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谢迈克在中国 » 2007» September

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!

I’m in Shanghai!

September 29th, 2007

I’m at the hotel.  It’s noisy.  Cheap, but noisy.  And small.  But really cheap.


People in China still believe in Michael Jackson.

I still dislike group tours where I have no control over how long I stay or what I do. I don’t know how I managed to forget this.

I wonder if Chinese people would be surprised if they came to the U.S. and didn’t have people saying “Chinese! Chinese!” all the time.

I found the expat hangout bar. Cheap beer, nice people, a lot of good info on other places to do and things to see.

I met a guy from Ethiopia named Cosmos Carl Sagan. He drives a tricked-out subcompact. Meaning, apparently, among other things, foreigners can get driver’s licenses here.

I received my first letter from the U.S.!!! Thanks Heather!

The mean streets of Jinyang

September 24th, 2007

This is a rough neighborhood to live in.  It’s not because it’s dangerous.  It’s probably one of the safest areas of the city, and inside the gates of the school basically nothing can happen to you.  It’s not because it’s economically downtrodden.  There are definitely poorer areas than this, and in fact there are plenty of new, fancy condo buildings going up all the time.  It’s not particularly because it’s so isolated.  The area is well served by city buses, and having managed to get out of the neighborhood by bus, it’s easy enough to get back the same way or catch a taxi.

It’s just that it’s so freaking boring.  I anticipated a lot of potential problems before I came here, but I never imagined that boredom would be one of the largest.  If I lived downtown, or especially if I lived in a larger, more developed, more international city, it would be a lot more exciting.

Partly it’s my fault.  I could get more involved with the life of the school.  There’s no question that the students would love to do more stuff with me…sit around and talk, play basketball, learn American songs and whatnot.  Sometimes it’s just hard to pull myself away from the computer.

Anyway, hopefully I won’t feel like this for too long and I’ll get things figured out.  But I’m past the honeymoon stage and culture shock is setting in…

Freaky food

September 20th, 2007

They eat a lot of things and parts of things here that we usually do not in the U.S.  They’re all like “so you like chicken?  Here’s some chicken for you!” and it comes out mostly like skin and the spine and the head and stuff.  The beef’s usually all gristly and fatty.  Boy, they sure think Americans love beef a lot.

They’ll eat pretty much any part of a pig.  And oh yeah, they like to see the dead animal before they eat it.  On the plus side, tofu is cheap (a big block for about 1 kuai…$0.13 or so…would probably cost $2-3 in the U.S.) and plentiful.  But then sometimes you get tofu and it’s seeped in the most pungent, overwhelming chili ever.  I’ve tasted kinds of spicy here that I did not previously know to exist.

There’s a place just outside the gates of the school that’s great because you can look at all the ingredients and choose exactly what you want and how much you want.  One of the other foreign teachers also brings them some canola oil to use with our meals instead of the lard.  Beyond that…you can go downtown and get KFC, Pizza Hut, “Pizza Fun”, or Dicos (which is kind of like KFC except it’s native…you can get chicken sandwiches, pop, ice cream sundaes, fries…all that good stuff).

I can also cook up a storm in my apartment with my rice cooker and hot plate.  I buy out the grocery store for chicken breast and freeze a bunch of it.


Lasers! Go-go dancers! Fire! Listen at the end for a song you may be familiar with in another form…


I’m getting your comments…please tell me your real e-mail address!  You can reach me at china (@at) mikeshecket.com.

Brief random observation for today

September 13th, 2007

This apartment has no closets.  But it does have a whole extra bedroom I don’t need.  So I made it one bedroom and one huge closet with windows.





Request

September 7th, 2007

Somebody please send a football!  I want to get the kids into it.


I bet you’ve never gotten a full-body massage from a blind Chinese man! It was pretty rough, too. I probably could have asked him to go easier on me, but I felt like I should try getting the full traditional treatment. I was able to hold a little bit of a conversation with him, and I threw in one of my new words I learned with the help of my ever-present Langenscheidt zì diǎn (字典), AKA dictionary:

  • àn mó (按摩) - massage
  • dòu jiāng (豆浆) - soy milk
  • jiǎo (脚) - foot
  • guān guāng (观光) - look around (I guess in the sense of sightseeing)



If I can learn just a few new words a week, I’ll be able to pick up hundreds, if not several thousand, while I’m here!

Copyright © 2007-8 Michael H. Shecket. All rights reserved.