the  bars  back  home. I always  read Jo Gan’s blog about her funny times in China  and her hopping social life. Check  out her  adventures  at http://www.mylifebehinbdthewall.wordpress.com. Her last  club experience was  so fun! My  bar experience was basically talking to the  Pakistani bartender  and Jason’s students. The bartender  did  not  know  how  to make  any drinks.

There were highlights of the  evening like now  the Drunken Irish Man will now  be known as the  Dancing Drunken Irishman. I can’t  keep up with him! He is  too much for  me. Oh and the crash  and  burn of Jason trying to pick up these Chinese girls  in the bar. They  refused his drinks! The best  part is that I got  2 free shots out of the evening, one  was  from the bartender and the  other  was the rejected drinks!

Dumpling Darlings

Dinner prepared by my students

Dinner prepared by my students

On  Friday, my students came  over  to cook me a Chinese meal. They wanted  to thank me for making them a Western meal earlier  in the week.  I wasn’t  feeling well at all all week and  yet I entertained  my students. I went  to the  clinic  and have  been on antibiotics. I worked Thursday  but had  this  Friday off. I was sleeping in and  heard  a banging  on the  door. It was my Chinese tutor Lee. Behind him were a brigade  of my Chinese  students. It was  an Asian  Invasion!! I was groggy and sick but let them in.

Busy bees  making dumplings

Busy bees making dumplings

As the  girls  were bombarding  my  kitchen, Lee began to teach  me  pinyin. It is my deepest  desire  to learn  Chinese. I really  want to  communicate  to the  people living here. Who knows  maybe  I can  attract a Chinese  cutie  if I can at learn to  speak Chinese.  Also I am sick of  pointing at this and  saying that one and  smiling. I am in China so I feel obligated  to learn the  language  out of a mixture  of  respect  and  survival.

When my lesson was over, I invited Lee to  stay but he had to  go back to his  campus. The girls  were  ready  to make dumpling. Dumpling 101 commenced! I was shown the technique, first  you you get the  round  circular  dough, you gather the filling  using chopsticks and  place in on top of the circular  dough. Next you dip your fingers in a bowl of  water  place  water  around the edges and  fold  in  half. Then  you pinch the  dough  using a pleated methods. Sounds  and  look simple  enough. The  girls made it  look easy. My  first  attempt looked  more  like baozi and  less like a dumpling. Yes  it  was  an ugly  dumpling. so the  girls  showed  me  another way to make the  pinches.

It  took me  awhile before I made an acceptable dumpling.  My dumplings were  definitely not  as pretty as my students. Rome  was  not  built  in  a  day  it  will definitely  take  more  time that and day to  learn  who to make   dumplings.  The  hardest  part  was the pinching  part. My  folds  just  aren’t pretty. I can tell when I am  eating the  dumplings  which one I made.

My first  and  fifth dumpling. I am improving

My first and fifth dumpling. I am improving

While there was a crew  of  us making  dumplings  there  were  other girls  making a  variety  of  dishes. there were  about  seven  students in  my kitchen. It was smelling so yummy. I was so  happy. A home  needs  to have  people in it. I haven’t really experienced  a  homey atmosphere since  my  mom  died.  My friend  Lisa opened  her  home  to me  prior  to me  leaving the US and it was  at that moment I realized that I hated  living alone.

It was so nice  chatting  with them as  we  were   folding dumplings, it was  a girl bonding moment. I  don’t  experience  much of that. My childhood  friend  was not a gushy girly girly, so she  had no ides  about female  bonding. When i  got  older  I had  more  gal  pals  and  we  did female bonding rituals. I really  missed that and the dumpling making  really helped  me.

Finally  dinner  was  ready, we had tomato and  egg, cucumber  and  sausage, dumplings  and a dish  of  just sausage. It was very  yummy. Oh  and they  begged me to make  my garlic  bread  again. They  said it was  so delicious  before  that they wanted  to taste it again. The best  part was the fellowship and the  company. Oh I forgot we  left the  door  open and my neighbor  walked in. He wanted to borrow  water to get tea. The water  guy who  delivers  our  water  was MIA, once the Chinese teacher  saw the  girls  he  decided  to stay. I was  feeling very  tired and  my students  are  nursing students  and they  saw my  meds  so they knew that I was a sick teacher. we  talked  for  a  bit and I showed them  my  Facebook and  they talked to  some of  my friends  that were on Facebook on Friday.

