Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Xiaogan, Hubei, P.R. China

I have arrived!

For those of you behind the times, I am currently in China (until December 29th). For those of you REALLY behind the times, I'm here visiting my boyfriend, Matt Boswell, who is here teaching English at a university until July.

I can't update my facebook from here due to government regulated firewalls. Nor can I upload pictures. But, blast it all, I can post a word-only blog if I want to!

My main purpose in this post will be to inform my readers of some intriguing things I've witnessed and/or experienced here in China:

1. Chinese people do not mess around in crowds. They do not queue. They do not wait their turn. They do not watch where they are walking, or at least they don't care if their path is about to collide with someone else's. They will fill the 12 inch space that you left in between yourself and the baggage claim at the airport. They will not be ashamed about these things. They will not move out of your way, no matter how many suitcases you are lugging about. But they also don't seem to mind this behavior from others. While I was baffled and a touch annoyed at the man who shoved in front of me as I was trying to get on an escalator, the Chinese man right next to me couldn't care less that someone else had cut in line. It is simply normal behavior. When exiting the airplane in Beijing, and again in Wuhan, I knew that I would have to shove my way into the aisle, because no one was going to notice my pleading eyes and anxious sighs clearly indicating my desire to leave the seat I'd been sitting in for over eleven hours.

2. When ordering Kung Pow chicken at a restaurant in China, be prepared to receive it with chunks of hot dog.

3. I am not joking about number 2.

4. Everywhere you go, be it a restaurant, a speech contest or a barber shop, they will hand you tiny plastic cups filled with hot water. We're talking 3-4 ounces of water that makes the cups lose their shape and form more to your fingers. I'll confess that the idea of drinking hot, or even warm, water does not appeal to me at all. However, I will also confess that I am falling in love with a hot cup of water on a frigid December afternoon. I probably won't make a habit out of drinking said hot water in plastic cups when I return home, but I may do so out of a respectable mug.

All for now. Tune in at some later bat-time on the same bat-channel for more updates on my Chinese adventures.


Cassie said...

this mmakes me happy on so many levels....

a. you are safe and with matt.
b. i no longer have to worry why your FACEBOOK has been silent.
c. my heart is at ease that there are pictures being taken, just not posted.
d. i love the new breathe of a blog long silent. it's brilliant. really. truly.
e. oh china. thank you for yet again inspiring me to someday come to this odd/fantastic place.

Beth Twist said...

I almost fainted when I saw that you had updated your blog! :)

HOT DOGS in a made-in-China Chinese dish? That is so very wrong, on so many levels.

Funny... I found myself drinking hot water just yesterday, and actually enjoying it. I remember Grandpa K drinking hot water from a mug, which I never understood, wondering why on earth you would drink plain hot water, with no flavoring. Until yesterday. Are you sure we weren't separated at birth?

Barb said...

WOW! One of you have surfaced!!!