Thursday, September 22, 2005

My First Day of Errands

I decided today that my vacation in China is over. I needed to get some things done that I have put off since we arrived. We just got our new van on Tuesday night, so I thought I would get used to being driven around Chengdu with our driver Joseph. So Angus and I picked Gemma up from school and set out on our errands. We headed to Peter's for dinner. Believe it or not it is a pretty good Tex-Mex restaurant. I had the taco salad, which was quite tasty and fresh, Gemma had the PB & J and Angus the macaroni and cheese.

After lunch we stopped by Sabrina's Country Store, which is a little shop that has Western snack/foods for outrageous prices. I was trying to find some snacks for the kids that I actually could read the label. Much to my dismay I ended up buying a small jar of applesauce, which had high fructose syrup, Cheese-its with hydrogenated oil, and Sun-Mail raisins. I would not normally buy these things, but when you are thousands of miles away from home and don't speak, nevermind read Chinese, you do what you have to do.

We headed to Carrefour, which is the major supermarket that has about everything, to buy a cell phone. Cell phones are a little different here. You don't get to head to T-Mobile and get your free phone with a one year contract. You actually have to buy the phone and then go and buy your SIM card. I was trying to buy a cheap phone, but ended up spending a $150 on a fairly basic phone, but happily paid a total of $3.75 for my SIM card and a deposit of $8.75 for roughly about 2,333 minutes.

On the computer front, I tried to call the guy who has my computer twice. Both times he said "I am not interested in speaking English." I thought he thought I was a telemarketer trying sell English classes, so I asked Joseph to call him. I found out that they are still working on the computer and there may be other problems, but should have it finished tomorrow. So much for the $12.50 to get it fixed.

On the home front, we may have secured a place to hang our hats. It is a massive 5 bedroom with maid quarters, a garage, and a nice roof patio. I am thrilled with the room especially since I won't be the one cleaning it, but mostly because there is plenty of room for guest. Brian, Pam, Jeanette, Sid, Caroline, John, Inez, Quincy, Dad, Mom, etc. get ready to book your tickets!

My Chengdu of the day is smile at the people who stare at you while because you are a Westerner.

My Chengdon't of the day is don't flip them off when they stare at you because it means something totally different here.


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Mel said...

You've got me wondering what the 'flip-off' means over there... The house sounds nice. I hope it works out.

VeryApeAZ said...

I agree with Mel. What exactly does it mean? Have a nice day? It sounds so exciting (and a bit scary) to live in a country where you do speak the language. And don't worry about your kids diets. I lived off of Fruity Pebbles for two years in college and still managed to get good grades.

megandshanny said...

Your new home sounds great!