July 11th and 12th

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

As usual the departure is always bitter sweet. My last night in Sichuan Province was a night to remember. The whole group showed up to the door of my room at about five. It is always a little strange when you open a door and there are 12 people standing there. I invited them in and we all hung out for a bit before going downstairs to grab a beer. After Jess, the Chinese English girl, finished her beer slowly, we left for a restaurant.

The walk to get food was a little confusing and when we got to the restaurant, they didn’t understand my Chinese. I was saying 13 people, shi san ren, and they had no clue what I was trying to tell them. The other American, Paige walked up next to me, said the exact same thing, and they understood perfectly. I hate that! I would have sworn I was saying it right. That happens a lot here.

Paige ordered a bunch of random dishes for all of us and I gave a toast. I’d have to say that it was one of my better ones. The food was delicious, and it seems that when we order what looks good to us from the picture menus, the food is always much better than if we go with a Chinese person that orders random Chinese food. Maybe I am being unculturally aware. My International Marketing Professor, Dr. Becerra, would say that I’m not using my SRC to be tolerant of other cultures. Either way, I know what tastes good, and I can order, I will.

Throughout the meal there were many toasts. I’m a little biased, but I think mine was best. The Brits would say that is such an American thing to say. We’re so competitive, and I don’t see what is bad about that. Anyway, the whole dinner, many drinks included, was a little over $75 US. That’s for 13 people! I love good exchange rate! The waitresses took a bunch of pictures of us and with us. In the US, I think I would get fired, or reprimanded at the least for hounding customers to take pictures. Here, the manager is the first one in line to get a picture with the white person. It’s all good though. I think most of us are flattered. On the way to the restaurant, we passed a white girl and I yelled loudly, “hey everybody, a white person!” She laughed.

After we ate, people starting randomly singing, so we came up the bright idea to go to a karaoke bar. Now, I will be the first person to object to karaoke, but for some reason, it seemed like a good idea. I figured I probably won’t see these people again. Even Paige, who lives the closest, is in NY. So we went to karaoke. In fact, I led the group there.

When we arrived and got set up in the room, they brought in a case of warm Chinese beer. Mmmmm… I got started in on that based on the fact that I was going to sing my ass off and I needed some liquid courage. It was soon apparent that they didn’t have a whole lot of music in English. We eventually got assigned a translator, who could sing like an angel! He sang I believe I can fly. He later told us that he is going to school for opera singing. After got the machine queued up with all the English songs they had, we got down to business. I thought I sounded like an angel, but in reality, more like a sea bird probably. Anna, the Swede, got pretty into it. I think she was pretty bummed that they didn’t have Abba. Anyone get that joke??? Out of all of us, Alistair, the gay British boy, was the most into it. Whitney Houston came on, and I thought he was going to lose it! Coincidently, he can’t sing at all, and I would even say he is worse that me, which is not good at all. If you read this Alistair, sorry, no hard feelings about your voice.

America represented well, but I would say the highlight of karaoke was the two Brit twin, John and Will. They sang a song in Chinese. It was incredible and even more impressive they both knew the words. We had them sing it again later in the night too.

After about 2 hours of ear piercing music, I went back to the hotel with Anna and Fabrina, the Swiss girl. After transferring some pics to Anna’s awesome Chinese cartoon flash card, I went to bed. 4 hours later, I got up to get breakfast with Fabrina and Anna. They were very sweet girls and I will miss them. Now,

I’m on a bus headed to the airport. Next stop, Yantai! (via Beijing).

12th

I took part in an act tonight that is so despicable that I really don’t want to admit it. It is an act that no one should take part in, especially me. This act is very popular in China and I don’t condone it. It is KTV, aka karaoke!

Yantai, as a city, is much better than most parts I have been in China. That is to say that I, since I moving away from Washington State 7 years , have missed going to the ocean. Yantai is on the east coast of China. The campus is very nice, and I have a great room here.

I arrived yesterday and met a few other Americans. One of the girls, Kristen, is from Portland. It is funny because she is of Hong Kong decent, so people look at me, then look at her, then get incredibly confused.  Especially, when she speaks perfect English, and debatable Mandarin. I will say that she is fluent in Cantonese.

Yesterday, when I got here, I went to my room and got settled in. Around 10:30, I went to a bar with the other Americans, two girls from a university in Vermont, and Kristen. The owner is from Sweden, and charged way too much for beer. The night was short-lived and I headed to bed when we got back.

Today, I woke up, unfortunately, at 7 AM. My alarm was set for 8:30. I got my laundry done, then went to the bank to get some cash money. When I got back, I met up with Kristen and we planned to go to a winery. After getting lunch, we hopped on the number 17 and headed to the vineyard. When we got to the end of the line we noticed our stop, but had no idea where the vineyard was. We were still in the city. Quickly, we realized that the winery was actually a museum. After walking through and not understanding anything, we got to taste some crappy Chinese wine, then got our free brandy, which was not good. I only paid about $7.40. so I wasn’t too worried about.

After the museum, we walked down the beach and passed a Navy squadron swimming, I got yelled at for taking pictures. Whatever! I was told to delete them. A few steps later, I took another picture.

We walked don’t to a carnival, and I spent way too much money on carnival games. We won three small stuffed animals. The people there followed me everywhere. I got a few good pictures there. We went back to our building, then went and got dinner. We ordered off a picture menu, and when it arrived, I heard Kristen say that there were bugs in her salad. She was right, and they were also in mine. They were actually some kind of worm, cockroach. I tried one… Not good, but my Dad would have been proud.

As I mentioned, tonight was spent at karaoke… enough said!

 

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Comments

  1. Lindsay says

    >Cockroaches sound delicious.

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