Today we welcome a new blogger to the site. Although not nearly as eloquent or loquacious as Terry, we are confident you will enjoy Geoff’s musings.
Terry has focused on a number of topics which are, I am sure, of great interest to all of you. Today, however, I am going to write about what I perceive to be the good, bad and mythical of China (hence the title). First the myths.
Myth #1. Geoff and Terry will stand out in Jiaxing because of their height.Not true! A great percentage of adult males are as tall as Geoff. While there haven’t been many taller than I am, a couple of our grade 10 boys are already my height. Granted, I do tend to tower over many of the women our age and older, but then I do that at home, don’t I Wendy? Where I do stand out and where many looks go to are my shoes, since I left my Loud Mouth clothes at home.
Now as to Terry, while she does stand out because of her height, it is also because of her beauty and her hair. It is true that there are some attractive women in Jiaxing, they don’t match her looks. Also, I don’t believe I have seen any hair colour other than black since we got here – in younger or older women – and mostly in ponytails! So her short hair must be another reason people turn and stare at her.
Myth #2. Chinese drivers don’t follow the rules of the road. This is definitely not true – generally because there aren’t any rules of the road. Just because you have a green walk sign and are in the crosswalk doesn’t mean the car, scooter, motor cycle pedicab or bus (yes I said bus) will slow down let alone stop for you. If you are lucky, they will make an effort to go around you – but it would be best for your longevity if you tried to avoid them. On the other hand, they do drive very slowly and so you aren’t in any real danger – unless you think that just because the lane you are crossing is a southbound land so only southbound cars will be in that lane – there is occasionally a northbound car in that lane as well – best to get out of its way as well.
Myth #3. Shopping at Walmart is shopping at Walmart. Now to be fair, I haven’t been in many Walmarts in North America. However, in the ones I was in and did some food shopping, I wouldn’t buy the meat because I didn’t know how long it might have been in the packages at the deli counter. Here, I don’t have to worry about that since the meat isn’t in the packages, it is just out in the middle of the aisles on beds of ice – chicken breasts, legs, feet, red meats of some kind or other, fish (mostly dead and on ice) but some still “swimming” upside down in tanks of water. (An aside – went to a vegetable, meat and clothing market the other day – the flies which weren’t flying around the meat were already attached to the flypaper next to each display of meat.)
That’s enough of the myths for now, lets go on to the Bad and the Good.
- Bad – I
perspiresweat profusely and constantly due to the humidity – even when it isn’t humid.
- Good – The pounds are flowing off me – Look out Scott and Mal.
- Bad – Women in the 16 – 35 age bracket must be very cold and have very sore feet at the end of the day.
- Good – Women in the 16 – 35 age bracket are keeping the 6″ stiletto heeled shoe and 10″ skirt manufacturers in business in a big way. 🙂
- Bad – Starbucks is Starbucks
- Good – Starbucks is Starbucks
- Bad – I can’t yet make myself understood to the multitudes.
- Good – They are a VERY friendly people. Whenever they stare at us as they walk/drive past us and we say Nie Ha (Hello) they smile, wave and say Nie Ha right back at us.
- Bad – We haven’t had a whole lot of meat since getting here.
- Good – I am actually eating actual vegetables.
- Bad – Our entire apartment block of approximately 200 apartments deposit their garbage each day in a 2 garbage cans each smaller than the size of a recycling bin at home.
- Good – It appears the garbage is picked up almost hourly and taken away as there is never any kind of build up around the cans.
- Bad – We have about a 30 minute bus ride to Auchon – a good grocery store.
- Good – They have a good wine selection in the $13 – $15 range.
- Bad – Terry won’t let me buy an electric scooter for $350 – $400 range.
- Good – There is very little traffic on the road. (See photos below – taken on a major Jiaxing road at 10 am. – both directions)
I will now brave the elements – it has started to pour rain (am I back in Vancouver?) and make the 8 minute walk back to the apartment from a very dry and comfortable Starbucks. If you have enjoyed my musings today, please let Terry know so that I can write again. Thanks for reading.