Friday, December 31, 2010

Deja vu again

Trip home was uneventful. Family in front of me on the plane provided a little entertainment. Parents and 2 kids and a dog. 10-ish year old girl kept taking the dog out of the carrier and 2-ish year old being a toddler. When we were on the take-off roll he got out of his seat and started walking around. The FA's can't see us from the jump seats and I wondered how often does this happen. Dad finally grabbed him before he rolled down the aisle. Also wondered how these people were going to explain that dog going into quarantine or if they were diplomats or something and immune to Chinese law. Would not put my dog through that grief. Entertainment system was messed up so I got 10,000 extra miles. Not a bad trade off as the movies were horrible.

Went out for a snack and food supplies yesterday and when we got home the keys would not work in the door. Got new keys delivered and the door does not want to lock now. Another visit from Shemp is in order. Glad to see nothing has changed while I was away.

Okay, need to unpack and do laundry. Big Daddy is doing prawns and quinona for dinner. And some brussel sprouts.

Oh, before I forget, Amay's sister is going to teach me to knit. This should be hilarious. She does not speak English. Knitting lessons in a bar, hoohaa.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vacation is winding down

I can not believe I am actually ready and looking forward to coming home to China. Kind of a reality check on the things I need to change when I get back and what I can do to make our lives there easier. Oh, and I have to take down the free Christmas tree from Meal Bay.

Visited Mother-in-law today and the drive was not bad. She seems to be having some hearing difficulty and the old people's refusal to spend money. She won't get DSL as she is being frugal. I told her, spend all your money and your kids will take care of you if you are broke. She has great pensions and no bills. Indulge yourself. And with kids and grandkids all over the world, go for it. She would love FB if she had access other than dial-up and could talk to all the kids and grandkids whenever she wanted. And she is complaining no pictures, her daughter told her "they are all on FB." Saw my brother, the silver fox, at a Christmas gathering on a FB picture and I have not seen him in years. Go figure.

Trip back from New Orleans was fine, we were not cancelled for the huge storm in the east, but my Punkin Head and the Lady are out there in New England and I hope they are OK.

New Orleans has lost a beat. Well, more than a beat. It has lost the vibrance and hint of decadence that always simmered on the back burner. It was frankly boring at times. No Victorian figures wandering the streets with history lessons, decorations were minimum, no weddings, and no Christmas music. This street performer came to sing under my balcony as there were no people on the street and I told him "Christmas". He had a huge and beautiful voice and suddenly he started getting tips when he sang a hymn or two.

Most of the musicians were faux cowboys and they were loud and horrid. I called the front desk to ask them to move the "Kettles" from under my second floor balcony and to make a formal complaint and they backed down and refused to call the noise ordinance people. (Hah, I now have that number myself.) They told me it was a public street and sidewalk. And then the porters (who only showed up when they wanted to rag on their girlfriends outside the front door) tried to tell me I could not smoke 6 feet to left of the front door, only 6 feet to right. I can guess you all know how that went, public property is public.

The good was the food, we found Jimmy Luizza again at Antoine's and had a wonderful dinner and a new signed Holiday menu, crabmeat ravigot and pompano with lump crab. Found Joe at the Bistro and had a wonderful duck dish. Revillion dinner at the Rib Room had good food but not so good experience. This old bag turned around and started screaming in my ear that she had lost her valet ticket. She was screaming at our waiter that was across the table from me. I mean, really lady, if you are well over 65 and can not keep track of your shit---you need help. A keeper or a bubba. So the waiter is trying to get to her and she keeps shouting until she finds it. When she is done, I politely asked her if everything was ok. When she said yes, I told her "do not bark in my ear again". Everyone ran for cover and she Harumpped. Hilarious.

We only found one museum open, a photography exhibit of the 7th ward through the old times to Katrina and some rebuilding.

Tomorrow is lunch at Roma Cafe in Eastern Market to see and old friend and then laundry and packing for the trip home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The sunshine state is BRR cold

Trip to Florida was a hoot. Freezing cold and I am not kidding, lows at night of 24 F, and windy to boot. Should have taken fur and boots. North face jacket and down vest worked well but feet were cold.

St. Augustine is beautiful. Visited the lighthouse and caretaker's home, the oldest schoolhouse and drugstore, and the Catherdral. And shopped and ate and drank. A good time was had by all. You forget how good fresh shrimp is until you eat it again. And southern BBQ, yumm. Did not get to see the forts and it was too cold to visit the island by boat and kids were everywhere. They must do field trips before Christmas and kids are not my favorite when doing historic sites.

TSA was fine at both airports. Could not believe in Detroit did not have to remove my hat or jacket, just open jacket so she could look. No one touched me. Jacksonville TSA were actually friendly, wonder if they are all on meds for the holidays.

Big Daddy arrived home yesterday and is happy, happy. Made breakfast this morning and had real bacon, not that crazy Chinese bacon. Or crappy bacon. Either is appropriate. He had fun at the Shanghai airport waiting to leave. He was people watching and this dad and son came by and the child was screaming. Then the little boy pulled a LInda Blair and puked all over the concourse in front of the gate. Horrendous puking. When he was done the dad picked up the kid and walked away. BD went to the Chinese people at the store across from the gate and jabba jabba, no help. So BD settled in for the show and sure enough the Chinese pretty girls in their short shorts and 4 inch heels came prancing by and slipped and fell in the puke, then the next one on her cell phone came by and tripped over the fallen pukey pile of screaming girls and joined in the vomit pile up. What a way to start your trip. And of course BD did not have the camera for this Kodak moment.

BD has a job interview Monday and then off to New Orleans. Supposed to warm up next week, we will see. Hello Rib Room and Miss Donna.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I miss Big Daddy

He is solving the problems of more than one time line with various due dates and I am solving drab hair. I am now a blonde again. A real blonde not a phony dark blonde.

BD met a newbie to China engineer today. This guy did not believe the planes were always an hour or 2 late minimum, tossed the bread and hot food back at the flight attendant saying it smelled bad, and generally does not seem to be enjoying his experience. Hmmm, maybe a job opening for me.

Cannot get used to driving the Grand Cherokee. Miss my Ford Edge something terrible. Edge was far superior. Opening the door is a pain in the ass. Getting in or out is a pain in the ass. No rear camera, no remote start, and heat system is worthless. Where is my crazy taxi driver when I need him.

Shopping is going well, The lady is having trouble finding something for her mom though. Going shopping and to lunch with an old friend tomorrow.

I am addicted to the television. They have the most bizarre shows. I feel like Paul Bunyon, or maybe Ripley, waking up years later. These are the stupidest TV shows ever. How the hell do all these women not know they are pregnant? And how do you not notice you home looks like a cheap Chinese warehouse? And Oprah is out of control. All she does is babble and cry.

Funniest thing drugstore robo called me this morning to refill a prescription. Did not know I had refills left, but I said hell yes. Still do not have a doctor here since mine disapeared.

Gotta go and sleep some more, still not on track but ok. Love to BD.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

talking to Big Daddy

Brain starting to work today. That is the worst part of jet lag for me. Can't think properly for a day or two. Punkin Head keeps saying, Mooom. Oh well. And it does not help that the kids work afternoons and the best time to talk is the middle of night.

Went to Farms Market and BG will shit when he sees the bill, he grouses about the high cost of the wet market.

Had a manicure and a pedicure and feel like a new woman. Just cannot believe the difference in how my hands and feet look. Thank you Jean and Wink Boutique. Bought a pair of boots so I am on track for footwear.

Punkin Head bought me a Vanity Fair so I am in reading heaven for the moment.

Elliot, the cat, and I are at odds. He thinks he is the boss and cats are not like dogs. Dogs understand the Alpha and cats just don't particapate in the world order.

House next door where the old gramma lived is for sale. That is interesting. Wonder if the kinfolk are in a fight about the estate. House down the street where the vegan monsters lived went back to the bank and they had a crew in there today just moving garbage out. What kind of person just trashes something because they can?

Just finished talking to two old friends and setting up lunches. This is fun. More later. Love you BD.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back in Detroit

Flight was fine and only somewhat entertaining. Immigration and customs was a breeze, did not care about my phony shit or my overstay problems.

It is cold. As in snow flurries. BRRR.

More when I get over the jet lag.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane

Be home tomorrow, leaving tomorrow, it is a China thing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just a quick note

Amay said my hair looked horrible yesterday after the color and styling. She was right. Woke up this morning and it really looks bad. Miss Donna bad. Miss Donna's favorite saying is "it is bad, really bad". Yep, really bad.

Remember the museum in the Lane house? The gentleman was Feng Zikai. They put up new plaque and it has his picture on it. Shaanxi Lu.

Going shopping on Shaanxi today.

Fish turned out great.

Learned a new word yesterday. Ting. Means stop. Taxi driver was enjoying my Chinglish directions and decided a new word of the day was in order.

So I must ting now and eat breakfast.

Get outta that safe box, eat fish

Well, I finally got out of the apartment again. Had to get the roots done. Hair thing.

Big Daddy for some reason kept talking about cooking dinner. I am like, dude you really don't seem like ya wanna cook here. He is like no really, I wanna cook. Okay, so he is cooking.

Elevator to downstairs. Another couple talking, she says she really wants a diet coke and does not know where to find one. HEllO, there is a McDonalds across the street. In ordinary conversation asked her how long she has been here. Two years. And she said no one talks to her either. I want to try to make friends with someone who cannot find a McDonalds in two years?

Went shopping for chachi shit to take home and found some great alpaca silk yarn for Punkin head to take to his aunt. Nice stuff, said to use big needles. Went to see Amay and met my second Isreali dude. They really have a different take on things and he told me visiting Israel and Tel Aviv right now is no problem.

Went to the wet market with my letter from Amay about the fish with no head or tail or big bone.

Bought a present for Punkin Head in the wet market and then I wandered down to the fish dudes. Got some gorgeous prawns and the guy cleaned them. BD got the fish and this was a big deal. I guess we are the only people in Shanghai that do not want the head and the skin and the bones. This caused the fish lady some dismay. She was actually horrified and insisted we take home the skin. That was not optional and it was a condition of taking the fish home.

