Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Scary Christmas

Guess the flight home won't be as bad as I thought. I think they let you pee now.

Black cloud is still here tho, the shower thing burst and we had to have the stooges back.

Here Chrysler has to hire a bunch of people (over 100) by the end of January and they don't have any takers. Hmmm. No one wants to come to China. It is not that bad. Not as bad as moving to Mississippi. And they don't speak English in Mississippi either.

Flying home tomorrow. More later.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Well let us see what is newsworthy today. Some terrorist tried to (thank god without success) take out a NW/DL flight into Detroit today. That makes me feel so much better coming home this week. Seems US citizens are still vigilant on assholes trying bullshit on planes. Seems they still need to be. Wonder how many US citizens will be on my flight from Shanghai. And how vigilant the Peoples Republic of China will be on screening assholes.

Trying to get out of the apartment today, I seem to have picked up some China virus, mostly intestinal, which makes going out shopping dicey. You remember the no sit down toilets here of course.

Ok, need to shower and wander out now. Maybe some pictures for once. Need fresh flowers and fresh air. More later

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Things I take for granted and cake

There are a few things that are difficult here in China. There are a few strange things. And some things just aren't right.

I am becoming obsessed by toilets. The ones you can sit on. Few and far between here. And they are not real big on toilet paper. And they don't flush it. If you are ever lucky enough to find a sit down toilet and decide to flush the toilet paper, only flush one wad of paper at a time. Have your own tissue and disinfectant wipe in your pants pocket. Just trust me on this one. And if you are a woman make sure your purse is a shoulder bag that will stay on your shoulder when you are out using the toilet. I personally think the across the body bag is better. And this is in the better hotels.

Cleaning products and Febreeze. Things being clean. A washer/dryer that does not take 5 hours for the smallest load ever. I need a Siemens manual. Because this just can't be right.

Central heating. Or just heat in all the rooms. Need rugs, but first need to figure out rug delivery. Figured out grocery and restaurant delivery.

Got a shopping lead that may fit my needs for friends. And me too, but no fakes. Do not want to test my black cloud at US Customs on the faux Prada. Buddy Boy kept telling me he would take us to the Fake Market, I kept trying to explain #1 I can get that in New York and #2 US Customs takes a dim view of fabulous fakes. I want real Chinese things from he calls local area.

Now on to the cakes. Everywhere I go there are fabulous looking cakes. And cake displays. And cake making events. The thing is you never see anyone buy or eat cake. Never. I checked the dessert menu last night and there was no cake on it. The cakes were right at the entrance to the restaurant, but no cake on the menu. WTF.

Back in Tai Zhou

You are not going to believe this. I found shopping out the back door of this hotel. Fabulous shopping. So fabulous I cannot afford it. Prada. and her cousins. Shit.

Not a bad flight and we go back to Shanghai on the train Thursday. And Ikea on Thursday as we have had no time yet for the desk purchase.

Big Daddy got caught at the airport again with his matches. They don't care about liquids or shoes. DO NOT take matches. WTF.

Noticed that the construction in China is kinda sketchy. They use the best materials and don't square it up or use many finishing techniques. Lots of sloppy construction and palaces built next to shacks.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally the Shanghai I was looking for

Had the most fabulous manicure and pedicure yesterday. Hydrating spa at the Diva Life. Worked on my feet and my hands at the same time and it was wonderful. Paraffin and massage to die for. About 85 US and I am guessing in the US about 175 to 200 dollars.

Figured out you have to send the good clothes out for cleaning. The washer/dryer takes forever (I am talking hours) and leaves everything wrinkled. And I mean really deep seated never gonna iron out wrinkles. OK for underwear and such, not much else.

Big Daddy is ordering the desk and chair for the living area to be delivered Christmas day. This apartment is so stark. I made him go get some flowers yesterday and the effect was huge. Found some shopping on the blogs that seems more in our price range, not Dolce and Gabbana. Really need some rugs and lamps. Bought a colander today so we can make pasta and we have a great relationship with Marks and Spencer.

The French ex-pats are very rude. The Chinese are very who gives a shit. The rest of the ex-pats don't speak to you. Hmmm, is it me or is it China? WTF.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

China Snippets

Just a few takes on this new life in China:

Domestic flights in China have a 20% ARRIVAL rating.

This causes you to smell the horrific breath of the China residents a lot more than you would like to. This also causes you to thing just how bad would it be if you just pulled the rotten teeth out of these MF's on the runway. Hmmm.