All in all  Friday was  a fun night. I can’t wait  until I get  to make  dumplings with them next time.. One  of the  girls even likes  karaoke! Score!!!!

Invasion of the Sweetheart Students

My sweet students. I think I lost weight  since I have been here!

My sweet students. I think I lost weight since I have been here!

I am still in the  process of all my classes doing their oral presentations.  I have started on three classes. For  all students  that receive A’s on their  presentations, I have  invited them for  a yummy  western meal prepared by yours truly. I have  7 classes, so I will be in the kitchen very often. Luckily the Fushen campus isn’t that interested, they  would  have  to travel too far. So I decided to offer this  more  towards the  students in the Wanli  campus.

Half way through I noticed that I was getting A’s  so I decided to invite  the  first batch of students. Today I have 7 of  my sweet  nursing students, On Tuesday I will have 7 more and on Thursday, I will have 5. Oh and  My nursing students all mostly girl classes. I have  like 7 boys in on of the classes and  4 boys in the  other  Wanli  class that I teach.

Squeezing around my table  for four.

Squeezing around my table for four.

I decided  to make  sausage and peppers  for  all the A students. It is  easy and  cheap, however  now I have  to eat the  same  dinner three days in a  row. DUH!!!!! The next  round  of cooking will be  after Laborer’s Day holiday. This  is  becoming my staple dish.

So I  forgot to get the  sausage, luckily my  dear friend Jason was going to Auchan and picked me up  some sausage. Oh and  beer the secret ingredient. I arrange to have the  girls  come  over  at 6:30 oh and of  course I wasn’t  ready.

In China  your  dinner  guest come promptly! So i was  very behind  schedule. The girls  came  bearing gifts! That was  so sweet of them. I was overwhelmed. I am  so not use  to it. The each  did  a little  bow  as they handed  me their gifts.

They came bearing gifts. Teaching in Jersey I  never received  any gifts!

They came bearing gifts. Teaching in Jersey I never received any gifts!

My dinner  guest  had  to wait  30 minutes  before eating. Next time  I am going  to start cooking earlier. They  started  to take  pictures  of me  cooking the  food. They were  amazed  and kept  saying wow. It was really cute.

I finally began setting the  table. I  didn’t have  enough forks so  some  people had  to use chopsticks. I also  did not  have  enough plates so some  people  had  to use bowls. I had  6  plates but 7 guests. We  all squeezed  around the  table. I had  to borrow, 2 additional chairs from my neighbor.

It is  so  nice  just  to have  people over, back  home in the USA my home was not considered the  party place. No one ever  came  to visit me. I always  visited other people’s  homes. I don’t  know  why, I think I am an awesome hostess, well now  in China, I guess  I am making up  for  loss hostess time.

The  girls  really loved the  food  and  it was just  enough to feed  all  8 of  us! Afterwards  they  did the  dishes for  me!! I love  it. When you invite Chinese  students  over they will clean for  you. We sat  around  and talked, it was the perfect opportunity  for the  girls  to practice  their  oral English. I think of  every moment as a teachable moment. Exif_JPEG_420

I  found out that two of  my students live in Xi’an and Hangzhou, the  two places that I am visiting this  summer. Now  I have  tour guides. I also found  out one  of  my students is  going to study  abroad  in Australia next year, what a lucky ducky!

We listened  to music  as well, I really liked  all off them especially Vivian, she  loved KTV as well. so  now, I have  a KTV buddy! Yipppeeeee!!!!! The  girls are  coming  back over this Friday to teach  me  how  to make dumplings and  other  Chinese  food. I am so  happy that I decided  to reach out  to my students  and  make friends. I had  so much  fun.

After  the  girls left, I opened their  presents. One  girl girl Vivian  wrote  me the sweetest  letter  and I was in tears. It is  amazing  how  people  will open up and want to become  your  friends, if  you just allow them in. It is  hard for me  because I have  been  hurt  by people before, like a close friend. I am very  trusting, but I decided  to open  myself up more:)

Exif_JPEG_420

Worm, Chicken,Tiger, Stick and Drunken Dinner Party

Doesn't it look purty?

Doesn’t it look purty?

I had my  first  dinner party in  China and  it was a rousing  success, How pray tell  do I know  it  was successful? Ok  get  readers get  ready  for  a bit of  a spoiler. The  way of  knowing that you have  a successful dinner party : 1) Empty plates 2) Three empty wine bottles 3) Playing Chinese drinking games 4) Singing karaoke to Journey and Frank Sinatra 5) No one  had  food poisoning Those  are all wins  in my book.