Bought my usual veggies and bought some turnips and cauliflower from a vendor I did not know and some guy came up and thumped my shoulder and gave me a thumbs up. Don't know if the guy had better shit or he was someone's relative.

So we are home cooking and we will see what tomorrow brings. Guess this is our Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Home alone with no turkey and dressing. Big Daddy had to travel and here I sit. Alone.

Last year I was alone but I had good food. And a job. And I worked the day after because I had nothing else to do and the yard was on hold. That was not really voluntary. At around 10 dollars a vehicle per day for thousands of vehicles this tends to add up. Could never figure out the amount of vehicles on hand versus the fact no one was buying this shit. Why did they keep making shit no one bought?

I do remember it was hilarious though, they gave me a do-all and none of the vins were in the yard. But vins not on the sheet failed. That was a cluster and the SQ manager was pulling his hair out. Then he wanted me and my guy to fix them. Nu-huh, you never proved it was my fault dude. My boss said we would help you out and find 'em. Not fix 'em. Then I thought he would cry. And it was like 17 degrees F in that yard that day with high wind conditions. As I recall this was not officially "finished" as an issue until I came back from China and had to negotiate the end. And no one ever found root cause. I call bullshit on that one. Someone knew and would not talk. Could have been them, could have been us. So final corrective action was vehicle no longer produced, use certified repair procedure from engineering that does not work. God I loved my job.

Big Daddy got me new shampoo from the hair salon at the Port-o-mon for "volume". At least my hair is not stuck to my head today.

Shemp came and used electrical tape on the shower thingy and even left BD the rest of the roll as this is not a good fix. We think he may be ordering a replacement but who knows. He could be ordering more electrical tape.

Ok, gotta get ready to leave. Just found out I am not "going" home. I am visiting home. Hmmm. If it works out like everything else those in Detroit will probably see me on the news. At least my hair will look Ok, and I got that new eye "sucking up the bags" gel. I could be the cutest one in jail.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All moved in

Tuesday Nov. 23

All in all the moving experience was not horrible.

Movers were decent guys, brought their own moving shit.

Big Daddy had his own moving shit including the porter cart he conned out of the guy downstairs.

So far only thing broken is the Feng Shui water beads, hmmm.

Only forgot a few things, the Ikea desk I was using to keep my laptop case on. This was stupid as we picked up the case from the desk and walked out. And Big Daddy went back with them to check the room and he missed it too.

So when we figure this out BD goes down to get the desk. And then a little later there is an ayi at the door with his shoes. Huh? And we both checked that place 3 times.

I did remember the ice cube trays that took months to find.

We cleaned ourselves silly and God bless whoever invented microcloths. They are the best.

Sunrise (there was actually a sun this morning)was beautiful from this height.

Sitting here reading the Detroit Free Press and heard this weird noise. Now I know every place has its own noises and you just get used to it. But it was clear as a bell and I kept hearing it. It was whistling. Finally I look out in the hall and there is this guy pacing and whistling. WTF. If he is a neighbor will this become a charming morning ritual or am I going to have to bonk him with my wok?

Funnies of the day:

Move in and one of the dining chairs is shorter than the others. Since we don't have children with us I thought this was odd. Asked for matching chairs. So then this guy brings me another short chair. Already decided I like the shorter one better as the seat is taller only the back is shorter. Now I have to explain, go get me 2 more short chairs. So he comes back with 2 more tall chairs. And the seats have no stuffing. Just gave up. Even though my chin sits on the table. BD says it is easier to slurp your food that way.

Asked for phone in the living room. Ayi comes in for some unknown reason and takes the phone. So I request this be fixed ASAP. Of course, they send Shemp. The only phone jack that works demands I keep the phone on the dining room table. I am insistent that phone goes at the other end of room and give Shemp 2 options. He is insistent that the table location is fine. We argue, me in English and Shemp in Chinese. I see Shemp is enjoying this. I think his wife must argue with him all the time. And like with his wife, he lost. Only useful Chinese "word" I know is thumbs down.

When BD checks the new apartment for the move-in there are no towels. He asks for towels. There are no towels. Now, this is a large complex and hotel and they have no towels? WTF. Good thing we had the toilet paper stash, no TP either.

They did not change out the dining table; they painted over the bad spots, same with floor and woodwork.

Remember my famous breaking kitchen drawer? Now I have 2 and possibly 2 cabinet doors that will keep Shemp employed.

Last shower in the old apartment I noticed the shower head thing was breaking again. Said fuck it, let the new people fix it. New shower also needs a repair. Karma?

Hotel wanted to see my old passport to record the last entry stamp. And we all know where that went last time. Told BD he better hang on to that receipt for the fine we paid for Mrs. Overstay.

Going home in 7 days. But do not fear, ardent readers, I will keep blogging from the US. Grosse Pointe is always fun, going to Florida and may visit my mother if she ever talks to me again, and then New Orleans. All are great for interesting observations.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am sick

And this is actually Saturday, November 20

I opted out of the Shenzhen trip as I felt horrible. Tuesday night walking back to the apartment I suddenly felt like a truck me. Honestly did not think I could make it back to the apartment. Went to bed early so I woke up early and felt ok. For about an hour. Still not great today but I think it peaked and will be ok tomorrow. And of course there was an article in the infamous China Daily about a case of the bird flu in Hong Kong. Hong Kong says she got it in a recent shopping trip to Shanghai. And as the typical hypochondriac that I am, now I have to worry about traveling home while hiding the bird flu. Oh, and I ran out of kleenex and am now using the famous Chinese toilet paper to blow my nose.

And we have to move on Monday now. And Big Daddy will not be home until late Sunday. And I have nothing to pack shit into and still feel bad enough not to care. And when the ayis came on Friday she looked in all my kitchen cupboards. WTF.

Now they are saying in the contract that I only get ayi 2 times a week. BD says we can get extra towels by calling someone, so I say, twice a week is fine. All they do is change the linens and half-ass clean the bathrooms and make the kitchen dirty. I still cannot figure out how the kitchen sink and counters are dirtier when they finish cleaning than when they started. Boggles the mind.

On the bright side I won't have to sleep in the hall anymore as the beds in the new apartment face the correct direction for my Feng Shui needs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yak Meat and other fun stuff

Well we returned from our business trip to Shenzhen in fine form. And we both got to do our Chinese hobbies. Mine is buying fake shit and then looking it up on the Internet to find out it is phony fake shit. Big Daddie's hobby is not letting Chinese people push past him on airplanes. And we found success in our pursuits.

We went to LoWu market Friday night and shopped til we dropped. No pearls worth buying. Found some shoes at one store that were so bad it was funny. I actually saw one girl walking on crooked heels carrying her worn out Chanel bag. And all the back pockets on the jeans are too low, looks like the pockets are on their legs instead of their butts. Anyway, found some shoes that are not phony. Hmmm. They do have a Chinese name inside but they can't be found on the Internet. Not bad so I got them and while we were waiting Big Daddy told me his good watch was not working. So we looked at Fake watches. Remember, best prices are on bulk purchases. Well, we got the Fake watches, not phony shoes and no name readers. Decent price and I had her laughing so hard she could not do the phony tears.

When we got back to the hotel and I looked up the watches, they are not even close to the real ones or the Fake ones. This just proves BDs theory that everything is phony here. I think it proves my theory that the factories have a bunch of shit they can't use and so their second cousin in the very back room making shit out of whatever pieces seem to fit together. Did not buy the IWC watches as all the faces were crooked.

So far watches are running and show the correct time and the shoes are good enough to walk to the rabbit warren. No further.

On the trip back BD was ready for the plane pushers (people that like to push in front of you when there is no room) because they put their luggage in the overhead in the front of bin farthest away from their seat, which was behind us. Now BD is a large sized guy so getting past him is no easy task for the faint-hearted. First BD gets in the aisle and takes his stance. This is like when the nose guard lines up in front of the quarterback. Then he gets our luggage from the other side. I am the wide reciever. Opposing team's wide reciever tries to put her luggage in BD's seat. Flag on the play. That is where my shit goes--not her shit. She is pissed and pushes BD who inadvertently steps on her toe. She glares at me. The icing on the cookie comes when BD reaches over and pats my cheek. You could actually see steam coming from her head.

So we haul our fake, phony shit home and remember we have no coffee. Off to visit Amay and try out the shoes. Amay is happy to see us as she just returned from her trip to review the solar cookers in BFE. She tells us 9 hours by train to the mountains and she brought us presents. BD recieved hand rolled cigars from the mountains and I got Yak meat. I think this came from the gorgeous Yak herder that saved me back in December. I am saving it for a special occasion. BD says the cigars are great.


My mother might still be alive, I have not heard from her since October. Punkin Head says he is getting "forwarded emails". She missed my birthday.

Had the all-time 3rd worst taxi driver in history in Shenzhen. I swear this guy was either certified for lunacy or on a death wish. He bottomed out the taxi twice. Then he wanted a tip. BD told him he was an asshole. Gotta learn that word in Chinese. Maybe I can get Amay to write it on a coaster.

We were able to enjoy the energy/electical/generator debacle in person. At a certain time in the morning all the juice is shut off. Then it is slowly converted to whatever power they use and power comes back on. Would not like to be in the elevator when this happens, yes it just shuts down and there you are. Stuck. Either 7 or 7:15, could not figure out the exact time it shuts down and how long it is off as things come back at different stages. TV and Internet were the last. They sent someone to our room to explain. In Chinglese.

Only a couple weeks until I go home and I am getting excited. Drinking tap water, getting a real hairdo, buying clothes and a pedicure-what dreams are made of.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

These are the rules

Shortly after I finished posting yesterday I received a phone call. Be ready in 30 minutes I am coming to get you. We had to go to the Immigration Police over my little snafu. Immediately. The company even sent a company driver to take us. And I have to say that was the cleanest car I have seen in China.