Big Boss gave Big Daddy today a giftas we left BFE for Shanghai, a bottle of what is known as the "crazy wine". I guess this shit makes people go insane. Big Daddy told me never to drink this stuff. It leaked in our luggage and smells like crap. Very expensive stuff. Nice bottle smells like crap.

Ran out of Dramamine at the Shenzhou airport this morning and thought I would die, air sickness is pretty bad. Nice lady that was very uncomfortable speaking English took us to first aid where they sold me a patch, same shit as sold in US, for 9rmb or about a buck fifty. Sells in the Us for about 30 bucks. With a prescription only in the US. Ate at Tony Roma's at Portman Center on out return, it is nasty. and the washroom is nasty too. What is it about China and toilet paper?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Traveling Pants or my new pee pee pants

There is a story about the traveling pants. I don't know it. I only know my story of the traveling pants and it is ugly. I am traveling about China with Big Daddy. And in China you wear pants. And in China you have to pee. In China they do not have above ground toilets-you know the kind you sit on. China has these fucking porcelain holes in the floor they call toilets. With foot rests. They are filthy. And the ladies squat. No hand rails, nothing to grab onto. In the floor. And they miss alot-peeing in the hole that is- according to the amount of liquid on the floor. And they do not use soap to wash their hands. They use water. The water you are not allowed to drink. And there are no hand wipes, towels, papers, whatever. I finally got fedded up (a French term) at the last airport and went to the "weak only" stall. It was all fouled up with errant pee pee too, I assuming as they only know how to squat and cannot aim. Or clean up after themselves. and there is no cleaning crew on the "washrooms". Yes, speaking Canadian in China. So now my traveling pants are the ones I wear to and from the airport.

It changes the way you think when you are aware of the fact that most people you look in the eye have pee on their trousers.

At the new accommodation 5 star hotel in Shenzhen it is sucky. There is no manicure/pedicure service. The hair salon is bad-but the hair wash was fantastic. The hair Wash was done in the chair, dropped shampoo and water on drops at a time and the most fantastic head and neck massage ever. Not enough to make up for no other massage allowed-ONLY men are allowed to get massage (including feet). Women are not allowed. So I walked away with a really bad hairdo and aching feet.

It is not safe to go outside and shop. WTF. No shopping in the hotel except for overpriced Chinese shit I cannot find in Shanghai. Vases for 5,000 US, right.

Now we are fucked by Paypal and can't order food any more, so okay no more eating.
And I thought we had found a food source. Some British woman ordered on our account and shut it down. Great.

Big Daddy is now a fan of Dragon Fruit, speckled with seeds so I can't try it, he says it is delicious. So now I will now sign off and see what can possibly follow this fantastic day of disappointment. Oh I almost forgot to mention no smiles today, a couple nasty looks, and no sunshine. If someone could explain why these people are so miserable I would like to know. I get that they are under a communist regime, but since when is it a crime to smile.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

and I thought Detroit was bad

Okay maybe I am over-reacting, but this place sucks. I cannot buy one thing. Because I cannot find anything to buy. Want a clothes brush or a lint roller, dream on. Need dusting clothes, eat shit and die. Don't even try for Simple Green. This place is filthy and now I know why, there are no cleaning products. And no stores that carry them. No hampers, waste baskets, garbage pails, or swifters. None, nada, zip, nothing. I need to clean this dump since no one else will and have nothing to clean it with. All righty then.

The people are the most miserable people I have ever met. Well, I don't meet them I try to interact with them. Like in "Dude can you get me a taxi?" Glower and shout, at me. Whoa, all I want is a ride. I have little slips of paper written in Chinese so the fucks can take me where I need to go. and they can't read them. I say Mao needs a vision plan. This porter got out a magnifying glass to read it to the taxi driver today. I kid you not. Yesterday the taxi guy pulled aside in the freeway to put his glasses and read the slip of paper again. Yikes.

So, so far, the weather sucks, everything sucks, the Internet is censored, (I can only write this and get in Facebook with a special private network) and above all the shopping sucks. Think about this when everything you buy says made in China. I can't buy it here. WTF.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quiet Morning

Back in Shanghai in the apartment. No rooster. No roosters on the train either. Just very uncomfortable and too foggy to see much. Tried to take some pictures but I don't think any were decent. Project today is to download pictures.

