This has not been the best week for Geoff. Monday, as I am sure you know, I dropped the big water thingy and spilled all the water on the floor. Tuesday was very cold and after walking for 45 minutes to the closest branch of the bank I needed to go to was told I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. (Long, irrelevant story). Wednesday no more Krabi – what more can I say. And today – well today I went out with out any camera or phone – and the things I saw.
First think of a bus stop – the kind where buses are able to pull out of traffic so as not to block the oncoming cars. Now, imagine that a small yellow VW beetle has decided to park diagonally in the bus stop for at least 20 minutes – I know because that was how long I waited for the bus to come. How long it had been there before I got there is anyone’s guess. There was one man there who was beside himself with this. He talked non stop about it, both to those present and on his cell phone – giving the tires kicks, slapping the hood etc. the entire time. He was some upset. Sorry – no photo.
Next came the banner people. Last week I posted the picture of the Jiaxing Christmas 2013 banners. Well, today they were putting up new ones. They didn’t take the other ones down, mind you. They just covered them over with ones from a local department store. I would imagine that when they need the Christmas ones again, they will just uncover them. Perhaps a photo tomorrow.
I think that China believes it is important to keep the citizenry informed of news around the world. That is why they put small television screens on all forms of public transit (buses, subways, even taxis). On the bus it is usually above the aisle facing the 27 seats just as you get on. This is commendable – however when there is just one speaker and it is beside the driver and he is the only one who can likely hear it, what’s the point? Maybe a photo some other time.
Exciting day today – a brand new set of 4 (yes 4) 4′ x 5′ Ramen Noodle ads (and yes they are all exactly the same) at every bus stop on my twenty minute ride to Metro grocery store. Photos on Saturday.
Now, Metro. Metro is the newest addition to our grocery shopping experiences. It is, as I said 20 minutes away by bus, followed by about a 10 minute walk. Think of a combination Costco, Walmart, London Drugs, Shop Easy. They do have the largest selection of international foods of any place we have been in Jiaxing and Tina from next door likes to go there because there aren’t as many people as there are at RT Mart (and that was certainly true today). I was able to buy Worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan in a shaker, garlic tabasco sauce, Port (although not sure the quality at 80 yuan). I even bought dish towels that are actually larger than a dinner plate! I could have even bought Montreal Steak Spice, but are we really going to go through a Costco sized container? So we now go to Metro for international (pasta, canned tomatoes, western spices), the market for vegetables and fruit, RT Mart for meat, Auchon for ice cream cones and Walmart for dried goods. Whew, am I ever busy. Photos – who knows – many stores don’t like it when I take out the phone/camera. The really good thing about going to Metro, I think, is that because it is a fairly long run, they have actual heat on the bus – both ways.
On the way home – how to describe it. There were some beautiful new apartments and condos – they border on the Wuqiao Port Canal and looked quite expensive. However just on the other side of the canal, derelict comes to mind. If gentrification is ever needed in Jiaxing, it is there, in the area just south of the Christian Conjugal Church. Definitely photos to come – and soon!
Finally – some GOOD NEWS. You may or may not know – depending on where you live, that parking in condo/apartment developments is often a problem. It has been known to even get mild mannered Terry upset at times. (No, you say! Yes, I say). Anyway, take a look at this poor pathetic little effort we have in front of our building. It has been severely abused over time.
Now, our building is accessible from two sides. The “second side” has three paved paths for walking on so that you don’t get your feet all muddied up. However, as everywhere else in China, people will park where ever they damn well please – including on these three paths. Well, not any more Batman! I love the way things are dealt with here. These showed up on Monday or Tuesday. Perhaps I will bring a couple back with me …
(Ed. note: Saturday night could be big – a big dinner party for all staff at the school, with games, prizes, sing-a-longs, and who knows what else. Watch for Terry’s blog on Sunday, complete with pictures. (I promise).)