We met the guy again, he must be some sort of expeditor used by the company, and he took us to a new place. The Overstay office. We sat outside the office and he brought us a card to read. The penalty for my "overstay" could be 500 RMB per day and 3 to 10 days in jail. It did not use the word jail, but that was what they meant. Needless to say I was not the happy camper. I mean come on, I went willingly and gave them the passports in all innocence and came back right away when they figured it out. Whatever it was they figured out as everyone kept telling me everything was OK.

Then we had to sit for an hour. Waiting to see if I would go to jail. Because the expeditor dude does not exactly speak English real well. "OK, OK" was just not cutting it right then. Then everybody comes back and gives me my passports with the new Chinese Visa good til 2012 and tells me everything is OK. Then an hour later the company calls and tells Big Daddy big mistake, you have to pay a fine. No jail, but 1800 RMB, 200 a day for nine days. This made no sense. The number of days or the money. So Big Daddy did what any decent Norte Americano would do, he told them I wasn't worth that much money. The Chinese do not have a sense of humor.

So I did what any normal person would do. I had my Feng Shui checked. I have to sleep in the hall outside our apartment from here on and use black chopsticks. I think I will be like Carried Bradshaw and look for a big shiny black diamond instead.

By the way, the date thing on this blog is not working and if it continues I will start dating the posts and maybe whoever invented this thing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Uh Oh, or This is just not right.

Well, we have a little snafu here. I told Big Daddy when he decided we should go for the new passport and Chinese Visa here in China we would be cutting it close. Between the October holiday and his travel, plus arranging all the appointments, this project has not been easy. And now I am in trouble. I did not walk to Hong Kong on time. And I mentioned this to BD on a few occasions. He kept telling me it was OK. NOT. Now I am illegal. And there may be a possible fine attached to this little fiasco.

Well I know I will be flying this week, just don't know where I will be headed.

Well mine is not the only snafu according to the China Daily. It seems that China set up some goals for conservation of energy. To meet those goals they have an unusual plan. They shut off the electricity in the areas that have used too much energy. And the people that like having electric power developed their own plan. Diesel generators. It is kinda like living in places in the US that tends to lose electricity once in a while. You know, keep the fridge and a couple lights running. Maybe the tv if you are a fanatic or the big game is on. But the difference between China and the US on this issue:

1, we do this for temporary and extreme situations in most cases.

2, we have a decent supply of diesel fuel. And I believe kerosene.

So, now China has vast areas without diesel fuel for the vehicles and tons of diesel fumes from generators in the atmosphere, but they are not using too much electricity. Which makes perfect sense if you came from the automotive industry. Kind of reminds me of home and going to crazy meetings. Crazy meetings are the meetings where you look around to see how many of the people are actually crazy. It is usually the majority.

This situation and solution also tells me that China is becoming an innovative society.

Another innovation and a vindication of my personal feelings, phony work visas for Filipina maids. It is my understanding the mainland Chinese citizens cannot employ foreigners as household help. But once again the China Daily has come through with the earth shattering news that Chinese ayis are not up to par. Rich people prefer the Filipina maid's work ethic and attitude. And I bet they are not on their cell phones all day long.

Well, I better pack as I am going somewhere. And I should get dressed. If I was flying to New Orleans no one would think twice if I arrived in my nightgown with a hat, but in Detroit or Shenzhen I might get some curious stares. Detroiters don't wear nighties with their hats and the Chinese do not wear hats with their nighties.

Weird Weekend

Punkin Head made me laugh Sunday. I think that is bad when you are surprised you laughed and can't remember the last time it happened. I think Big Daddy and I have been here too long. I know I have. If we have to continue living in China we are both going to have to get out of Dodge more often. From the conversations he has had with other ex-pats it does not sound like the wives do real well here. Divorces and living on different continents is more the norm. I think only the rich ones with cars and drivers and "the company network" have better retention rates with the wives, probably because they have more pressure to stay.

Also cleaning after the ayi's is really getting on my nerves. So is their habit of having loud phone conversations while they are pretend cleaning. And living without my stuff is really pissing me off. Especially since I am freezing. BD admits men are ok with a microwave and little else. I find myself lusting for my own dishwasher and a normal washer and dryer.

Clothing update is not good. Marks&Spencer robe and nightgown shrunk at the first washing. And I hung it to dry. And I got my not very warm suede jacket back from the cleaners. Since the jacket was a deal of the day Dennis Basso purchase from QVC, the cleaning and repair was as much as I paid for the coat. And it should not have needed repair for as little as I wore it. By the way--made in China. And the color faded.

Food update is better. The veggies from the wet market worked out well and Sunday afternoon I made stew type food. I would not eat it, buy BD said it was good. It was better than just throwing away food and we got gaunji. The tv remote control broke, could not turn up the volume to hear Anderson. Shemp comes up and after fucking with it for awhile mimes to us he is taking it. So when he came back and had the tv squared away we gave him an aluminium pan full of stew. He was happy. Then BD took another container down to the front desk guy. He actually said gaunji and was very happy. He pulled a double and told BD this morning, in pantomine of course, that the stew was great. The reason I would not eat it by the way is I put onions and tomato in the pot and cannot stand cooked onions and tomato. But they had to be used and BD likes them. Yuck.

Going to Shenzhen Wednesday if the passport comes back and I won't have to walk to Hong Kong anymore if things work out properly. Have to start planning the trip home. And maybe when I get there Punkin Head will make me a cheese soofle. That was the joke, you had to be there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making groceries

Yesterday was the day to go get the new visa, they are letting me in. I think. I do not trust the medical exam for various reasons, the first of which they said I have great eyesight. Since I could not see anything and told the creepy guy "I don't know" numerous times I find this suspect. Anyway the visit to the immigration police went very quickly, we were actually done before the scheduled appointment time. Taxi ride was quick, Chinese guy was waiting and had gaunji, no problem. When he brings back my passports next week I have to go to the play station. Think he means police, we'll see.

Since we had all this spare time I asked Big Daddy if instead of going out to dinner and the shopping mall would he prefer to cook the chicken he keeps talking about. He was so excited I thought he would pee his pants. This of course meant we had to make groceries at the wet market.

Step 1, go to bar. Order Campari and soda and tell Amay I need her to write a letter. So on the back of a coaster she writes in Chinese--fat lady chicken with no head, feet, or stomach. On another coaster she writes I do not speak Chinese. Now I am good to go.

Step 2, go to wet market and show coaster to chicken dude. He reads it and gives me a thumbs up. Big Daddy thinks he was gonna to try a pass a rooster off on us but changed his mind and went for the hens. Big Daddy grew up on a farm and knows all things chicken. Next thing I know he is putting me eyeball to eyeball with this chicken. We say okay, he flops her on the scale and pantomines 50. Then he goes in the back room with the chicken.

Step 3, go to favorite veggie lady and stock up on produce. This was just under 50 RMB for lots of food from taters and poblamo peppers to ginger root and maters. Also onions, garlic, turnips and greens.

Step 4, go back to chicken guy to find Gertie (that is what I named the chicken) in a bag on top of the rooster rack. I think the message to the roosters was "this could be you". The roosters were poking at her, but Big Daddy explained the unsharpening of bird beaks. So for less than 15 dollars US I had fresh as can be chicken and veggies for the week.

Step 5, inform Big Daddy that I expect serious chicken cleaning and inspection from him when we get home. BD informs me that the feet were in the bag for good luck.

Step 6, eat. nice salad, broccoli, fried taters with peppers and chicken. Chicken was still a little tougher than I am used to. I think this is how chicken tastes and chews when it is free range without hormones. Or maybe just the chickens here are as skinny as the women. Still not bad. Not as big a chicken as I get at Farms Market-and that was Amish chicken from reputable farmer-but not bad. Chickens look bigger with feathers and a head.

Pictures will be on FB as I still can't post photos on this blog.

Oh, and the Germans are leaving so maybe I can use the gym again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

If I Were a Rich Man

For one thing I would not need a bra. Ha Ha. OK, really I am a little pissed off. The voting thing did not work and so in a very important election Big Daddy and I have to sit it out. Not happy here. It is not like I can fly home and vote and fly back. Besides I have to go for my China Visa renewal tomorrow. And if I could find the way to attach it I would give you a link to Paul Stowe's very excellent blog in which he describes the medical process for all us filthy aliens with the horrid diseases. And by the way Paul, cannot leave a comment on your blog. And I had one or two, especially regarding the lovely robes and shoe covers.

Where is my design engineer when I need him, another Paul by the way. And can someone help me post pictures or change this blog to a more user friendly version.

Anyway, spent Sunday on the streets and learned "Wah Hi Lu" is not that far by taxi and could walk almost all the way home. The more you buy however the heavier your cheap bags become. Can't wait to get some decent Trader's Joes bag at home and maybe even Farms Market bags. Now those are some decent bags for 2 bucks and Punkin Head is saving me some insulated bags for our phony dairy products.

At Shaanxi and near Changle I found a museum. A kinda museum. This guy was a famous painter, satire in particular, and he was also quite accomplished in literature, transalation and music. He lived in a tiny lane house and did all his work in this house while the government waited outside to make sure he did not leave or have contact with the public. Always guarded and when the Cultural Revoltion came they destroyed most of his material. I believe in the 30's or 40's he went to Japan for education and exchange and some of his work remains there. He died in 1974, apparently in that lane house. No, I do not know his name as there was no handouts or anything in English in this museum. And when you go in you are pretty sure you are in a junkyard type hovel. And when you get past the junk and go down the hall there are a bunch of guys tearing out the lowest level (like a basement) and they have a bird in a cage down there. Then you go upstairs because at this point it is - why the fuck not go on up. And there are a bunch of Chinese people looking at Chinese stuff and the one person who kind of speaks English tells you this story. I have to give them credit for trying to do something but this was just too weird. And the stairs are just unsafe. OSHA would have a full time job here. And just so you know, when I saw the plaque on Shaanxi and pointed at it- an official type person in a uniform took me to the hovel and pointed me to go in, otherwise you would never know or find it if you were not Chinese. This is just past the park with the sign telling you in English you are not allowed to urinate or shit in the park. I am not making this up and would post the picture of the sign if I could figure out how to do that. It used to be easy to post pictures, maybe I did something to screw it up.