Went to a party night in a very exclusive area, gated, guarded and wealthy. They had a huge real Christmas, normal US size for a big room, in a pot. A potted live Christmas tree. Woooha.

Big Daddy downloaded the NY Times and WSJ so I went online and did the puzzle and clicked to see Rex Parker's opinion. Would not load the site. Then I remembered I forgot to click on the VPN. Still think it is funny Rex Parker is taboo in China.

More later.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mr. Rooster

It is 6:20 am in Tai Zhou. I am sitting in a 5 star hotel on the 23rd floor in the party and convention center area listening to a rooster crow. He has been crowing since 4 am.

Next I am boarding a train, coach class, for a 4 hour train ride to Shanghai. I wonder how many roosters will be on the train.

Caused a sensation in the dining room last night. I ordered room service later afternoon and was not hungry. They were very upset only Big Daddy was eating. Many people came to ask just one. I can see they are very regimented and easily upset when things go differently than they expect.

Off to breakfast. At least they have croissant and butter from New Zealand. WTF.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello Mr. Pig or I have the Shanglows

Left the apartment at 6am for a flight to Tai Zhou. Thank goodness it was a Boeing. China Eastern and about 40 minutes, just enough time to pass out water. Went to pee at the filthiest airport I have ever seen and they had the squat pot. Hole in the floor with foot rests. I don't think so.

On the ride to town saw rickshaws, three wheel cars, taxi's to small for me to ride in and a gutted pig all dressed and ready for a party (party favors next to pig) on a tiny cute little flatbed truck. With fireworks loaded in front. And of course once again no pictures.

Thursday: Had to quit blogging yesterday what with the meltdown and all. This is kinda stressful.

Today I broke the toilet, broke the closet door and got a 2 dollar manicure all in a five star hotel. Also got a beef hamburger and a bottle of wine from room service. They stressed the BEEF hamburger and I stressed the wine.

Tai Zhou is supposedly the biggest tooling area in the world. You see alot of foreign business men (that is us) holding their heads and looking very frustrated and tense. Big Daddy says you have to have a lot of patience here, they say yes just so you will shut up. And according to the China Daily they executed a financial guy for embezzeling just under 10 million US. Bernie got off light.

Nothing is easy here. Internet sucks, no one speaks English even in an International hotel, they pretend they understand and don't have a clue. Ordering room service took 10 minutes of talking and 2 trips. Manicure took 2 phone calls and was not very good in the end. I am hoping my fingers don't fall off.

Funny of the day:

In Shanghai they are all busy getting ready for Expo, there is bamboo scaffolding on the streets strapped together 4 stories tall with wires hanging over the sidewalks, we 4 times walked by a guy taking down a brick interior building with a sledgehammer-and I mean walked within 3 feet of him- shit flying all over the place. No dust masks, nothing. The hotel we are in today does not change your towels every day unless you request it-to help the environment. WTF. They also hang their clothes outside the windows to dry on bamboo poles. In the rain. Gotta love it. And I promise soon to get pictures. Seeing is believing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hello Shanghai

Flight was great. God sent me an angel as a seat mate and she showed me the ropes including getting a cart at the airport. Immigration and Customs was nothing compared to other countries. The worst was the baggage wait. Took a crazy taxi ride to the apartment and proceeded to be sick for the next 4 hours. I am so grateful I did not start feeling bad until the taxi or I would have been in quarantine.

Apartment will be okay once I get some decorating in place, like dishes and rugs and a clock. The Ayah cleaning is not up to par, so we talked with her boss, or someone who knew her boss. Confusing. They speak English but do not know what you are really saying and cannot really tell you what you want to know.

Need to go shopping today, Big Daddy did not have tissues. Went shopping yesterday but no essentials to be found where we went. Found a couple hats, casual, for a good price but not what we needed. Think Big Daddy wanted to show me the area he knew. Great sightseeing with designer stores in this rabbit's warren of craziness. Have a picture of the scene across from the cafe where stopped for a rest. Sitting on the balcony looking at a hovel with the laundry hanging outside and across the street they were renovating a place putting doors in crooked. Will have to wait as Big Daddy took the picture with his mobile phone as I of course forgot the camera.

Oh, the black cloud following me across the U.S. and the Pacific. Yesterday no water in the apartment and when they turned it on the toilet broke.

Going to eat lunch and go to the mall. See ya later.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shanghai tomorrow

Flying on the infamous 777 with engine problems. This is great.