Enigmatic, Schizophrenic or Just Plain Inscrutable?

(Ed. note: To Our Dear and Faithful Readers: There is growing creative tension between the owner/publisher (henceforth referred to as “o/p”) and the lowly editor (henceforth referred to as “e”) of The Jiaxing Express. The o/p feels that the editor is: A) not doing his best work, and B) is beginning to repeat himself. As to A, this may be the case – maintaining the high standard set by the o/p is a challenge, particularly given the o/p does not have the time to contribute as frequently as the e and is able to create real drama in her writings. As to B, the e feels that either:

  1. Some of the incidents bear repeating, or
  2. Some of our esteemed readers may have missed the original recitations due to hair washing, oil changing or a myriad of other events which take up their daily lives, or
  3. Our lives have settled into a mundaneness (a word?) which needs to be shared as well, or
  4. E is now too old to remember what has been written about and what hasn’t, or
  5. All of the above

As a result, our offerings may be a little less frequent in the coming months, as we rededicate the e to composing a higher standard of  communications.)

China Post

We have mentioned China Post in the past, but today I had to mail a letter all the way to Shanghai. I could have hand delivered the damn thing faster. First, you MUST wait for about 90 seconds while the postal “worker” finishes playing the game on his phone.  Then, (as you know the addressing of the envelope is reversed in China but what you don’t know is that) you MUST have your return address on it and in Chinese (luckily I had it on my phone). Then you MUST wait for 10 minutes while the postal “worker”  types (hunt and peck method) the address it is going to and the return address into the computer and produces a bar coded “stamp” and affixes it to the envelope. Then you MUST wait another 3-4 minutes while he weighs the envelope and figures out the amount you MUST pay ($1.10) and then writes by hand something which looks suspiciously like my home address on the receipt portion of the bar coded “stamp”. So, to sum up, if you plan on mailing a letter in China, you MUST allow yourself 15 minutes. BTW I was darn glad I was first in line and not third!

Halloween in Jiaxing

Second Annual Halloween celebration at the BC Program of Jiaxing Senior High School. Now I don’t know where some of these kids get their costumes, but for a group of people who had no idea Halloween even existed until we got here and explained it to them, they really get into it!

From Vampires to Southern Belles...

From Vampires to Southern Belles…

Terry reliving her hippie days...

Terry reliving her hippie days…

Macey, Charlotte and Geoff in their House Sets. It was the official public appearance of Geoff's newest wardrobe addition.

Macey, Charlotte and Geoff in their House Sets. It was the first public appearance of Geoff’s newest wardrobe addition.


Once again, I share with you the Chinese penchant for parking where they want. The other morning we came out of our complex and here was this guy (Ed. note: I have been told by a strong feminist that the word “guy” is asexual). She/he had parked on a corner, half in a crosswalk, pointing the wrong direction overnight. How do I know it was overnight? His – or her – car was covered in dew.

Cool - that is our apartment just above the blue bar!

Cool – that is our apartment just above the blue bar! Terry is convinced these people come home pissed as newts and park in the first empty space they can sort of navigate into. Could very well be!

Japanese Food – Smokin’ Hot!

We have been craving some sushi, so we asked around and one of the “boys” (new teachers) said that they had tried this place and it wasn’t too bad. The “grill master” was quite artistic in how he arranged and cooked the food. On a scale of one to ten, overall it was a solid 6.5. It certainly wasn’t up to Katsu’s standard in Port Coquitlam, but maybe for China…

This was the best fish we have had in China, though, so that counts for something.

This was the best fish we have had in China, though, so that counts for something.

I’m going to guess that you can figure out that not all (read any) restaurants in Jiaxing are smoke free. (Ed. note: Except for Starbucks

Hey, no matches to take home though. This was at each place setting at the cooking bar.

This was at each place setting at the “cooking bar”. What, no matches to take home?

So there we were, had a mediocre dinner, and just settling in to watch the first episode of The Game of Thrones, (Ed. note: Judgment reserved until we see a couple more episodes. Reviews say it’s great, but from what we saw…) when, what to our wondering ears should occur outside our window but 5 minutes of (Ed. note: you only get a few seconds):

Please note: the big white blotches at the end of the video are the lack of the surrounding plastic coating, which is a result of the fireworks.

Saturday Morning Stroll

We went for a stroll this morning to get some chores done. One of them was to get one of Terry’s t-shirts altered/mended/changed. This woman was delighted to help us out. As Terry noted, the sewing machine had to be a treadle since there is no electricity on the street.

She giggled and smiled all through the mending.

She giggled and smiled all through the mending.

Also this morning we passed by the mall. Now there are many many restaurants at the mall and every morning tens of these carts show up. They take away the food waste from the night before. Usually these buckets are full, I’m not sure why these ones are empty.

It is a real treat to see these as I walk to Starbucks each morning.

It is a real treat to see these uncovered waste buckets as I walk to Starbucks each morning.

These guys were way cool. They wanted to stare at us as we went by, but tried to do it surreptitiously. I gave them the chance to stare and smile.

Dudes - Cool Hair!

Dudes – Cool Hair!

Examples of This Posting’s Title

People in China:

Push their way to the front of the line to buy their ticket – and then patiently line up 15 minutes before the gate to the train platform even opens to get on a train that has RESERVED seating.

Drivers will cut in and out of traffic and cut off anyone who is even minutely behind them but they demonstrate absolutely no road rage.

People on the street will stare at you with great suspicion as if you do not even belong in their country and then smile and laugh when you say nie hao.

Every bus has a recorded “Bing Bing” and then it announces the next stop but frequently the recording gets stuck in a loop and repeats itself over and over and over which drives Terry and I crazy when we are on the bus but no one, including the driver, ever seem to notice.

Fireworks go off at any time – the other morning we were joyously awakened at 5:38 but the kids at school have no idea what firecrackers are.

Our Saturday Stroll Continued- or The Shoe Boot

Normally, I don’t really comment on The Shoe photo and let it do the talking. However, we were walking along (it is now about 12:15) and there are three or four wagons selling noodles, hotdogs etc. – lunch things. This is our conversation:

Terry – What are you taking photos of?

Geoff – The boots

Terry – What boots? (Geoff simultaneously brings the photo up on the phone) OH, THOSE BOOTS!

Remember this is basically Saturday morning - not Friday night! The white shoe in the corner is what her friend was wearing. More sensible, but far less interesting!

Remember this is basically Saturday morning – not Friday night! The white shoe in the corner is what her friend was wearing. More sensible, but far less..uh.. interesting!

4 thoughts on “Enigmatic, Schizophrenic or Just Plain Inscrutable?

  1. lois marsden

    Obviously not all CHinese are working for $1 per day me thinks. Can you imagine the older generations remarks when they see the nouveau riche wearing the shoes, purses and short minis? Impark would have a great financial time in China.

  2. Val Goodridge

    No complaints about the quality of the blog from this end. Bob and I both enjoy reading each instalment. Bob gave me hell for deleting one off my computer before he had read it on his iPad. Interesting thing about those firecrackers in China. My pal, Kelly who teaches in Shanghai, is always saying how they go off at all hours of the day/night for no apparent reason. It drives her bonkers.

  3. Barb

    Geoff…it sounds like you just got whipped by Terry…lol…I just finished our Sunday Province, and believe me, your blog is always the highlight of my weekend read…the kids costumes are amazing…maybe next year you can bring trick or treating to Jiaxing? Have a great week ahead and keep that camera close to you….Barb

  4. Deb And Dave

    You have to remember we are all a year older and probably don’t remember what has all ready been blogged or feel we need the review.


Leave a Reply