Another Week – Another “Sumpin”
Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
14Trip End Sep 12, 2012
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We are trying not to think about next week so we can really enjoy this one
Sabrina is getting a good ‘taste of her life to come’ as she does a homestay with a Chinese teacher and her family. Sabrina is to teach English in exchange for Chinese lessons and room and board. We are very happy for Sabrina and her quest to learn Chinese and could not think of a more worthy challenge in light of how the Chinese are challenged here for academic, physical and artistic excellence. Chinese families aspire (save like crazy) to send their child to England to learn English (not the US or Canada) as it is considered to have the best academic system.
Observations this week:
1. Lots of wealth here and Hong Kong.
a. Guards limit the number of people allowed into the designer shops (Rolex, Prada, Louis Viton, Gucci etc.) as they stand in line down the streets in Hong Kong.
3. China is NOT the place to be fat (I know that is not PC back home but it is here)
a. Buildings under 8 floors don’t require an elevator (used to be 10) compared to our 4 it’ long climb and every extra once is too much to carry in the heat.
b. We order 20 liters of water each day that has to be carried up!
4. With about a billion people riding bicycles NONE of them wear helmets but cycle with an umbrella so they don’t risk getting a sun tan.
a. Perhaps we should learn to drive and ride a bike and our streets would be safer.
5. Personal Space dimensions are much smaller here
a. I have observed driving that would cause the calmest pastor to ‘flip the bird’ or ‘yell’ in North America but here not even the slightest flinch
b. I was swimming at a local pool for swimming lengths and people will swim perpendicular to the lane and think nothing of cutting you off and interrupt your swimming even though the lanes are clearly labeled. Back home you would have a water riot!
6. Health is very important here
a. They drink tea before and after drinking tea – tea tea tea and more to tea!
i. Yet, you can be swimming in an outdoor pool and the lifeguard (looking like an Olympic swimmer) sitting guarding the pool smoking a cigarette!
Back in Greece, I had a dream to run a marathon from the city of its name sake (and origin of great battle at Marathon) to Athens last week but it became evident that the 40 degree heat was not my biggest problem but rather a hip that would not cooperate. I consulted my Specialist (aka my wife) as well triple confirmed her in China and my running days are over!! I must seek an alternative sport – how about competitive sweating? At the rate I’m sweating now – I will win gold!
We continue to have lots of laughs and making lots of memories – we hope YOU are too! Keep cool and we will chat next from the ‘spicy and Panda province’!