Friday, August 14, 2009

China Trip 14- Last Post I Wrote in China

This is the last post I wrote in China. The rest will just be highlights and looking back stuff. Which might be more interesting. I don't know.

On Friday the tour just so happened to be… the Zhou Enlai Memorial Museum. I had just been there the day before, but today I learned a lot about the symbolism of the place. For example, there are 4 modernizations in China: military, science, technology, education; there are also 4 large pillars on which the museum rests. The hedges are in perfect rows of 4 for the same reason.

Barb and I with the man himself... well... in statue form.

There are 51 steps up to the museum, because that’s how old Enlai was when he …um… did what he did. There was a lot more than that, but I can’t really remember all of it. I’ll have to look up exactly what he did for China.

We went to Enlai’s actual birthplace, his residence. Interesting… if you like that kind of stuff.
Then, we went out to lunch as an “exit” lunch. They wanted to do dinner, but everyone was heading to different places. We ate with the same men we did at the beginning, and they gave us some cool weighted chopsticks. This time, I turned down a lot of the food. My stomach was not up for a 20 course meal, since I hadn’t really been eating well at the school.

See following placard.

They have a lot of huge rocks.

People had written stuff on the bamboo. I thought it looked cool.

I must admit, I got a little buzzed at this lunch. But only because they keep pouring you wine! They say Gum Bay! (I’m sure that’s not how you spell it, but that’s how it sounds) which means “Bottoms up!” and you have to down your whole glass. Immediately, your glass is full again. We tried putting napkins over our glass, but magically they still got filled. The server either moved the napkin (I guess they’re not big on hints) or got you a new glass. Finally, and thankfully, Barb cut me off. She’s a little more forceful than me. None of us girls wanted more, so I think we were all glad she spoke up!

I learned the phrase “Chien Mao” which means “I’m on a diet.” I don’t remember if I already said this, but apparently it’s okay not to eat if you’re on a diet. But I used it at lunch and was thrilled when it worked.

There was watermelon at every single meal, every day. But this one was prettier than usual.

The school food is horrible- to say the least. The rice is sticky and cold, and the meat is usually mystery. I only get a spoon to eat with, and drink out of what resembles a dog bowl. Yes, seriously. My stomach hurt the whole time I was eating the food. I told Tommy I didn’t like fish, but I swear that for the entire first week, we ate fish every day (Gloria pointed out that maybe he misunderstood me…). At the very beginning we had big shrimp (prawn?) and I didn’t eat. He asked why and I told him I didn’t like fish. “Make a list,” he said. I told him the only thing on my list was fish. Like that helped. I emailed Charles and Gloria just to tell them how things were going. At our next dinner, we had paper cups! I felt bad, because Charles and Gloria had told them I didn’t want a dog bowl, but the cups were nice. And who cares if they don’t like me? The paper cup thing only lasted a few days anyways and we were back to bowls.

My hotel was pretty shabby too. My toilet didn’t flush. If I used it, I had to fill up my trash can (but not the one in the bathroom because it had a big hole in the bottom) and dump it into the bowl to flush it. But that was better than using the “squatter” in the lobby. There was no carpet in my room, and my room was damp all the time. The sheets were damp, even. My door didn’t close without slamming it, and there were SO many mosquitoes. I got a million bites. They don’t have calamine lotion in China. Apparently, a lot of things they make and only export. But I found some stuff that worked pretty well. At one point I was sure I was going to die of some mosquito induced illness. I had 50-60 bites on the exposed parts of my legs (knees down). Also, my clothesline in the bathroom was broken. That shouldn’t have been a big deal, but since I usually washed my clothes in the tub, It would have been nice if it worked. O well. They dried faster outside anyways.

Looking back through my pics… I didn’t actually take any of my hotel room in Huaian. I have pictures from all of the other hotels, including Barb’s. But I guess since I wasn’t impressed with mine… I didn’t take pictures.

Don't even ask...

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