Monday, February 28, 2011

Lets give it a try:

Hooray!  The year of the Rabbit.

I am too embarrassed to tell you how I figured out how to post pictures again.

This is the lobby of the Best Western in Shenzhen decorated for the Lunar New Year.

Oh, well does not want let me post another pic so I will have to practice.

If I had known I could do this I should have taken pictures of the awful Toad in the hole from my last post. It was disgusting.

Or I could have taken a picture of the French dip we made from scratch-braised on the stove top for about 7 hours. It was wonderful.

It is somewhat back to normal here, CNN only goes out about every hour, Internet only goes out for a few seconds at a time. It is a pain but not as bad as going out for hours. Although I am now out of reading material and bad movies. I hate it when I am out of books.

Frenchy went home and BD told me why he was so upset about shitting like a dog. He had intestional issues. No one told him not to drink the water. WTF. Seems BD and Frenchy went to the break room together and he filled up his cup from the sink and BD screamed something like ARE YOU CRAZY???  Then the dude has the nerve to say he wondered why such a nice hotel had a sign in the bathroom not to drink the water. Don't you think you might question your co-workers about this? Hmm, don't drink the water only at the very nice hotel? Did he just think everyone was a water snob with the plastic bottles? Of course, the crazy wine probably did not help either.

Finally found a great French restaurant for home delivery. Most everything has been great and they have profiteroles with ice cream and decent chocolate. Desserts are hard to find here that are tasty. And not green. We have had so much duck the last couple weeks I am starting to quack.

BD found this place to order meats and even dinner (more duck) and now the guy is negotiating to see if he can get andoulle (sp) sausage shipped here. If not he is going to get his chef to make it on a smoker he is going to get, I am so damn excited. Normal sausage maybe. Damn.

Well, still foggy, smoggy, and cold. We had a nice day on Saturday and that was that. Well I need to practice with the pictures, so bye for now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sometimes it feels like I am in a Harry Potter movie

You know, the one who must not be named. Yepper not a lot to say on the subject except things are not as usual here. If you could ever call this place usual. But why in the hell would you pick Mickey D's and Starbuck as a base for anything. Bad burgers and over-priced coffee do not a statement make.

On-line for the moment and just expect the unexpected at any moment.

Big Daddy heard my tears yesterday and kept asking if he could order me dinner to make it better and finally I had to say, there is no Internet dude how do you think they will get the order? Toad in the hole from the freezer will have to do. Let you know when I eat it as I did have some food left.

Whoops just lost half my post, must be time to sign off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something is wrong with the Internet

Either the sun flares or the Great Wall, not sure. Huge problems this week.

Home alone and laughing at Big Daddy's report on the French dude and his reaction to his first visit to China and his visit to the shithole town they are working in this week.

He does not like the whirly twirly dinners that take hours. This is where they put a lot of food on a lazy susan in the middle of the table and everyone sticks their nasty chopsticks in and gets their food. Yep, no serving utensils.

He does not like having to shit like a dog in the factory toilets, this is the ceramic hole in the floor.

He does not like that their is no heat. And the dock bay doors are left open for a nice breeze. The Chinese lady that works for the company is fond of telling everyone how "it" is a great Chinese tradition for 2000 years. He asked her why they couldn't figure out how to turn on the heat for 2000 years.

Hilarious part is he planned this trip with no input and wanted to act the big shit and now he is stuck there no matter what as there is no way out with the students on the trains. I used to love it when people came to visit and acted the smartass and I just let them fall in the hole and stood there and watched. But my people could always leave.

BD said the government shut the electricity off 3 times today. I told him to call me when the Frenchy starts to whimper.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Traveleling Again Part 2

Just noticed all my dates are one behind again. WTF and no time for this right now. Got into cold and rainy Shenzhen today to find out all the trains are sold out for the near future so all new plans. Flying back to Shanghai tomorrow so Big Daddy can go to Ning Hai by himself for a week to dick around with assholes. Okay.

Maybe I will order myself a Valentines candy bar since it is obvious that is the only way I will ever see chocolate again. I never learn, if you want something get it yourself. Yep, no Valentine's Day for me.

I did confirm that China is sliding back into the dark ages since all the Expo and Asian games tourists went home. Yes we had to wear out coats to dinner in the hotel. Yes we got the automatic hot water, which I actually appreciated as holding the glass brought feeling back into my fingers. Idiot waitstaff was present and accounted for, doing everything but waiting on customers. And there were less than 4 tea leaves in my green tea that was actually both colorless and tasteless.

Living large in China.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Traveling again

Shenzhen tomorrow, some Ning place that is not Ningbo and then a train ride on Sunday. Woohoo.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Language skills

Learned a new word yesterday from a drunk English teacher. Pronounced as low why, this means you are a stinky furriner.

Big Daddy went for a walk this morning and an old lady at the corner glared at him and told her young companian, "Jabba jabba low why". So BD smiles at her and said, "Ni Hao". She just glared some more.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Restaurant Review

Big Daddy has been pouting for months because he wanted to go to the French restaurant. So, yesterday I relented and we went to MAISON POURCEL, their caps, not mine.

Got dropped off at the corner of Shaanxi as it is a one way street and walked to the restaurant. Weather is decent and the walk is fine. Most of the shops are still closed but lo and behold, sitting on the counter of a storefront (kind of like a convenience store on the street) were two baskets of panties. Cheap, awful and not even red panties. Now I could understand selling red panties tossed in a basket for that last minute gift-but just any old nasty pair of panties? Who buys this shit?

