1. Oh my God Lady, take your turn. My first unpleasant experience at Starbucks this morning. First of all let me say that service at Starbucks in China is very pleasant, but very slow. I was patiently waiting in line behind four people for approximately 10 minutes while they place their orders – they are all together and chattering away (there is also one woman behind me). As they go off to the end of the counter to wait for their drinks, and as I step up, another woman comes out of nowhere, stands beside me and starts to give her order to the barista, who starts to ring it up. I put my hands out and say “What’s going on – I’m here” (honestly, that is exactly what I said – not what I thought.). The woman says “Oh we are all a group together – I’m just going to order and pay for me.” (yes, she spoke English). I say – “Well, I’m a group of one”. She smiles, sardonically and says “Well, yes” then continues on paying and goes to the end of the counter. I fixed one and all with my steely, flinty glare. Their group was just across from me when I sat down and I glared a couple more times, intimidating them from conversation in any language for 5 to 10 minutes. Victory is mine!
2. Oh my God, did I get ripped off? I admit it. I am new to this vegetable thing. (Perhaps if my dear, departed mother – God rest her lovely soul – hadn’t cooked the ^%$# out of everything, I wouldn’t have grown up this way). I am certainly enjoying them here though. They are amazingly fresh and have wonderful flavour. However, when I went to the market this morning I picked these up.
What I don’t know is – is $3.00 too much for this?
3. Oh my God, will it ever stop? Today is Day 2 of rain (well light mist really) – and it is forecast to continue right up until tomorrow afternoon, when the sun returns. Right now the mist is so thick I can’t see the top of the building next door. I am thinking of ordering an ark in order to sail into Shanghai for the Elton John concert and to pick up our clothes from the fabric market this weekend. (it would be delivered in time by a guy on a pedicab).
4. Oh my God, they’re clean already! Yesterday it was time for me to get a haircut – my first in Jiaxing. We asked our neighbour Tina to call the salon and set up a cut and colour for us and she kindly did (or so we thought). We arrived and they escorted us in. Now at home, I just wander in, Stephanie sprays a little water on my head and starts cutting. Not here. Terry described the shampoo process here. What she didn’t mention was that two or three times during the process, the shampooer gets most of the suds off your head and takes them to the back of the salon to dispose of them somehow – likely a sink. Very weird.
Then after my hair was all rinsed, she took me back to the chair. Now, I don’t wish to gross any one out, but I pay close attention to my personal hygiene including regularly Q-Tipping the wax out of my ears. Apparently I don’t do a good enough job. This lovely young girl spent likely 5 minutes per ear and God knows how many Q-tips cleaning my ears. Now I know they weren’t that waxy, since I had cleaned them Monday morning. Then it was over to Abo. I must say it is interesting getting a stylist to understand just what you want when you don’t understand each other, but I think he did the best he could with what he had to work with. David tells us that this is the best salon in Jiaxing.
5. Oh my God, so this is what water tastes like. I am venturing into unremembered territory. I seem to have plateaued at the 9 kg weight loss mark, so I have decided to take some drastic, some would say heretical, action and eliminate wine from my Monday to Thursday diet, drinking water instead. I know, I know, many (likely most) of you will scoff at this effort and not believe it can last. However, I am committed to making it until December 24th, which is the first day that Ken is here that is not a weekend – I could never let him drink red wine alone. Wish me luck, people.
(Ed. note: Okay – It really is Abo doing the cutting, but it isn’t me in the chair. Terry had some colour done to hers.)