Jason and Cowboy

Jason and Cowboy

The party  started on 7pm and on the  menu was sausage, onions and peppers  served over linguini.  Anyone  that knows  me  knows that I am not a natural cook. I need  a recipe to follow. I found this  amazing recipe online http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sausage_peppers_and_onions/  I substituted the Marsala wine  for  beer. I cannot  find Italian sausage  in China  so I used whatever  sausage that they had here. It taste  sorta like kielbasa. Beer  makes everything  better, so it  really didn’t matter much. I like  to slice  my sausage into bite  sized pieces  though so my end  result looks nothing like  the  picture.

Sausage, onions  and Peppers

Sausage, onions and Peppers

One thing about me is I am terrible  at synchronizing time. Some  cooks have  everything ready at the  perfect time. The food is  ready the house is  filled  with the aroma of soon to be  eaten dinner. The hostess looks perfect, with impeccable make up, heels, pearls and  wearing an adorable apron. Myself  I am a sweaty mess with a  catastrophe  in the  kitchen! First I started  cooking too early, The guest  were   not due until 7pm, I started cooking  at 5pm. Then It  only  took 45 minuted  including prep for the sausage  and  peppers so I called  and  told  them to come  earlier, I started on my garlic bread.  Oh and  my guest came over. I was  still cooking. I had the  guys  make  the  salad. I started  to set the  table. We had the salad  ready. Oh then I had  a blond moment, I forgot to boil the pasta.

Pwned: Real Men make salad

Pwned: Real Men make salad

The boys  started munching on the  garlic bread that was  so crispy but next time  I am  going to  use  real garlic instead  of  garlic powder. Finally dinner was served. I placed the  biggest helping on Cowboy’s plate(Cowboy is Jason’s student) we  need to fatten up these  Chinese boys! Then once  I  land  a  Chinese  man  he  will have  more meat on his  bones. I gave  Jason a  big serving too, I took a smaller serving size(I need to lose weight) I told them it was  man versus  food  and  not to  punk out. Thus the eating competition began . Jason lost! Cowboy  cleaned  his  plate  first.   Jason took sloppy second.

I only purchased  one  bottle of  wine. Luckily, Jason brought over another bottle.  Cowboy  taught us about traditional toasting in China. He  said  since Jason and I are  his  senior when he  toasted  us  his  glass will always  remain lower. He  also gave  each of  us  individualized toasts wish us health, happiness and vitality. I thought that was  sweet!

worm chicken tiger stick

Where the hell is the worm??? Maybe the Chicken ate it?

Once we cracked opened the second Cowboys face  was flushed. He asked if  we would like to play a Chinese drinking game. I was tipsy, Jason was drunk and  Cowboy was drunk after the  first bottle. I said  sure, why not. The game  was called “Worm, Chicken,  Tiger, Stick”  Cowboy  explained the rules  two  people  would face off and  say either, worm, chicken, tiger or  stick.  Rules of the  game  are sticks beats chicken and  tiger, worm beats  stick but tiger and  and chicken beat worm. I asked  Cowboy  why  we  can’t just  play rock, paper, scissor. He was like well because it is  chicken, tiger, worm and  stick. I  think   saying stick is the  most  effective. My  reasoning is  that sticks can be  used to beat the crap out of tigers  and  chickens. I was  confused  why  worm beat sticks. The rather  drunk Cowboy  told  me that it was because a worm is  real and  a stick is  not. I was drunk  by then so it made perfect  sense  to me.

So we  played  and  of  course Jason was losing at every  round. I told  him to say stick all the time. so we kept on saying worm, LOL. After  we  played, I told  Cowboy that I knew  of  a song that  should  be  his theme  song. It was Bon Jovi’s ” Wanted  Dead  or  Alive.” This  is  when drunken karaoke  began.  I also  created  a new  Bon Jovi fan. Representin’ Jersey in China! Hehehehehe!