The restaurant has a girl in the lobby to direct you up the elevator. It was very confusing and we wanted to go to the bar but ended up in the restaurant. We could not sit at any of the window tables except one hidden in a corner. Only one of the premium tables were seated while we were there. Sitting in the middle was very crowded (tables not people) and close quarters so we took the stuck in the corner table. It was dark in that corner, I wanted to leave but before I could get out they brought me another candle. Seriously, it was so dark even with 2 candles I could not quite make out the food served.

Now I will admit that I have never been to France, but this was not like any French food I have had before. My appetizer was a very bizarre salmon dish that I cannot describe. BD had the bread soup which he said was delicious but it was room temperature. He said that is how they serve soup in France. The amuse bouche was not amusing and the entrees were all made into a mousse or so crisp they could not be chewed. And I thought the dabs of stuff artistically all over the plate (the mousse stuff) went out in the 90's. Anyway no real flavor or aah moment. I ordered a Campari and soda to start and I don't know what they served me but it was not Campari and soda. And it was in a weird glass with a rocks glass full of ice on the side. Could not even attempt to pour the drink in the rocks glass and no room for the ice in the "beverage" glass. So as soon as I could I told BD I was heading for the bar while he cashed out.

The bar is a delight. Wonderful decor, a deck, and the best bartenders ever. I had a wonderful glass of wine, did not ask the name, and BD had an expresso. Then all this shit starting appearing at the bar in front of us. It was desserts and confections. And one spoon. This came from upstairs and apparently was part of our dinner. The chocolates were divine, can't speak to the rest of it as I did not have a spoon. The young man bartending was a year of the rabbit and had to obtain certain items to maintain his luck for this year. I only remember the red bracelet which he will get from Yu Gardens. I asked him where to get the best Shanghainese food and he told us Yu Gardens. I think that will be a Monday trip.

So, dinner for two with one unknown drink and one glass of wine was $200 US, which is quite high for what we had in my opinion. I have had many excellent dinners for less. Would I go back, only to the bar which was fun and fabulous. But it is out of the way for a drink unless you planned to be there. Service in the restaurant was good but the presentation was scripted and I doubt a foodie conversation could be possible.

Oh and every window table had a stool on one side, opposite the window. Do not even want to try and figure out the stool as it was like a low footstool and who would be the footstool sitter in a dinner party?

Friday, February 4, 2011

I cannot find the red underpants

It is quite the legend here that wearing red underpants for Chinese New Year is lucky. Just how long do they wear those suckers. I am longing for a picture of the UV sanitized red underpants hanging for all to see, and there are no freshly washed underpants to photograph. Hmmm.

And the Dr. lied to me. It is not a 20 minute walk to Xitandi. We strolled last night and after 30 minutes and being lost we grabbed a taxi and Big Daddy said, Xitandi. I thought we were going home. So a block and a half later we get to Xitandi. Guy made a killing on the taxi minimum and I tipped him 3 RMB for Happy New Years.

BD wanted dinner and we wandered looking for the restaurants. Could not find them and the one we did find was closed. After asking 4 people for directions that swore they spoke English. So we went home and made dinner, dirty rice with poblamo peppers. And we watched more of the Treme series we bought for cheap here.

We did buy new movies from the lady with the dog, Life As We Know It, Secretariat, and You Again. Woohoo, how much fun can you have. 3 out of 4 movies get thrown away and 2 out of 3 are not watched for more than 10 minutes. And those are the ones that turn out to really be in English.

Oh, and my bartender came back from her hometown and told us her mother had dog meat for the meal and her brother was pissed because it was not fresh. Okay. I asked her what kind of dog and she did not know. They also had chicken and I guess maybe that is how you judge the fresh aspect, ya gotta look Fido in the eye first.

Gotta get dressed and look for some red underpants, this is now a mission.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Never again will I go out of my way to see fireworks

Standing on the balcony last night was unbelievable. At times it felt like I could touch the fireworks. There were a couple times I ducked and once I wiped my face looking for ash. There was not one inch of space in the Shanghai skyline that was not full of fireworks. It was like every fireworks show in the US showed up at once and set up shop one block from each other. I saw the fireworks once on the Detroit river (while on a boat) during the Freedom Festival, it ain't nuttin-as they say in Philly-compared to the light show last night. And these people who can't afford water in their homes pay for this. WTF.

Today is New Year's Day so we are having Duck Confit we bought earlier this week and will cook if we don't kill each other before dinner. And use the excess duck fat to fry the potatoes and make a salad. Yumm.

Weather is mild enough to have the balcony door open and walk out and look at the world. Absence of cars and people is weird. Then you hear to noises and see the huge puffs of smoke from the firecrackers that just lay on the ground and make noise.

Egypt is getting really scary and it appears no one has a plan, including Anderson Cooper. When you try to beat up Anderson you do not have a plan. Anderson, you can't just go anywhere and be safe, you are not the scud stud. Remember him? And then when we saw him in real life-it was eeew.

And when people are gathering in the streets saying pretty much they hate your ass and your response I won't run for re-election, well I want to know when they are going to start selling that tea in the market place.

And speaking of wacko shit, WTF is up with Cairns, Australia pronounced as CANS, excuse, me, should this not be pronounced CARNES. Cans? What happened to the i and the r. That is like Brett Favre. What is wrong with the world.

Well I can't fix it all today.