So tomorrow we are off to the Visa people, and maybe looking at another apartment-although we did get a new lock today-and maybe we can go for a walk. And worry about the elections. I do not want to preach on the elections right now, but I will say this-if everyone that thinks China is so bad had never bought the cheap shit at Walmart and his cousins and would pay for quality items, we might have a different story. But China still would have competed and might still have won a huge market share. The difference may well be that the culture of living in a lane house and doing what you believe in is stronger than the culture of believing that you should be able to raise a family on a wage from Burger King.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It is just China

Interesting day, Big Daddy found out what the dude in the street is doing, making cheap blankets for poor people. But he can't sell them on the street, it is against the law. And they are too small for us. Because he can only make them the size of the board he owns. And people report you if they see you doing illegal stuff. Huh? It is ok to sell DVD's on the street every day and not ok to sell blankets on Saturday? And what about the card games on the sidewalks?

Wanted to go to the new mall near us so we meandered down that way. Bought a scarf as I was freezing. Bought some coffee from the bar. Had a snack at Casa 13 and David now has Sherry. Then Big Daddy got really excited on the way to the mall. The flower lady was home. So instead of shopping we bought flowers. So many flowers we could not carry them. For 240RMB. So the flower lady had this guy carry our flowers home for us. He took the long and convolted way and then he would not take a tip.

Well, we got home and took the elevator up to our apartment and the door would not open. Key works, turns green and beeps, no open. OK, we go downstairs and jabba jabba and have a smoke and a lady from housekeeping comes and motions us up. So we all traipse back up to the apartment and she can't get the door open either. She tells us to stay there, in pantomine. I tell her there are no chairs, in pantomine. Down we all go. Now there is more jabba jabba and more people. And another phone call. Then the doorman tells us to go back up, in pantomine of course. Now we have Shemp. Shemp can't get it open either and confirms the hip thrust used by everyone involved does not budge the door. So back down we go. Now I insist Big Daddy needs to go to the front desk in the main building. I stay with the doormen. After a while a guy speaking English comes and tells me to go back upstairs. I'm game.

This is where it becomes hilarious. The door is open and Shemp has the locks torn apart. My stuff is in the apartment (you did not think I was carrying this stuff up and down did you?) and there is water all over the floor. Not a flood but enough water to wonder. Big Daddy calls and I tell him I am in the apartment. He tells me they wanted to move us to a different apartment without our stuff. Huh? Shemp number 2 joins us and the lock fixing begins in earnest. This takes about 30 minutes and lots of noise and jabba jabba and what appears to be Chinese WD40. Then the Shemps call me over, show me the lock works and pantomines that I do not know how to work the lock properly. WTF. Then the assistant manager calls and tells Big Daddy that we need a new lock but they can't do that on Sunday. What, are they all gonna be in church? Do I sense some western influence in a day of rest?

Anyway, the flowers are beautiful and we are ready for new day of adventure.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sad, sad, sad

It was bound to happen, my newfound communication skills with the Shanghai taxi drivers failed me yesterday. Got kicked out of one taxi because he did not understand Port-o-man, which is the correct pronunciation as confirmed by the second cab driver. Then the taxi from the Port-o-man did not understand how to get me home, and he was in a EXPO taxi. And I must say the wear and tear on the EXPO taxi was unbelievable. Also the lack of cleanliness.

Big Daddy and I had breakfast at Element Fresh and there were about 8 western guys all sitting by themselves having breakfast about 9:30 in the morning. They all looked sad. Glancing about the room, looking like they really wanted someone to talk to, or just staring at laptops. And they all looked like they had no place to go. It was just weird. Why don't they sit together?

I did buy a curling iron at the hair salon and it was about the same price a good one would cost in the US. Came home and curled my hair. Did not look bad. Woke up this morning and again I have the flatest hair in China. And trust me, that is some flat hair. Can't wait to get home and get a decent hair cut.

And get some fall/winter clothes. I am freezing here. Hairdresser told me it seems colder here and she is right. 50f feels more like low 40's at home. Supposed to get up to 70 this weekend, and I sure hope so.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TSA and me

I have been reading a lot lately about the new AIT machines in the US and I am not getting any good answers to my questions. And every thread on FlyerTalk denigrates into a childish rant, with no real answers most of the time. Now I realize from personal experiences with TSA, including a very enlightening ride to the Airlines Parking lot, that some of these people are not real bright. There are employees in other jobs that are not real bright too, but those people generally are not putting me through an x-ray while their buddy is in possesion of all my stuff.

The radiation bothers me. I am not that concerned with the naked aspect because well, ya get what ya pay for. A free peep is not going to yield high quality peeping. But radiation scares me. And how many times a few years after the fact are problems found and people are dying, born with defects, are have damage that is permanent? Too many.

The pat down does not bother me either. A free "cop a feel" is not going to be great and if you hurt me I scream. And you get pat downs all over the world so no biggie.

But today I read you have to remove "metal" jewelry. Now, this is just not right. I will admit, I am a jewelry junkie. I love jewelry. I wear jewelry. Mostly real jewelry, not costume. So I am supposed to remove thousands of dollars of jewelry and do what with it? Who is in charge of the jewelry when I take it off? Can't put it in the carry-on as the TSA have that too. My jewelry does not set off the metal detector. Nor did it set off the one in Federal Court when I was a juror. It is tasteful jewelry, not huge and gaudy crap.

Everyone has a limit, and this is mine. There are so many weird things going on now. When Disney World has a higher level of employees than TSA, when no knows the rules, and people are stealing money right out of the security area,whoa who is in charge of this shit.

And, they say this will make the security screening go faster. Well, when you have to take off, in addition to the regular stuff, your belt and wallet, and now your jewelry, and then get dressed again in 2 different spots, how is this quicker? And they are still patting down everyone who goes through the AIT anyway-according to the reports I am reading. And what about all the grandma's who had to have someone put this stuff on to start out with? Do you think grandma is not going to start crying when you take her wedding ring and watch her dead husband gave her away, especially if she can't do it herself? This is gonna be faster, watching grandma cry while the TSA yells at her to hurry up.

Like I used to say at work, I wish I had been in that meeting when they all thought this was a great idea. I remember one meeting where we were all discussing my parts coming to the line cold. And I mean freezing cold. So in the interest of cheap it was decided to put a pvc pipe with holes in it inside the box with a hair dryer stuck in the top. I asked, what is going to happen when they lose the pipe and set the hair dryer in the box with all the paper layers or the sweating parts? Engineering response: don't be silly that will never happen. That took 24 hours to happen.

Back to the point, I do not understand how China can manage all the travel with none of drama. And they are polite. And you keep your shoes on.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Water is everywhere

Guess that typhoon, Megi, is that big cause she's coming ashore and it is wet all the way to Shanghai. And if she is still slow this is not gonna be fun. Water up to my ankles this afternoon and it is not raining that hard.

Went to get my hair done and it was not a trial for once. Did not complain because she can't fix it-so why go down that road. Only problem is they asked me to switch magazines for this uppity bitch and I was not happy, did it and smiled but come on, I was there longer and not finished with one magazine and you already read them all? Buy a book, a Kindle, and iPad or whatever. And it was a Good Housekeeping which I had not seen in years and it had recipes. For my new oven. Geez.

No shopping because it is too wet, but hairdresser told me where to shop next and told me how to pronounce the road. Little baby steps. She can't find shoes either. She's a 7 and a half.

Big Daddy got maintenance and now we have hot water again. Not lukewarm, hot. What a joy.

Got a new movie, Sex and The City 2, everyone said it was shit, but when all you can get is shit . . . Punkin Head is supposed to send us a movie to see if it works here. Then we don't have to watch the same 2 movies every other week.

Oh, and the asshole really did finally quit when they told him no. No way. So hasta la vista, and stay outta my hair. Since it is freshly washed. Oh, and I bought hairspray, real original formula from France, Elnett. Lif e is good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weather Reports

Found the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center on the web, via my buds over at Flyer Talk. This is the most accurate information available. Watching the weather report on CNN was giving me a headache as they show what everyone is thinking and nobody agreed. And with China already having admitted they don't have a clue, well this just made me feel better. Big Daddy is flying out of Shenzhen this morning and he has to go back on Monday, so this is a concern. That and the fact China has not had a bad typhoon is years and seems worse prepared than New Orleans was for Katrina.

Have not been able to watch any TV shows this week and the Internet connection is too slow. So it is just me and Anderson Cooper again.

Woke up this morning with a huge pain in my hip. Hope this just goes away soon. Do not want to have to go to the doctor. Big Daddy had a massage yesterday at the hotel and now he is a fan. Said he could never understand why I like them until he experienced the ultimate nirvana of every muscle at peace. He is becoming almost as big a personal maintenance whore as I am.

Well, gotta go clean now that the Ayi's are gone. More later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Some Tidbits-What Would Coco Think?

Big Daddy found out about a whole new source of phony shit. Fake books. They sell them by weight. And the rumor is that they take orders. So now when you are wearing your Hello Kitty pajamas, drinking your fake Chinese beer, surrounded by the fake EXPO shit you got ripped off on-you can read your fake book. Whatever happened to just being happy with a fake Rolex. And can any Chinese alcoholic beverage be worth making a fake version of. WTF.

Went to Marks&Spencer this weekend. Yes it was as bad as I thought it was going to be. Cheap clothes as in 1980's KMart. Bought 2 sweaters that may or may not make it through 1 wearing, and a nightgown and robe. With slippers. And some blood orange marmalade. We'll see.

Walked down to the mall and went to every high-end makeup counter starting with Chanel. No red nail polish. How the hell do you not carry red nail polish. And there were guys running the Chanel counter. Now any gay guy is not letting you out of there without buying something. These guys were like, nope-see ya, well that is the problem. If you don't wear it you can't sell it. Women wear everything in the men's department except a jock strap and very few guys would ask a woman for a jock strap. But a man that does not wear makeup should not be selling it. What the fuck would Coco think?

