Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My grocery nightmare

In the U.S. I look at grocery shopping with an indifferent view. Sometimes I look forward to getting groceries and other times it is a burden. However, I never hate going to the grocery store. The opposite can be said about my feelings of grocery shopping in China.

Today I had two experiences with grocery stores. The first, was fine. I was indifferent towards it, as usual. I biked down to the import store right outside of my neighborhood and grabbed a few things that I could find there. However, it's a small store and everything is waay over priced ($10 for a box of cereal). This meant that I would have to make the dreaded trip to a Carrefour, Tesco, or Wal-Mart. Today, it was Carrefour.

I've decided that large grocery stores in China are hell on Earth. Here is why:
-there are so many people and you can't walk anywhere. It's like Black Friday in America, except I can't speak the same language as anyone.
-there are yellow signs everywhere and it's a sensory overload
-the meat area smells so bad that you want to barf. It's also full of pieces and parts of meat that you are never supposed to see
-the fruit area also smells bad thanks to the durian (a pokey fruit that is banned from public transportation in Singapore because of its stench)
-you have to weigh all of the fruits...including bananas...who weighs bananas?
-chinese people may be some of the most impatient people ever, especially in grocery stores
-salespeople talk on microphones. They will be standing next to you, just chatting a your ear.
-Also, I never know where anything is. That's probably just a personal problem though.

I finally made it out of Carrefour after 30 minutes of what felt like a lifetime in that place. I really try and embrace all parts of culture when I'm in different countries, but this is the one I've had the hardest time with. Hence, my rant.

Ok, I'm done.

p.s.-again sorry for the lack of pictures. I've tried more proxies and still can't figure out a way to get pictures on here. The commies have me beat.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

1 Firestone

Recently my house here in China has been bombarded with boxes and boxes of our stuff that we are moving here. Not only did we get a shipment from Shenzhen, but we got a shipment from Arkansas full of things that we haven't seen for over three years. A few of these boxes had things full of old gems. I found my baseball trophies, solo and ensemble awards, yearbooks, journals, and picture after picture. Pictures from my dance team days, mud fights at girls camp, canoeing, boating, my inflatable pig halloween costume (perhaps my favorite costume yet), homecoming and prom pictures, and pictures of the house that I grew up in...1 Firestone.

So this post is dedicated to my trip down memory lane that I've been having the past few days. Remembering the windows I would sneak out of, the swing in the driveway where I had my first kiss, the deck where we had junior prom dinner, the hot tub where meetings for HTC were held, the street where we would meet to play night flashlight tag and truth or dare. That place is my Stonehenge (literally the name of my neighborhood, and no I did not grow up in England). I have so many memories of that house, that neighborhood, that town. And I think I'll always be able to remember the way the grass felt there and how freeing it was to drive down Walton Blvd. with the windows down or the way the square felt at night and how drinking a Jones soda from Tiger Stop seemed to fix everything.

Thanks 1 Firestone, for everything.

p.s.-here's to hoping Espana wins the World Cup in a few hours! What I wouldn't give to watch the game there at my favorite pub with my favorite Spaniard friends.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer in the city

So, after my adventures in Spain and the mediterranean with my family we have finally made it "home". They are still living in China, but this time in a new city. Shanghai. We've spent our first two days unpacking boxes, enjoying the new house, and learning that we may not see the sun for a long time thanks to the large amounts of pollution. However dreary daytime may be, Shanghai makes up for it by lighting up at night. I had the chance to drive into the city (about 20 minutes from my house) last night and walk around with a friend. The freeways are lit up with blue lights and the buildings sparkle. Trees are wrapped with christmas lights. Skyscrapers compete for height.

Well, I would post an awesome post with pictures from our cruise to the French Riviera and Italy, but China is really cool and blocks everything on the internet. Luckily my sister told me a proxy to use Blogger, but I'm unable to post pictures. To sum it up, we basically got to visit some amazing world sites. We stopped in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompei, Majorca, and explored more of Barcelona. I think I've almost covered every site in my humanities text book. Also, I've become a huuuge fan of Gaudi's work. He's incredible and I have a feeling that him and Dr. Seuss would have been best friends had they lived in the same area. Again, I'd post some pictures but I am living under a red iron curtain.

Well, that's the update on life for now. I'm off to watch a pirated movie that I just bought off the street.