Our First Week
Trip Start May 15, 2008
14Trip End Aug 15, 2008
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Just to put any thoughts to rest about Asian massages, there are no "happy endings" at the kind of place that we go to, it is a completely legitimate massage that lasts 1.5 hours and cost about $6 US per person. We both really enjoyed the massage and of course had beer with that event as well. After that we were pulling up to our hotel and we saw this place called Columbus Bar.
Mike told us that it is the only bar that he goes to in China, so we decided to check it out. It is a cool bar with a ocean type theme and they are trying to cater to foreign patrons. We stayed there for about an hour and played Jenga.
The next day we went to Mike's house for lunch that was made my Xiao Li, then we went to Jimmy's mold shop to do some work.
We drank a lot of tea and checked up on some work he is doing for us. On the way back Mike asked if we wanted a sweet treat and I got ice cream and Liz got a Green Pea popsicle type thing.
Then we went to join the gym at California Sports Club. It is a decent gym that has enough equipment to keep us happy. Xiao Li's cousin and his girlfriend were staying with them and they made us dumplings that night. They were very good and had pork inside of them. We drank many beers and played Wii bowling and golf. Jimmy drove us home.
The next day (Sunday) we went to breakfast on our own to this Americanized restaurant called Time Cafe. The first menu they gave only had Chinese characters and Liz said "we're screwed", but we worked through it and eventually found a menu that had English in it. Liz had Chicken Noodle soup and I had an egg, ham, cucumber and tomato sandwich, both meals were very good. Xiao Li flew to her hometown in Sichuan provinence. After we sent her off we went to Shekou city so that Mike could buy some Mountain Dew. It was quite an adventure getting there, because Mike's GPS is in all Chinese characters and he didn't have Xiao Li there to read them to him. So we were making our way there and all the sudden we saw cars driving in the wrong direction on the highway towards us. We assumed something was wrong up ahead and we turned around too when we saw the massive amount of traffic. Cars were going the wrong way on the exit ramps and everyone was quite confused.
We were in Shekou for about 4 hours and when we were driving home cars were still stopped in traffic. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant and then came back to our hotel for an early night and watched a movie, took some sleeping pills and fell asleep by 9:30.
On Monday we went to visit three different mold shops and had lunch at Time Cafe again. We met up with Liu You Hong later in the afternoon and that is always an experience. Mike has taught him a decent amount of English, but for the most part he only blurts out obscene words, it is hilarious. That afternoon was the first time we learned about the three days of mourning that China was following, for the earthquake victims. At exactly 2:28 everyone that was driving stopped their cars and blew their horn for 3 minutes continuously...it was pretty amazing. Then that night we learned that all the karaoke places are closed for the three days. We got invited to dinner with Liu You Hong and he brought 6 friends with him. I didn't think that they would try and gang up on us with the beer drinking, but before you know, we were getting asked to "GAN BEI" (which means dry glass in chinese) every five minutes. So we knew what they were up to and we quickly returned the favor and they realized that there was no way they could win this battle.
This guy who has the red face wound up throwing up in the restaurant bathroom and we found out the next day that 4 other guys threw up in a flower pot shortly after they left us. Mike, Liz and I went to the Columbus bar to hang out for a few more hours.
Tuesday we went to our manufacturing facility to get an update on some molds that are being built there and then we went to get a massage. We went to the same place as Friday but this time Liz got her ears cleaned out.
The procedure for this is we ask for the girl to come in and she comes in with her tool box of ear cleaning tools. The first thing she pulls out is an LED headlamp and she puts it on her head...Liz's eyes got so big and I was laughing hysterically. So then she gets out some of her ear cleaning tools and goes to work. Liz said it was one of the more strange things she has ever experienced but she really liked it.
The last two days (Wedensday and Thursday) have been about the same. Going to mold shows and our manufacturing facility during the day, having lunch, going to the gym then off to dinner. This afternoon (Thursday) we are packing up all of our stuff to move out of our hotel. We are taking all of our stuff to Mikes house, except for one backpack worth of stuff and we are heading to the airport to head to Chongqing. This is a town in the same provinence as the earthquake, but we will be about 200 miles away from where the earthquake happened. Some of you have asked if we are close to any of the earthquake problems. If you look the map on this blog, you will see that we are close to Hong Kong and the earthquake was close to Chengdu, Sichuan provinence. It's approximately a 22 hour drive between the two of them, so we aren't even remotely close to where the problems are. The earthquake coverage is dominating the TV stations, but it should be slowing down since Wednesday was the last day of the three day mourning.
We will have a large entry about Sichuan when we return Monday morning.
Where I stayed
Sen Mei Hotel