Gap store is still coming soon in 2010. Yea, right.

The worst is we may have to move to a different apartment. In the same bulding and probably the same layout. Who knows. But the problem is we have had half the stuff fixed here and half the stuff left to fix. Now granted they may never fix the remaining shit-but at least you know what is broken and will break again next month. And how much of our shit will they break when we move? And will we have new Ayi's to train. And trust me training is hard for very little work on their part. Getting towels took 3 weeks when we moved into this apartment.

The asshole is trying to screw around with Big Daddy again. If our vacation gets messed up again, well I do not think they will be happy to see me at the company Christmas party. A few months off probation and this jerk demands a raise, a promotion, unauthorized vacation and gets away with it again because there are no laws in China. Bullshit. As they say in the US, been to that dance. And I do have a dog in this hunt. (God, I love cliches) So that slimy asshole better watch out, I will hire Jackie Chan.

And the rules made me spell Marks&Spencer wrong in the tag. Just like China, static instead of fluid.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The real reason I Blog

It is really hard and really expensive to stay in contact with friends and family in other countries. My Punkin Head is the most important followed by my mother who seems to be a ghost these days. So even if the posts seems to make no sense some days, these 2 people know I am still alive. Maybe not sane, but alive. So when the Internet connection here goes wonky and I have to reconnect and retype the same shit over and over, sometimes I just give it up and publish bullshit.

China is very sensitive right now about what is said-the country is exploding with vile indignation. The Nobel Prize sent them all into a frenzy. The Chilean miners highlighted the fact that Chinese mining industry is the worst. Another mine exploded today, this time in Henan. They are trying to appear a world leader with really very little to back it up. They are fighting for the islands they lost to Japan and then the US. And the funny thing is they claim the islands belong to Taiwan, which they claim they own and then they bitch that Taiwan buys arms from the US, which in my mind means--- then I guess they own that shit too. So these are some crazy assholes in charge of things here, including the Internet and the phone companies. When they put the Mrs. Nobel under house arrest they shut off her mobile phone and Internet.

I am sending this through an expensive VPN connection, that is the only way to have access out of China. And yes they know this is how people do this type of blogging. And yes, they shut down the connections if they can. They shut it down often. If too many "words" show up-shut off the Internet or the connection to that grid, just like they shut down CNN every time it is mentioned that the Nobel Prize winners wife is under house arrest. I cannot risk typing his name and probably typing just what I have said is not the smartest thing.

So when you read whacko shit on here and do not understand, either I am censored, tired of the disconnect bullshit, or opened a new bottle of wine. Whatever.

And savor the Barry Manilow experience, get a tape of a Chinese movie, play it for about 15 minutes while you are in a crazy taxi. The one trying to fight with 25 to 30 idiots on bicycles that think they are on Harley's and then just flip over to Mandy. Surreal.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Barry Manilow

Ok, interesting few days.

Watching the miners of Chile rescued was just unbelievable. Go Chile. And the others that helped and then went home. Nuff said. Not everyone needs a personal yank on the chain. Go Chile.

Went for my physical today. Interesting the way they do this. Actually took about 40 minutes start to finish. Bunch of people start out filling out paperwork and then walking about in really poor fitting old robes from one room to another. And there is usually more than one person in the room at a time. Personal privacy is not big in China. I really wonder what the porno thing is here that is so objectional as every thing I see is pretty objectional.

Just a note, this is the fourth time I have tried to post this, some of the fun is gone now. Fuck Barry.

It is way too hard to have to type this shit 4 and 5 times and keep losing it. This is why I am a crazy person.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going Out

I am afraid to say too much and hate that I have to say too little.

I am a guest here and must remember that as a guest I agreed to abide by certain rules. So I really can't bitch that CNN International, the only English channel available, has been cutting out for a couple days whenever he who shall not be named is on the news.

Makes me wonder who is worse, them or me. Certainly not Harry Potter who had a pair.

So I will go out and eat and drink and be merry. And tonight I will pray for those who cannot.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally a Great Day

Just lost everything I wrote and I cannot recapture the excellent writing I put down on this illustrious blog. Oh well, gotta start over and deal with it. Not gonna let it steal my joy. But I do have to figure out how to fix this damn computer and the blog itself so these things do not keep happening. That will be next.

First is the description of my great day. Good weather and good reading. Decent travels about the little part of town I know. And some fun.

Had to slog down to the Consulate to get my new passport. I really thought this was going to be a drudge trip to hell. Got a decent taxi, he went right where I wanted to go, their were no huddled masses at the window and whoa, we were in. I did have to take off my shoes and walk over carpeting I am sure infected my feet with some unknown diseases but that will be a later post. When I have huge nasty---never mind, later. Anyway got a ticket at the counter that was about 400 off and watched the sad waiting people and wham, I was next. Whole episode did not take 15 minutes.

Got a taxi back to the rabbit warren with no problems and we went to have a drink with Amay. She volunteered to go with us to the wet market to buy tea as Big Daddy and I cannot make heads or tails of the tea choices. We now have cred with the tea guy. Bought some great black tea and he gave us a gift of some more expensive tea to try. And Amay explained that the snakes in the plastic bowls are not snakes. They are fish, from the river. They look like fucking snakes. They are spicy when cooked. So Big Daddy is really up for cooking the fucking non-snake things for our dinner. At a later date.

BD-initials to be used from here on out for Big Daddy-made a great dinner, mixed salad, honey glazed chicken breasts (we stole the recipe from Blackened Out) and green beans. Then we had to go for walk as we are fat. Well, walking over to the other side of the complex BD decides we need go look at the ovens at the place he bought my hair appliance. My curling iron died about 2 weeks ago and with the shit haircut I got from the HAIRDRESSER WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED-as it is the only hairdresser in town-I was in distress. So bald BD goes to this store and pantomines curling his hair. I guess this was somewhat entertaining as BD says all the staff was there staring at a man trying to show how curl hair on his old bald head. YES, I know I am loved. He got the appliance. Another story. Anyway, this is now his favorite electronics store. So off we go.

We purchased a convection oven and a blender/processer type thing for around 180 US dollars. Quite a good price I think. They made a deal on the oven, nothing on the blender contraption. But they did seem really concerned we bought the better products-the products they were happier to sell. And I do mean products they seemed to like better, not just to make money on. The prices were the same between some things. I seem to think if you are a repeat customer and do speak a little Chinese (very little in our case) they really do give a damn if you are happy.

So I got to pet a really nice dog at the store, BD got his cooking shit, we got great tea, and there are not snakes at the wet market. What more could you want?

More tomorrow on Anthony Bourdain, really bad hair, and why do I have zits at my age?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We almost had a smack down tonight

I really try to be a nice person and an ambassador for my country. I smile and say hello to everyone. I am nice to every person I see. I will not let them steal my joy.

However, I have my limits.

I understand that the people from this section of the planet have a different perspective on manners and customs than we have in the western world. These peoples, yes plural as there are so many cultures, think nothing of spitting, snorting, picking their nose and flicking it, and stopping right where they are standing and just standing there. And these are the minor annoyances. They are also big on pushing you. From behind or the side, it does not matter. They have a goal, to be in front, period. I have seen them crawl over each other in airplanes to gain an inch. And the word sorry does not seem to exist here. I know the word, just have never heard it used.

So tonight after dinner I light up a cigarette on the walk home. Now smoking is very common in China and you usually cannot see the smoke for the haze and smog anyway. And we all know smoking is bad, but I was outside right by the sewer smells and such and did not think much of it. This Asian woman-I do not think Chinese-started doing the fake cough, cough, cough like I was killing her as she pushed in front of me with her western male friend. Well, it just hit me wrong. So I felt the need to explain to her that we are in China, not California. And she turned and glared at me. And I believe I gave her the "mommy look". This is also known as the look could scare the fangs off a vampire. She turned right back around and came to a complete standstill. So, I indicated to Big Daddy that if she did not move her-ahem, behind, I was going to stick my knee up it. I did say knee, not foot.

And what is Big Daddy doing? Trying to get the camera out to catch the Kodak moment.

It ended in a boring manner, her escort took the first left, (and I use the term escort loosely) we continued on with the huddled masses taking pictures of themselves in front of stupid signs.

So now I know a couple things. You can take the girl out of Detroit-but you can't take Detroit out of the girl. Big Daddy will not have your back if he thinks he can get a picture out of it. Instead of my foot up her ass I should put my Mephisto on her Laboutins. And of course, do not let them steal your joy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I usually don't do politics, but really

Okay, CNN International is not the show guys usually see. And you do have other channels to watch. Fie on you. However, I do not have other channels and I am fedded up. To use a French phrase.

I am tired of stories of 11 year old girls sold into marriage. Something needs to be done here. Either fix it or prove it wrong. Since it seems to be happening in all the countries we have a presence in or support with huge tax dollars, this should not be real hard.

I am tired of politicians that are accused of breaking the law and that is where the story ends. Did it happen or not? Are you all lazy or complacent?

I am tired of stories on gay people or any other minority committing suicide, slayed at the hands of viscious killers, or being "identified" for their own good, while the "killers" get a pass for whatever reason the media uses-just so they can get the story. If you can dog the victims you can dog the perps.

I am tired of poor people. Not really poor people, you will never see really poor people on CNN, only the phony poor people. Poor people do not have hair and nail services available to them. Nor do they have cars, homes, and sidewalks. The really poor people are being helped by Oprah and Bill Gates and they do not appear on television. Unless they are getting a shot for whatever disease they are going to catch in the near future, for another TV spot.

And I am tired of Jimmy Carter, I know he is sick and in the hospital and all, but I was tired of him in the 70's. He was depressing then and now he is just a whiner. Get over it. No one liked you then and less people like you now. And the reports of your houses falling apart are rampant. And if that is not true why is there not a Habitat person out there refuting all these stories on CNN? And picking on Teddy Kennedy? I did not like Teddy and I would not pick on the dead when I had plenty of time to point this shit out when he was alive.

