Does this qualify as work??
Trip Start Oct 20, 2004
114Trip End Ongoing
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Time for your China update. We have been at the office all week, basically we go there and sit behind our desks and read course notes or study guides, sometimes we go to the market to buy provisions for lunch or dinner.
The markets are wild, the meat is hanging on hooks and if they don't have what you want they'll be happy to kill it for you. Some frogs were being hacked apart with a big meat cleaver the other day as we walked by. The vendors don't really have stalls as we would recognise them, they basically just spread a blanket on the ground (if you're lucky) and put their wares on top of that. Sometimes they just put them directly on the ground, so cooking everything well is essential.
We have both sat in on a couple of English classes so far and everything seems to be pretty straight forward
Life in Guigang is very different, we feel like we are camping at home.
The fridge is only big enough for a couple of days worth of food so you buy in limited quantities. We only have a few dishes, pots and pans, so we do dishes after every meal and put them into the sterilizer so they are ready for the next time that we need them
The only bread that we've even seen is purple and there is no margarine or butter anywhere to be found. The supermarkets don't have refrigeration sections, so no cheeses, yoghurts or dairy products either.
We have almost figured out the washing machine, it only took us a day to do the last load after it kept stopping and not draining. We hang the laundry on the balcony to dry as it just doesn't seem to rain here and it is still mid 20's C by 9:00 a.m.
The restaurants are great, the food is very spicy and delicious. We still haven't figured out how to order or read the menus and I'm not sure that we will anytime soon as the language is so difficult. If we can pick up some survival phrases to help us get by from day to day then that will be great
There is a real feeling of old world colliding headlong with the 21st century here. When we go anywhere we will see a Mercedes or BMW driving along and on the sidewalk a peasant will be guiding his oxen and cart down the sidewalk or somebody will be pedalling a bicycle with a trailer which is grossly overloaded with brush or wood or anything else you care to mention.
We are definitely novelties in this town, everywhere we go we attract huge amounts of attention, from people saying 'Hello" to giggling or just simply stopping and staring. Last night we went to a KFC rip off (not as good) and people sat outside the glass windows of the restaurant and basically watched us eat, it did wonders for their business though. They should have paid us to sit there.
Anyway, life is interesting and confusing right now, but it certainly isn't boring. We have no T.V so we are doing a lot of reading and relaxing which is certainly welcome after the stresses of the last few months. I'm sure that everything will work out well and I'll keep you all updated.
Chris and Cathy