Thursday, July 11, 2013

Just figured I'd send my weekly update of being in China.

So, most of you guys know that I got Kody out of customs last week. That was a huge relief in itself!  The first few days, I couldn't get more than 5' away from Kody.  He stayed very close to me.  He's better now, and enjoying the wood floors (they stay nice and cool).  High rise life doesn't really seem to affect him that much, He's been sleeping on the couch or the carpeted front door mat when I get home.

The house is coming together nicely.  The AC in the bedroom was repaired on Tuesday, so now its nice and cool when I sleep at night.  I hired an A-yi (auntie) to clean the House every saturday.  Until I get to know her more, I'm only having her come around when I'm home.  Really theres not much of a mess thats made, other than the Kody fur on the wood floors.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for any expats moving home, so I can snag a deal on their furniture.  The rental property furniture isnt exactly of the best quality.

Work is going ok, though there's lots of stuff to get cleaned up, folks that were supposed to be assigned here were living in other cities and coming in every 4-6 weeks, and that wasn't really cutting it.    I'm starting to meet more of the staff and see how things operate.  Not always the most efficient or the best way to do it, but the wheels of progress grind slowly.

I have found most of the Target/Walmart type stores already close by, and the Farmer's Market, which is pretty much walking distance from my place.  I did actually go visit the Wal Mart on Saturday, and its pretty much  like the Walmart in the US.  Meager quality stuff at meager prices.  I have been on the hunt for a toilet mat.  Nobodys heard of one here. Afterwards, I went and had my car hand washed, Vacuumed and new wiper blades installed.  The cost? 55 rmb (less than 10 dollars).  The Farmers Market is the place to go for the meats, and fresh fruits and veggies.  I really enjoyed it, its very much like the Farmers mkt in houston where each stand is operated by a different owner. 

This past Sunday, I went with a co-worker into downtown to attend the Qingdao International Christian Fellowship.  This is a church service thats non-denominational and allows anyone that holds a foreign passport.  The service was ok, but we were late, so we missed some of the beginning.  I will return next week to check it out again.  Afterwards, we went to HiSense shopping center (which is like the Galleria).  This was high fashion, and upscale.  They had a Swaorvski crystal store, all the expensive boutique clothing stores, that you find in the high rent districts.   Wouldn't you know it? They had a toilet mat here.  I paid...40 dollars for it, but its the nicest toilet mat you've ever seen.  I'll pick one up for the other bathroom when I'm in Houston at Christmas time! This center is 4 stories tall, the basement is a food court and grocery store.The grocery store pretty much has everything that you would find in a typical Chinese grocery store, with the exception that its more like a supermarket, air conditioned, well lit, and clean.  On top of that, they have LOTS of expat products.  Cheese, Cake mix, tomato sauce, breads, jell-o etc.  Anything that you may need, they probably have.  You may pay 4X the cost for it (Betty Crocker cake mix was 5 dollars), but when you're 8000 miles away, you'll probably be willing to pay for it.

Sunday evening, I had some co-workers over for dinner.  I made Spaghetti, sauce from scratch.  The house still smells wonderful from all of it!

Thats all I really have to report.  I'm keeping myself sane by downloading TV shows from Itunes.  Right now I'm working through Arrested Development, COPS (2012 season), The office (season 2), and CHiPs ( the motorcycle cop show from the 70s).  I found a gym close to my house, walking distance actually.  They have spin every night, and are pretty nicely outfitted.  The cost is a little higher than I expected, but I must factor in how close to my home that it is.

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