David Vitter in a diaper with a madam, Mike Cox won't fire the guy that works for him that is harrassing a guy at U of M, and who in the city of Detroit is having sex with whom this week?

Something needs to be done with all this information, I suggest the garbage pail, and people need to start discussing and doing something about the things that really have an impact on their lives. And they need to force the media to respond. I for one will be telling Anderson Cooper that he needs to review his past reporting and tell me if he is happy with his current stories. Then I will decide if no TV is better than shitty TV.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I now have the cleanest dirty apartment in Shanghai

When the ayi's come we have to clean after they leave. Do not need to go into the particulars here, maybe we are clean freaks or maybe they just don't get the concept. We clean the kitchen and sink and then the ayi cleans the kitchen and there is all kinds of unknown bits and pieces that were not there before. And stuff on the tile walls that is a different color than any products we use. So we just don't clean before the ayi's and it works out just fine. The ayi's come Mon, Wed, and Fri. I usually do a good clean after they leave on Wednesday and then just need a redo on Friday.

Well, here I sit on a Thursday morning watching DWTS and the doorbell rings. There is my ayi smiling at me. Since we don't speak the same language there was the usual jabba jabba jabba and then she went down the hall. Then they had the Chinese meeting and then she came back. With a piece of paper. They changed my Friday cleaning to today, so now I have to reclean the shit I cleaned yesterday after they left. And these people claim they have a plan.

Passport is in, I wonder if I can pick it up tomorrow or have to wait until Monday. Physical is the 14th that should be a treat.

Just talked to my Punkin Head and that makes me happy. If I get to go shopping over the holiday he wants me to look for golden cats with waving hands? Okey Dokey.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I thought I was losing my mind

Ever since I had the implant surgery and tooth pulled I have not had the same sense of smell. Not a big deal as most everything here stinks. Did miss the smell of the Lilies (sic) that I decorate the apartment with, but still not a bad trade-off.

For the last month I have been smelling the wierdest stuff. Food smells. I think it is our neighbors as they moved in about a month ago. Last week it was green onions. So anyway, last night here I am by myself again and I start smelling something that seems to be burning. I am sniffing around as it was quite strong and I always remember The Towering Inferno and there is no Steve McQueen here at the Casa Shanghai.

Finally for some reason I am on the balcony sniffing and I hear this ruckus. Looking down and to the side I see all these people. Setting the street on fire. Now I am not talking about those little fires they always start to scare the spirits off I am talking the ENTIRE street is on fire. Which explained the smell but not the reason my neighbors from the hovels found it necessary to start the street on fire. That must be some big bad mojo they got over there at the hovels. I am starting to get real worried about this holiday we got coming.

Took a picture but it did not come out due to the angle and I did not want to fall off the balcony with Big Daddy out of town.

The anniversary trip

Well, this is another one of those the good, the bad, and the ugly-followed up by the bizarre. As I used to say to my boss, I can't make up this shit, I am not that good.

Mr. Green is no longer at the Best Western so I had to argue, politely, that I really could not eat lunch on the couch. This whole discussion took 10 minutes and finally they let me sit at the bar. This was after I told them 5 times I did not want a drink of water. Big Daddy was checking in and when he returned we ordered the burgers and fries and answered all the questions (another 10 minutes)and then they brought the food without the mustard. This of course created quite a stir and when they were finally convinced that butter was not mustard they all went off to a meeting. They finally brought over a manager who said, you want mustard, turned to them and said, jabba jabba jabba, and they all left again. Then 10 minutes later we got the mustard. For the cold hamburger. Ya just keep your expectations here really, really low and do not expect to eat on a regular basis with regular food. So we went to the buffet for dinner as it could not get worse. There was this cookie that looked great. I swear to God, this cookie was tasteless. I told Big Daddy and he said, no way. So he took a bite. That cookie had no taste of anything at all, no, nuhuh, no taste. Pretty though. I am getting ahead of myself here, but in the morning in the executive lounge I took this roll that looked like it might be coconut with toasted coconut on top. At first there was no taste. I thought, WTF, another no taste food item. The more I chewed the worse it got. I do not know WTF that was but I thought I was going to have run from the room. Big Daddy thinks it might have been dried fish. He declined to taste it.

On the plus side had our anniversary dinner at the Shangri-La and it was lovely.

Walked to Hong Kong in the morning with few incidents, got on the right trains and all this time. However on the re-entry I turn around after securing my passport to see Big Daddy in this special place with this guy looking very seriously at his passport. He was using a jewelers loupe. Not a scanner, not a chip reader, a jewelers loupe. Okey Dokey.

Bought some pearls, pictures on facebook. Got a wash and a blow dry, no pictures it was horrible.

Then I decided to wash my hands on the morning we were leaving. This is before my shower, just wanted to wash my hands. Big Mistake. Floor was wet, they are always wet, cheap hotel slippers, they are always cheap and boom I was down on the floor. I was really lucky I was not seriously hurt. But I was hurt enough to not be able to talk. It knocked the wind out of me and I could not get up. Huge scrape on my chest from the granite sink and very painful. Could not get an ice pack or any help from the hotel. It makes me wonder if something serious does ever happen, what do you do? These assholes do not have a clue. Big Daddy told the check out guy on the exec floor as we were leaving about how no one would respond or help us and the clerk said, Thank you very much.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Detroit Melting Down Again

I am aghast at the news reports coming out of Detroit on the UAW workers caught on tape during their lunch hour behaving badly. These are not stupid guys. And every damn one of them knew better. I am so damn disappointed in every damn one of them for this stupid, stupid behavior.

These guys knew exactly what they were doing. And they also knew, every one of them, that there is a group in that plant that is pushing for the new 2 level platform and pay scale. The new lower level payscale people have been turning people in for work rules violations for a while now. And a large amount of the new people on the lower wage scale and in a different local are related to the union representatives at that plant, common gossip says. I would never know this for sure, only the common gossip.

So, you have a huge disruption in the company with multiple owners and then bankruptcy, unknown UAW changes as the upper echelon and International does not commincate with the local, Chrysler management scrambling to keep their jobs and taking that out on the hourly, treating suppliers like shit (which shut down the plant how many times), and having the Italians take pictures of your lunch bucket on a table-and when maybe things might be getting better-y'all decide the local party store and park is the way to keep your jobs.

The thing is everyone is under the gun now. And yes, I am sorry to have to tell you this, everyone represents their employer. At work or not, what you do is who you are.

You guys know who you are and I know who you are. And every damn one of you sorry assholes need to get up and apologoze to your co-workers and apologize to the American people who loaned you the money (not for the first time) to stay in business.

And for the asshole too lazy to get out of the minivan and pick up the bottle after he missed the trash can, were you trying to keep your union brothers and sisters in the Parks and Rec crew employed. Slob.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A touch of Homesickness

As the bus left the terminal today at Hongqiao Airport I felt a lump in my throat. There they were, a sight unseen for many months, rat traps at the perimeters of the terminal. Spaced just far enough apart so there is no waiting at any one rat trap. My goodness I have not seen publicly displayed rat traps since the Plant Loco days. I can remember them like I saw them yesterday with the little tufts of seat foam and covers sticking out the openings just so, with a few chicken bones in front kinda like rat lawn decorations.

Now, don't get me wrong, we got rats in the US too, we just kinda hide the traps from the public. Nothing like announcing, You Bet Your Ass We Got Rats. Big Uns, too. Never forget the one in the yard at Plant Loco named Grandaddy, he was an old tough one. He scared many a greenhorn supplier sent to the yard at dusk.

China Southern seems to be keeping with no bread and drink trolleys while on the ground since the reports of the 2 planes with cargo fires. And the Air Traffic Announcement was only a 30 minute delay this morning. Actually got into Shenzhen on time. Unbelievable. Wonder if the airlines on the ATC's ass since they can't keep the pax quiet with a box of bread.

Another thing, China Southern seems to have no PM on these planes as seats and armrests are always broken. And this is not a safety issue with them. Amazing. The seat in front of Big Daddy would not go back into upright position and it was like oh well, have some more bread. The FA knew this at take-off and only worried about it when Big Daddy could not get his tray down to eat his bread. And they are the better airline here in China, they are better than those dogs at China Eastern. And you get more bread.

I am getting better at posting pictures on FB since I cannot get it right on this blog, so my goal is to get a complete album of walking to Hong Kong as that is the plan for morning. It is not so hot but still rainy so that might be a fun walk. And my curling iron is broken so hair should look divine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Question Answered

When we were at the Portman Center this week I bought a paperback titled-101 Stories for Foreigners to Understand Chinese People by Yi S. Ellis with Brian D. Ellis. Excellent easy read for simple problems and questions that pop up here. My biggest question so far was answered in this book. Why in the hell do these Chinese women wear nylons and ugly nylon ankle socks in the hottest months of the year. And they wear them with sandles. So they do not get backaches and headaches. You see, when you sweat the sweat glands in your feet open up-to sweat. So the cold air (this is the mysterious hiding cold air) sneaks into the pores of your feet and travels up the body intact-never sweated out-and voila, you now have a backache. Soon to be followed by a headache. So these ugly, cheap, crappy nylon piece of shit socks are actually medical devices. Who knew.

Went to the US Consulate for my passport request today. There were lots and lots of Chinese people trying to get to the window. Some guy came and grabbed us and took us to the window and said put your passport in. You ever try to reach pass the huddles masses of Chinese people that have made it all the way to the window? So one down and many to go, they will email when the passport is ready. There was one young dude and the passport guy was telling him, this is the second time you lost your passport. Once more and no go dude. You will have to wait until it is up for renewal. I bet this guy can't breathe again without someone making note of it. A US customs guy told Big Daddy what they are worth on the black market and I bet this guy will get the TSA random extra search for the rest of his life.

