Has it been a week already? Time has seemed to have flown by since the last update.
So, since last week, I've been just settling in and exploring more.
I'm still pretty homesick, but being able to facetime with family and friends helps a lot.
Friday afternoon, I got the windows tinted in the car, and Friday
night, I had dinner with a colleague at his hotel. Saturday the A-yi
was supposed to come and clean but did not show up. I later found out
that shes scared of Kody, but supposedly will be back Saturday as long
as he's crated. So Saturday, I cleaned the floors and the bathrooms,
and did laundry, and watched it rain outside. In the evening, I went out
for a little drive and then stopped at a street food vendor outside my
neighborhood for some meat skewers (see pictures). They were good, but
eating from a street vendor does have risks.
Sunday, Bob, my
colleague and I went into Qingdao for our 'day in town'. He was looking
for a hotel that had a nice brunch, but he couldn't remember the name
or street it was on, so after 2 hours of aimlessly wandering, I made the
decision that we would stop by "Sunshine Center" which is another high
end shopping mall downtown. Inside they had a very upscale buffet,
which we were lucky to get a table without a reservation. The food was
great, international choices and fresh seafood. In the afternoon, I
took Bob back to his hotel and went by the farmers market to get fresh
fruits and vegetables. I ended up with 4 bags of stuff for about 12
dollars. I went home to meet the AC Repair man (on a sunday!) who
misdiagnosed my AC unit, and would be back "later in the week" with the
new part. Kody and I went for a little walk, and I headed off to find a
place to get a haircut. There was a place close by the house, and I
walked in, and it seemed pretty fancy. I got a little nervous because I
figured it would be pricey, but the staff told me the haircuts were 38
RMB, a little over 6 dollars, and included shampoo and blowdry,
however, If I bought their "preferred customer card", for 200 RMB, (32
dollars), I could get TEN haircuts, which is what I did. And they dont
accept tips. I later told a local chinese colleague about the 20 RMB
haircut and he told me that it was too expensive, and he pays 10-15 RMB.
Go figure. Afterwards, I did some shopping at another Walmart/Target
type store, and this one was the nicest one yet.
This week at
work, I have decided to leave the office for lunch, as I'm getting a
little tired of the cafeteria food. Its been nice to get away for an
hour, and also helpful to learn the local area around work. Customer
emails have been flying back and forth but it appears that as fires are
being put out, people are beginning to mellow out quite a bit.
far as preventing myself from going insane, this weeks entertainment
includes more CHiPs from Itunes, and Hells Kitchen (latest season).
There is an expat meetup tonight, but its in town and I'm seriously
considering going and taking a cab (police like to do sobriety checks at
night, and I dont have an official Chinese license yet). I'll be
joining the gym in my neighborhood, but access to cash is not easy right
now because china employers pay salary once a month. So I dont get a
July paycheck till August. So I go to a bank that actually accepts Visa
Logo ATM cards and I pull out the equivalent of 300 USD at a time.
Fortunately, I finally got a gasoline card, so that helps with the
amount of cash I need to lay out for gas.
Yesterday, I went to a
steak place for lunch, Steaks in China are different. Where in the US,
we're used to nice, thick cut steaks, with a nice pink center, (rare or
medium rare), the Chinese steakhouses serve steaks like Pork Chop thin,
on a sizzling plate, well done. I ended up ordering some chinese food
they had instead. If I do want a steak, there's a place downtown called
"Wang Steak House" , which is a franchise all over Asia, and they're as
close as you can get to a western steak dining experience.
Thats all for now everyone, I hope you are all well!