Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back to Shenzhen at the beautiful Parkview Hotel

Flight was ok this morning, Boeing 777 to Shenzhen. That was kinda weird. Big plane for an hour and 45 minutes and it was full. Nice flight tho without too much turbulence. I will say these Chinese get off the plane fast. Like that.

Checked into the Parkview and had lunch. Weird lunch. Chef salad but really more of arranged pieces around a few lettuce pieces on a plate. Need to go for a walk soon.

Tired and gloomy outside right now. Windy and a bit chilly. No sun and once again no blue sky. I wonder if the sky is ever blue in China.

Hair fluffy bordering on puffy.

Going to start a new Anne Rice book tonight, her return to religion. Read Lisa Scottoline "Look Twice" yesterday and I was disappointed. Oh well, can't hit a home run every time. I have 4 books left and no magazines.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perfect Toilet Training

All my past efforts finally came together in the perfect toilet experience. At the A and B market. Had my own paper. Had my own antibacterial hand wipes. Hooray. Also did not have to squat which was fabulous. Funny how little things can make your day.

Old crown in starting to crumble so I may have to call and make an appointment before I get to New Orleans. Not looking forward to trying to squeeze in more things to do in a short time frame. Two crowns in two months.

Have to go shopping for boring items. Yuk.

Off to the City Market after we watch Ray Nagin on CNN Reveal. Also Watsons and maybe Sephora.

Hair on waking up: not too bad. More later today. Cool but sunny.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reality Shift

Things are different here in China. Little things that you take for granted cause me wonder here in the land of the new norm.

Right when you think you are on track and understand what is happening things go awry. First, there is a list in the hotel of the items that are complimentary-water for example-and things that are not-hair dryers for another example. At this hotel I found a list that included the price of the shelving and the headboard. Now I have to wonder as there is a difference between sticking a towel in your bag and a headboard in your carry-on, but hey I was excited. Every since my first trip to China I have told Big Daddy we need clocks. And in this hotel there is the perfect bedside clock. Gorgeous brown tones with silver accents, perfect size and when you pick it up to check the time a light comes on bathing the dial in the soft glow of a perfect moon. Well, WTF, guess what the one item in this room is not on the stupid price chart. The clock. Big Daddy says then it is complimentary. Yea, right.

Second conundrum is the wait staff in the restaurant. They come to your table. They meaning multiple people. They bring you menus. You make every attempt known to mankind to order. They leave. They come back. Repeat the above. You get frustrated and say things, things like-I am ready to order, or I would like a glass of wine, or I would like some food. Then they have a meeting. There are always 5 people in the meeting. Then you repeat the above. Then you go and get a manager. Now there are six people in the meeting. What about serving food and drink in a restaurant is so hard for these people. Pointing does not work either for those of you wondering. They said on CNN that Shenzhen is like the new wonder on the world financial market. But they can't get food in hotel restaurants and cafes.

Ordering room service breakfast tomorrow as we have to pay for me anyway and I do not think I can contain my enthusiam for the restaurant another day. Leaving Shenzhen tomorrow for Shanghai.

Spent some time on Flyertalk.com today and advice tells me hotel chains are the way to go here and not these pseudo 5 star hotels with no service and no points. Next week I hope to review the Holiday Inn and find out all the I Choice properties.

Weather cooling into the 60's, smog? and frizzy hair.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Toilets r me

Toto toilets rule. And anyone who tells you different plunges once in a while or is dating A PLUMBER. My temporary job now seems to be fixing every toilet in China. No pay. Yepper new hotel-new toilet that won't flush.

China Southern screwed up my FF miles on the way down here and then claimed they can't fix it. Well, they can't fix toilets either. They served breakfast. 3 different breads, fried peanuts, and fruit. Cling wrapped fruit. Do they think the weirdo fruit cuts the bread factor.

Rich wood Garden Hotel-their spelling-is expensive and not worth a penny of the cost. Mediocre room size, shabby decor, poor food quality, and stupid outdated uniforms for the staff. Picture Doris Day and Rock Hudson in a bad Chinese movie with Tony Randall pretending he is channeling Jerry Lewis.

Funny of the day: Shanghai is trying to present a more "wordly and gracious" face to the world for EXPO 2010, so they are asking people not to wear their Hello Kitty Pajama's in public. Shanghainese are reported to be snobbish and unwelcoming of people that are different. WTF. Who wears Hello Kitty Pajamas around town. These people either don't comb their hair or have do's that beg the imagination of what kind of drugs does it take to make you think longish thin auburn locks really look good on a skinny dude with no posture and a bad suit. Auburn is not a good Chinese look. Gotta get a camera and start capturing this stuff.

80 degrees F and so smoggy you can barely see in Shenzhen. Hair not frizzed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shanghai Switcheroo

Okay, I am here and functioning. Arrived Friday night and this is the first time my brain works. Good thing too, my Internet and laptop don't like me today. Can't get the NYT crossword. That ticks me off cause I got it yesterday.

Went for a long walk Saturday morning and then just kinda turned into a zombie. There are some real dives and holes here. Will try to get some pictures if I ever get to see the camera. Or get a camera phone.

Did not bring my camera as there was no room left in the luggage. Had to pay for the ticket in steerage and pay for my bags. Or at least one of them, never understood as Delta is not very big on communicating. Tried to check in on line and could not. Visa requirement is check-in in person. OK. Went to curb check-in and could not. Wait a minute dude I did in December. Oh, we were Northwest then. Now I understand the improvements with Delta. So this dude carries my bags up to the counter and cuts the line to get me checked-in. The dudettes are all talking about how lousy their jobs are. Pay the bill for the bag(s) and she asked me when I am coming back as I have a 30 day restriction on my visa. OK, here is the deal-you go to Hong Kong for a visit and you are good to go for another 30 days. You can stay overnight, or have a glass of wine, or just get your Visa stamped and go back. So what is it her business how I fulfill my Visa obligations to the People's Republic of China? I am sure China scares me more than Delta airlines. And I am going to find out about this interest in my travels by Delta. Is she going to rob my house and wants to find out how long I am gone? And I had a return ticket in 3 weeks as she could have seen on her little screen. And who is to stop me from paying again to change the flight. Is she going to call China if I miss my flight out. End of rant.

Going out to lunch and walking around when Big Daddy gets home and will report more next time. Weather chilly and dreary. Oh, have to register at the hotel so I am in compliance with the Chinese. More important than the Delta who-ha.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Root Canals are horrible

Had mine today. $287.00 later and 2 prescriptions I might by okay. Love it. Baking biscuits since chewing is not an option. Crown might go one next Monday if there are no problems. Getting close to 2000 US dollars to chew. Hmm. And the union members won't get taxed. WTF. This is my cost after the very minimal insurance. Can't open my mouth tonight so I hope I can tomorrow as Plant Loco went crazy when I was gone.

Sorting parts for a very good reason. These are parts under third party containment. Now they under real third party containment. Huge dollars for extra containment that obviously was not done the first time and now everyone's scurrying to explain why they fucked up the first time. Very sad.

While I was filling the prescriptions I got the chance to load up on stuff to take to China. Dramamine. Can't be caught without like the last time. No more China Paste, tho that did work.

9 days to China

Thursday, March 4, 2010

14 days to China

Leaving soon and still reworking parts as all the sheet metal is bad.

Pray for the 2011 people, they need it.