I do not want to talk about the taxi driver picking his nose, or the girl with plastic butterflys on her toenails or the fact that anyone has toenails long enough to put plastic shit on them. I thought the black girls at Plant Loco had long toenails and they cannot hold a candle to some of these Chinese women. Another Kodak moment and no camera.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ok, It is getting better, or why we need to keep a stiff upper lip

This has been an informative weekend. We should start with Sunday and work back.

Just got home from Taikang Lu and what a hoot. Had a drink at Amay's and gave her some books we had read and some moon cakes. She has a lendiing/buying library in the rabbit warren and supports the Red Cross here. The Red Cross here is state run. She is trying hard to learn English-she is fluent by Chinese standards-and different philosophy. She would not take our money for the coffee beans we bought or the drinks. We still left a tip, yes some of us westerners insist on tipping for great service.

Then we stopped at the wet market and I remembered it all. I have avoided going there recently for the heat and the craziness, but I went back. Yes, the snakes do escape from the plastic bins. The ladies grab them and put them back. I do not want further information on this issue. We got some great herbs and vegetables and some Martha Stewart eggs. They are blue and green, very light colors. Come on, you gotta buy these once. Could not buy the little eggs, I think they are quail. Then some guy came chasing me down waving a bag of what looked like chunks of red type meat. I almost bought a live chicken or goose just to see Big Daddy's face when I walked up to him.

Then we sauntered down Raijin Lu and I swear I bought roasted chesnuts. Where in the world can you buy roasted chestnuts in September. If that is indeed what they are. They do not taste bad. Then when Big Daddy left me alone for a moment in front of the cookie store and I was looking at this big thing that reminded of a farm implement for something very strange. I never lived on a farm so I cannot describe it other than to say it is strange. I had seen it before and I was flummoxed as to the use of this article. People started buying things from it and everyone seemed quite excited. The sign said 2.50 so I ponied up in the line and gave over 10 RMB, the owner person said 4 and I said OK. They were hot and greasy, the longer we walked toward home the greasier the bag got. They were like a fried bisquit stuffed with a meat type substance. Not good, but for China they at least had some flavor. We took the rest down to the security guards and you would have thought we gave them manna from heaven.

Saturday we went to the Portman Center to get my passport photos taken. It does not matter where in the world you get these photos taken you will always look like shit. Then we decided to find the embassy so it would not be a trial for us on Monday. We learned that Chinese people will speak to you in Chinese for a long time even though they know you do not speak or understand Chinese and they do not speak your language either. Then we decided to walk to our favorite restaurant on Maoming Lu, big mistake. From Nanjing Lu to some place I cannot spell, but about 10 blocks away, you cannot get a taxi on Maoming Lu and if you did you would kill yourself because the cars never move anyway.

Weather is better, hair sucks since the bad haircut, leasing people came today to review Big Daddy's complaints of the wall paper and such for the new lease. I laughed my ass off as I know these people think this shit is all great. When Big Daddy showed them the scars on the floor Shemp stomped on it 3 times, as if to show it is solid. They so not understand what is pretty and desirable and what is OK- this will last for a week or so. God, I read that and thought I am speaking Chinglish.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I have a stepstool

It is orange and white. It is easy to open and shut. It fits in the space by the fridge. I can reach the dishes. It is too dangerous to try the microwave but still this is a huge improvement. In order to make space we had to get rid of the shopping cart. We put it in the stairwell as this is the getting rid of stuff procedure. I know this is hard to believe but the cart was too short for even me to push. I think when Big Daddy bought it he must have gotten it in the children's department.

Pretty much when you get something new you have to get rid of something old. There is not much storage here for all the actual space. And throwing stuff out here is really hard. The ayi's always bring it back to you and jabba jabba if they find it. Big Daddy threw away some useless cords and such from his collection and when he got home I had a nice pile on the table for him. I tossed a bottle of creme rinse I was never going to use and the ayi brought it right back. We made a mistake once and over ordered from Meal Bay so Big Daddy took the extra food down to the security guards on his way to the dry cleaners. When he got back they were all still guarding the food for him. Thank goodness a Chinese lady came in told them the food was for them or they might still be guarding it. I am guessing small acts of kindness are not usual in China.

New news-tomorrow we have an appointment to go to the embassy and try to get my passport renewed. Then I have to apply for a new visa. But they take your passport for the new visa and I have to walk to Hong Kong early this month as Big Daddy's boss is coming to visit. And I can't travel without my passport. This is getting really confusing. And then something about a different visa with a 2 day physical. And oops, I lost my registration papers from the hotel.

Also new, Big Daddy found a bookstore with English books. It is on Shaanxi not far from the hairdresser. They had the new Anthony Bourdain book, so new I did not even know it existed. And he found a new place to cut his hair and they did a great job. And he found a huge beautiful orchid for less than I would pay at Trader Joe's. And I may have found a friend I can buy. And it is not raining so far today nor is it steaming hot. I hope this is not the good weather day as Big Daddy is out of town and won't be home until late.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Expectations

I think this is my problem. Reality will never meet expectations in China.

I used to love to get pedicures. I no longer get them. It is too much of a disappointment and a hassle. Not relaxing and pleasant when no one can communicate and the results leave something to be desired.

Went to the hairdresser yesterday and I almost came home in tears. First, I thought I was back in the US at an airport, there were so many people standing around doing nothing I thought it was a TSA training center. Loud, as everyone was talking, in a Chinese sort of loud. If they talk to you-they talk so softly you have no idea what language the are using. If the talk to each other there is a contest on who has the best hog--calling skills. Second, every Chinese person who touched me or my hair seemed convinced that I was there for some sort of punishment. Hair pulling, head jabbing, shooting the water in my eye and then pushing a towel in my eyeball, twisting my neck-and this is the premier place for western hair. And I left with damp hair. All for the whopping price of 1300 RMB. WTF. And a hefty tip to the French hairdresser. And I never did get that glass of water (although that might have been fate working on my side).

Big Daddy asked me what I wanted for breakfast this morning and I almost fell on the floor laughing. You cannot get normal sausage or bacon here, the potato selection is nil, the fruit is not to my liking (nor is the guy with long yellow fingernails picking through it while he is sitting on the sidewalk), no oven and the toaster sucks. How many scrambled eggs with mystery cheese can a person eat?

There has got to be some secret society here where all the western people have taken an oath never to reveal the secrets. Or, they are all in denial that this is just not right.

So Big Daddy is off to Tescos, I am depressed I could not get a toe-hold in the Sunday NYT crossword, and it is raining. Chinese lady at the hair salon told me Shanghai only has one nice day of weather a year, either a translation problem or the first honest person I met in China.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mission Impossible

For some reason Big Daddy is now on a mission to fulfill two important requests I have repeatedly made. For weeks and weeks I have pointed out that I am too short to reach the dishes and the microwave. And he leaves me alone sometimes. I can only eat food not requiring a plate or heat, unless I want to eat out of the pan. But as there are no small pans for reheating I always burn the food anyway on the gas burner. Reminder, I do not cook so have little luck with performing this task. Sometimes I really miss Farm's Market.

As you may recall during the Internet problems the IT Shemps had to go get someone elses chair to stand on when the were working on the box. I would not let them stand on "my" chairs. Well right after that the search for the stepstool began. Stepstools are very hard to find in China. As everyone here is fairly short it is amazing that borrowing chairs is the only recourse when they can't reach something. I am taller than most of them myself.

Carrefours seems to have stepstools. But you cannot order them. You have to go to the store. But they don't tell you which one actually will have the stepstool. GRRR. I am also trying to decide if it is worth it to try and taxi to Oumond Lu to check out the convection ovens. That is a trip to hell and back when it is hot and raining. Which the weather is predicted to be for the next 10 days. Or we can just settle for one from Best Buy.

After my last hissy fit of having no decent cutlery Big Daddy went to the Portman Center for food, a haircut, and steak knives. No barbershop, and the knives were hidden away due to the Expo "law" about the selling of knives. He had to be inspected first and then they sent someone to the warehouse for the knives. They are better than nothing. They cut the pork chops which were great. Pork Chops inspired by Blackened Out recipe with sides of squash salad and French lentils. Good dinner. However, now I need utensil rests for beside the plates as the shape of the knives causes them to fall into the plate and get sauce all over the handles. And napkins are another expensive quest.

I should get off of here as Big Daddy wants to plan our next Walking To Hong Kong experience. If we get the oven we can't afford to spend the night Kowloon for our anniversary. Maybe dinner at the Shangri La, hmm, have to see. Still have to plan either going home in October or December depending on the passport/visa issues.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I know, this is not appropriate

What is up with Hillary's hair. Did Obama outlaw hair products or did she lose her hairpins? What?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shanghai UFO sighting

I saw the famous Chinese UFO I have been hearing about for months. I had just gotten off the phone with Big Daddy telling me his latest flight status. He decided to take the last flight of the day as the last flight of the day always goes. So, as you are going to be delayed all day-take the last flight. You get there the same time and only have to sit around for a few hours instead of all day.

Anyway, I went out on the balcony and lo and behold there was something in the sky. That is unusual. It is rare here to see the sky much less things in it. Once in a while the moon or some clouds but generally no airplanes or stars or anything. There it was, this low pulsating bright white thing, that was not traveling to my eye. It was about 4mils by 6mils to the eye and rotating. Tried to take a picture, I haven't checked to see if it came out yet. It was still there when I went to bed a few hours later. Hmmm.

I do wonder at the coincidence that when the UFO was over the south they shut down the airport and here in Shanghai there were no flights going out. They did not make any announcement but come on, when they don't load the bread trolley until an hour after you were supposed to take off-they knew. I wonder if any flights took off from Pudong-Big Daddy was at the other airport I can't spell and I still do not have a guide to look up the spelling.

Oh, and last time the government said there would be a statement in a week and guess what? No statement. But an article was in the China Daily, my source for all Chinese entertainment.

Wonder if it is their new satellite that may need a booster pack.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I took it out on my mother

I finally broke again this weekend, and yes, I took it out on my mother. That is not fair for so many reasons and it is fair for so many reasons.

My mother is not responsible for my current situation. She did not personally cause all the problems that sent the US into a shithole, although she does vote the Democrat ticket quite often. She actually at one point thought 2 penny Jenny was OK.