Cowboy cleaned  his plate

Cowboy cleaned his plate

We used  youtube  and youku to sing a  variety  of  songs. Jason and  I sang a duet of “Don’t Stop Believing” I sang Joan Jett, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”  Oh and  we  ended the  night  with me  singing ” New York, New York.”  I am a true  New Yorker  because I knew  the  whole  entire song without lyrics. I rock!!!! So my  first  dinner  party  was  a success. Oh and  Cowboy is  obsessive  compulsive  and  he cleaned up everything. I asked  Jason if I could have him! LOL

Shop Til You Drop

Check out my pretty new dishes. Aren't they very girly :)

Check out my pretty new dishes. Aren’t they very girly 🙂

Jason has  become  my shopping buddy, He  is like extremely patiently with my disorganized way  of  shopping. I am basically all over the place. The mission today was  to get a toaster oven.  I miss  baking things. I never  even though of the joys  of  an oven until I did not have one. Also I am having a dinner party tomorrow so I wanted to make  garlic  bread. A toaster oven is a very useful for  an expat .

My toaster oven

My toaster oven

Jason and I took the  white van over  to Auchan(my  favorite  store) While we were  looking at the toaster oven, 2  employees rushed to help us. Then they took the  toaster oven and  opened the box and  walked away.  Jason told me they were checking to see if it works. This is  when I had  my WTF moment. In the USA they  don’t plug up and  check to see if the  product  works. In the US you buy  the  product and if it does  not  work  you return the  product or  use  your  warranty. Jason said that they do the  same thing in the Philippines.

This is one Chinese Way that  I really appreciate. So  guess what? My original product  did  not work when they tried  turning it on. It was not heating at all. The oven was not warm. Three other  employees rushed  over  to assist. So there  were  five women trying to get this  oven to work.  This was  the last one of that model. One  of the  women rushed over to get the demo model. They  plugged it in and this one heated up quickly. I decided to take the demo model, I didn’t like the  other  brand that they had. Now I just  have to figure out Celsius. This one  has pictures  and  tell you  what   temperature  and how long to cook certain foods. It is idiot proof.

As we were  walking away  we  noticed that the employee plugged the  original one back in and it started  smoking! It was defective. Thank goodness, the Chinese  test products  before you buy them! That is one  practice  I think we  should  adopt back home  in the  States. On a side note kudos to the  customer  service  at this  store. It is  top notch. That is  one  of the  main reasons  that I like Auchan over Walmart.  I have  to say perhaps there is  a unseen code that Walmart employees  adhere  to that states that they  should ignore  customers, be  rude  and text. The Walmart  employees  at the one I went  to are just like back home!

Making a list and  check it twice

Making a list and check it twice

Next I had  to buy  some things  for the dinner party. This  time I came  armed  with a list, I didn’t want to drive Jason too insane. I am not a list person, but it did  keep me  a bit  more centered.  I went off the  list a bit, I bought a  hamper. Oh and  I  forgot to add in  plates, bowls  and cups. I bought salad  tongs  as  well. Oh  and towels to  wrap the  dishes in. Plus I needed  more towels. I forgot a  big  bowl to  serve the  salad in, so I am going to look in the  local store  on  campus  for that. I also bought  some  wine.

Between my purchases  and Jason’s purchases we realized there  was  no way that we were going to fit all of this  stuff in the white van. We also would  have  to hoof it back to our  apartments. It is  about a 15-20 minute walk from the  back to where we  live on campus, so we decided  to take  a taxi. We hailed one. There was a taxi driver passing us,  he  had a another  person in the car he  stopped  and backed up into oncoming traffic. Jason , who speaks some Chinese  told him where we  were  going. We stepped in the cab. This  was the cabbie from hell. If  he  was born in the  US he  would have become a Nascar driver! OMG he drove fast. I have  been in other  taxis  before but never have a ridden in one  where  he drives like a manic. He made a U-turn  so quickly that you could hear his tires squealing! Oh and  he broke out in spontaneous song and there was no  music.

Speed Racer  nearly  missed the  back entrance to the college. He was  going  close to  90 miles an hour. Jason screamed for  him  to stop that. He made the  most abrupt  stop and I was nearly thrown off  my seat!  He  drove  in the  gate, there  were  no  guard  so he  did  not have to leave his taxi license with the  guard(Oh  something  bizarro, the  dude  had  two different taxi license with photos. Once we  got in the cab he switched his license. That was all kinds  of  sketchy) He  drove  around the  campus  doing at least 60 miles per hour! Students  were  walking and  had to jump out of the  way! What a crazy  cabbie! When he  stopped in front of the apartment the tires screeched again. I was  glad to be out of that  cab!

Previous Older Entries