I am a mother too. I will whup Punkin Head on the butt if I think he needs it. I have told him he is my little boy forever, no matter how old he gets. I will also thrash the shit out of anyone who hurts Punkin Head and his. That includes The Lady. Don't screw with either of them or you answer to me and I can get very cranky.

But sometimes you just need a mommy. And I don't have one. I would rather bitch about a bad mommy than just be ignored. Sometimes a bad mommy can be fun. I am sure I have read about this somewhere.

So, today I am sitting here waiting to find out if Big Daddy can buy me a friend. I think this could be possible. There has to be some broke, bored, Chinese woman who would like to practice English and teach me a few words of Chinese and get a free lunch out of it.

Cannot go to school, no money and visa for that. Cannot find a tutor, too expensive and have to go in the dreaded taxi alone. Only meet drunks or assholes at the bar and Big Daddy can confirm that as I never go there alone. Cannot shop as they will not wait on white women unless you are in the very expensive stores. Think Gucci.

Cannot even go eat worms as there is no grass here and worms are an expensive delicacy. WTF.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The good, the bad, the really ugly

Went out for dinner Thursday and had a fabulous dinner at Casa 13 in TiaKang Lu. That place has never served me bad meal no matter what the name.

Good: roast chicken with lemon caper sauce.
Bad: got myself locked into the new restroom.
Ugly: first time ever I went to the "ladies" without my purse so I could not call Big Daddy to come get me out. After repeated attempts to unlock the door I started pounding with my fist. That hurts. I cannot imagine the adrenelin that it must take to pound on something for rescue for hours or days. I wasn't real upset as I was sure eventually someone would come. I was in there quite a while tho. There is a tiny trick button on the metal bar that you have to push. Hmmm. Could have used my glasses, which were in my purse.

On the way home we stopped at the furniture store. There was a load at the curb, so they were getting new stuff. Just standing around and they got to me with the "Lookie Lookie". There was table that I had spied back when I got the deal on Big Daddy's hat rack. At that time whatever the price was, it was in thousands starting with a 10. I saw the table and randomonly asked for the price. Shit it was low 2000's. Offered and dickered and looked really sad and I got it for 1550. Around 230 US or so. And yes once again they hand carried and walked with us back to the apartment. This time it took 2 guys tho. Beautiful marble top and small shelf on the bottom. The trick is to always ask for something you want but cannot buy, go to a second item and then go in for the kill. Then check back later for the original. It will usually come down in price quite alot over time. Or the store will go out of business for no sales. And you gotta smile and then look really sad.

After careful shopping evaluation some of the stuff we bought at Lowu Market was a bust. The iPhone does not work. The Sony Vaio thumb drives are sketchy and one is a bust. 1 of the 3 pairs of sunglasses is not perfect but no worse than cheap shit in the states. Watches seem ok so far. At least no worse than the shit on HSN with the screaming lady.

Met this rich lady ex-pat who was extolling the great life she had in China as she is now going home. This bitch had an aya for her other ayas. WTF. And she only frequented the 5 star hotels. No wonder she thought it was fab, she probably never saw the under-belly of this shithole. She thought I was wearing a batik blouse from Thailand and when I told her I bought it 2 streets over she changed the subject quick. She was impressing her friend, new to Shanghai, with her worldly observations. And she had never gotten lost in a taxi. Bullshit.

Might go to Yu Gardens today or tomorrow and look for bibelots.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Which is worse?

ok, so some of you know I have IBS. Struck me Saturday morning on the way to the airport, very uncomfortable and painful. I am in the taxi praying that this does not become an emergency or embarrassing situation when I am distracted. There is something on the curb. Something odd. Wait, I think it is a dog, a big dog. No. It is a person. A human being. A very dirty human being taking a crap off the side of the curb onto the road. And by the looks of it-it is the spot that is used for this purpose. I am appalled and surprised and no longer that concerned about having to take a crap on the side of the road. Then I tell Punkin Head about this new thing I have witnessed and he tells me he saw it all the time in Philly and NY. WTF.

cooler now buy raining. low 90's and humid.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Walking In Hong Kong

Well not really, we walked to the train. We got on the train. We chatted like 2 people in a popular romantic movie. Then we noticed we were in a tunnel. This was shocking as in all our walking to Hong Kong travels we had never seen a tunnel. Hmmm. Then we were at the train station. Hmmm. OKay, we got on the wrong train and it was a bit of a fright. Added 30 minutes to our walk to Hong Kong for the Visa stamp. And Big Daddy was not happy. Nuh huh.

Last night we had dinner at the Shangri-La sports bar with a friend. The Shangri-La sports bar is like any other sports bar. The sport is in getting the food and drink. And the restrooms are pictures of your gender doing sport. And the inside stall doors are of the men doing sport if you are a female. (Did not get to peak in the men's)

Then we went to the Lowu Market, ok so maybe it is not spelled quite right.

Got some questionable deals on some questionable items. The new scam here is well dressed people walking around with a baby jabbing at their mouths. I thought they wanted a smoke. No, they are begging for money. Disgusting.

Big Daddy bought a questionable Iphone. Back at the hotel Big Daddy and the bartender worked for quite some time to get the back open. Hmmm.

Rather be walkin in Memphis right now, Beale street--oh yea--better yet Rue de Royal and a steak at the Rib Room.

Elvis, where are ya bro? Meet me at the Touche and tell Miss Donna to set us up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beseech me

Every once in a while Big Daddy makes me pee my pants. Here he was one day telling me how his suppliers are beseeching him for more time. I am listening to this thinking "what the hell has happened to Big Daddy?" As the story goes the Chinese have no balls, sorry Sarah call it like it is, and when you confront them they hide. (the people not the balls) So Big Daddy is on a mission to teach the Chinese to get balls. This is his result, they beseech. This was not one person begging for beseeching, it was 2 different people sending beseeching messages, as in "I beseech you." WTF. I can just picture myself going to the 9:oo at Ford and saying, "I beseech you to be kind." Oh yea, that would get the job done.

Flight to Shenzhen yesterday again took 5 hours, 2 to fly and 3 to sit at the gate. Famous ATF announcement: Jabba Jabba ATF. Then you wait to see if the drinks cart comes, and then the deadly food cart comes. Thank God we did not have to circle before landing. The clouds were huge and black and lightning. It is scary flying here but not as scary as the taxi drivers.

Taxi driver from the airport sucked, would not get his fat ass out of the taxi to help put the luggage in his raggedy ass taxi. I sit in the front and he keeps telling me to shut the door while Big Daddy is still putting the bags in the trunk. HUH UH, had an asshole try to take off and leave Big Daddy once already. Door stays open til all are aboard. Then he talks on his cell phone with the microphone so we can hear both sides of the conversation and laughs constantly. Did not sound like business to me. Then at the last minute at the hotel he jumps out to help with the last bag and looks at us as if he waiting for his tip. Don't make me hurt you dude.

Mr. Green recognized me the minute I walked into the lounge and soon had Big Daddy and me set up with dinner and drinks. Even remembered Big Daddy likes lemon in his Tonee Water, thats tonic water for you yanks.

Oh great, CNN International is saying the Kim dude from North Korea is here for an unknown reason to visit. And he is afraid to fly. Could it be the military plane found crashed in north China this week? Anything to do with the Henan plane crash this week? The dreaded military ship training or perhaps he did not want to see Jimmy Carter?

Tomorrow walking to Hong Kong.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breaking News: Shanghai

Small Plates:

According to the China Daily you cannot eat penis(es) if you are under 16 or maybe 17, article is hard to follow while you are laughing so hard you are crying and clutching your stomach. This includes every penis from Donkey to Chicken penis. I will pay to see a chicken penis served in any form. Maybe a new book is in order, Who Stole My Penis.

Small Books:

Yesterday I told Big Daddy we were shopping for Bibelots. He inquired as to what they might be. I told him I thought they were cute little pieces of shit to sit around and collect dust. Today Punkin Head told us the history of Bibelots, small books in French that over time came to mean other shit that collects dust. We got ourselves a Bibelot. It is a votive candle holder made of shells.

Small bad fruit:

The have been selling these cactus looking things on the street. Small, round, green on top with a kinda cone shaped body. The top had these convex things that look pretty strange. Finally bought one from a vendor in front of the hotel and took it to the Bell Bar to ask Amay, what the fuck is this?

She said it was very sad. It was lotus fruit. Very sad lotus fruit. Very expensive sad lotus fruit. Dried up. Punkin Head if you dry it you can use it like popcorn. This from the web. Popcorn that would cost a fortune.

Large things:

Which brings us back to donkey penis(es). No I am kidding. I have found the best water in the world. Laurentana from Italy. Comes in big glass bottles. It is heaven. It is also all expired on the date code. When all you can drink is bottled water you become quite an expert on the taste of water. Tried some water recommended in the book "The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffery Steingarten. Tried Volvic, nuhuh. This Laurentana that is expired is the best. Negotiating for more expired water as the current supply is expired anyway. And this stuff is not cheap.

Large cabinet:

Big Daddy went and bought the cabinet I picked out for storage. It is beautiful. Now he is mad that all the space is used up already. Did he not notice this shit sitting all over the apartment, including the floor. That's a man for ya. However as my hero he got 2400 yuan off the price.

So things this weekend are not that bad. The apartment is filled with flowers including a "present bouquet" from the flower seller. We found a wonderful amber scented "bottle with sticks" as seen on Oprah for a song. I am happier than I have been for a long time. This place is a bitch to live in. Have to walk to Hong Kong this week. Hate that.

Big Daddy wants Pizza for dinnner after reading Catherine Coulter's "Whiplash", we will see how that works out. Pizza is a first-no penis(es) for toppings-will stick with pepperoni.

Little Automotive News:

Back in the old days we used to pray for someone to screw up the launch before we did. A little bird tells me the latest Nissan launch may answer someone's prayers. I hate to say it because it is so cliched, but also so true, you get what you pay for.