Archive for August, 2011

h1

OK so I actually talk about indigestion now but it’s kind of disgusting

August 29, 2011

Where’d I leave off? Insane traffic, right? Yeah, OK.

So anyways.  We went to Chongqing, relative and his new wife picked us up, we went in some taxis to our hotel, blah blah blah.  Then we went down the hotel elevator to some place.  The place – it’s indescribable.  I literally have no word that encompasses its pure insanity.

Basically, it’s like a mall, except each shop is a restaurant.  And each restaurant is about the size of my living room – not much room.  And yet they somehow cram like a dozen tables in there.  Chinese people are just really really good at squeezing large things into small spaces.  No innuendo intended.

There were so many restaurants it was amazing.  Like fifty gazillion per floor.  And there were something like eight floors or so.  Anyways, we stopped by at this small noodle shop that had 6 (not exaggerating) people cooking in a kitchen half the size of my room.  Take note that my room isn’t big at all.  So we ordered noodles (of course), some spicy, some not-so-spicy-because-my-brother-can’t-eat-spicy-food-or-any-food-at-all.

The hygiene of the restaurant was extremely questionable.  The tables were sticky with oil.  I certainly didn’t see a certificate saying the restaurant was inspected or anything like you’d see here in ‘merica.

The next morning, I discovered exactly why hygiene in restaurants is so important.  So people don’t get sick, right? I guess this is where you go Ohmigosh he got sick! Yeah, I did.  Warning: If you have a weak stomach/are disgusted easily (even if you aren’t, you’ll maybe probably almost definitely be disgusted by this), skip to the next paragraph.  You have been warned.  I woke up in the morning, took a dump, except the dump felt extremely un-solid.  Yeah, I had diarrhea.  For ~72 hours.  Shitting water.  Continuously.  F M FREAKING L.

OK, moving past indigestion, we went to see the parents of the relative who picked us up.  There, we had our first home-made non-breakfast (because breakfast is freaking lame and is definitely not the most important meal of the day).  It was really good! Of course it was.  It was Chinese food.

Anyways, the mom of the relative (I’ll call him Bob from now on and his wife Sue) was telling us how Bob and Sue met.  Bob’s mom went to a gathering of moms of singles in the neighborhood carrying a sign.  On the sign was listed the requirements that each mom set for their child’s future spouse.  So they waved their signs around vigorously, and if they found a mom with a possibly suitable candidate, they would be all “Hey, your child looks sexy.  I think my child wants a piece of that.”  and they’d exchange phone numbers.  Then, the parents would interview the child of the other parent to see if they actually were good enough for their tastes.

If the child was deemed suitable, the children would then talk to each other and bond over the phone.

China's version of online dating.

And then, they would finally meet.  And then they would marry like two days later or something.  I don’t even know.

Also, did I mention that Bob was easily six feet? Yeah.  Definitely the tallest Chinese person I have ever met in person.  So.  Freaking.  Tall.

Besides Bob though, I felt pretty tall in China.  =p

h1

I ate so much I got indigestion

August 27, 2011

So the not-posting-over-summer thing seems to have become a habit… eh.

So you know that Java class I took over the summer? College courses… it’s like 5 chapters a day.  OK, not really.  It goes at the relatively reasonable rate of 1 chapter per day.  So it’s a lot of reading.  I got through it with a good grade, and I asked my counselor, and she told me I would get Applied Arts credits for taking the course.  That’s good news, because now I don’t have to make space in my senior year for that.

Two days after I took the final for the Java class, we went to China.  We took Asiana Airlines which is freaking awesome.

What’s with comedians and airplane food?

That image is not mine.  Someone else made it.

It’s like hating on airplane food is a rite of passage for comedians or something.  Because they will hate on it at least once in their career.  And people will laugh about it.

Maybe it was just the airline I was on, but the food wasn’t bad.  In fact, it was pretty good.  I’m eating food a couple miles up in the air.  I had a steak with smoked salmon.   Granted, there was very little steak (about the size of my palm) and even less salmon (not even enough to make a baby full), but what was there wasn’t the assault upon my taste buds that comedians are always claiming it is.

Anyways, Asiana Airlines is the most freaking awesome airline ever because they have a TV on the back of every chair.  Every single freaking chair.  And they have movies that are relatively new: Kung Fu Panda 2, Sucker Punch, Limitless, Source Code, Thor, Harry Potter 7 1/2, Fast Five, Battle: Los Angeles and a lot more.  I watched a lot of movies I didn’t get the opportunity to watch back on solid ground in theaters.  I didn’t get a blink of sleep during the entire flight because I was so busy watching movies.

Asiana being a Korean airline, we transferred in the Incheon Airport in (or near? I don’t even know) Seoul.  We stayed for 3 hours or so.  The Korean airport security is a lot stricter than our ever-beloved NSA.  You have the X-rays and metal detectors to go through just to get near the terminals, and right before you board the plane, they have a checkpoint where they hand-search your bags and stuff.  Took forever to get on the plane.

So we finally touched down in Chengdu in the Sichuan province (we took a smaller plane that, sadly, had no TVs, so I slept the entire time) and I saw some relatives I hadn’t seen in freaking forever.  I also saw my cousin’s husband (she got married not too long ago, but hasn’t had her wedding yet), who told me his name was Jeff.  My cousin later laughed at me because apparently he only told me to call him Jeff because the Chinese phrase for “cousin’s husband” is jie fu, and that sounds like “Jeff.”

We ate a lot.  Like, a freaking ton.  Since we hadn’t been in China in forever, there were a gazillion relatives inviting us to eat at a gazillion restaurants.

Restaurants in China, if they’re big, usually have private rooms that you can rent for 200 or so yuan depending on the restaurant (that’s a little more than 40 USD), but then you have to order the food.  I’ve no idea how much it costs since I never got a hold of a receipt, but I’m pretty sure it would have costed more than the room.

After one or two days, we went to Chongqing, which is another huge freaking city.  It’s a lot like San Francisco, if San Francisco was completely consisted of 15+ floor buildings, was ten times hillier, and had traffic that was ten times worse.

Seriously.  I cannot stress the terrible traffic in China enough.  No one puts on their seat belts.  People drive on the wrong side of the road.  People almost run over pedestrians.  There is no right of way.  Now that I’ve got my permit and I’ve been out on the road several times, holy crap is right of way important.  I swear there’s no traffic laws in China at all.  People squeeze into tiny ass spaces.  Angela told me the world record for parallel parking was 37 inches of space or something.  Any taxi driver in China could probably beat that.  I would not drive there unless I was in an armored vehicle or something.

We took a bullet train from Chengdu to Chongqing.  It took two hours.  My parents were rambling the entire time how we were so lucky, in their day the train would take twelve hours, blah blah blah.  We got to the train station and we took a taxi to our hotel.  I reached back for the seat belt, and it seemed stuck.  I tried pulling it out and when I pulled my hand back in, it was covered in soot or something.  So yeah.

Also, in addition to driving like maniacs, the taxis in Chongqing run off of natural gas.  The natural gas is stored in tanks.  The tanks are in the trunks of the taxis.  So if you’re rear-ended, you go up in a spectacular fireball that Michael Bay would be jealous of.

We took a ferry in the middle of the night in Chongqing to see all the pretty lights on the gazillion story buildings.  Yeah, it looked pretty awesome.  LIGHTS EVERYWHERE.

I would keep writing more, but this post is really long and I’m lazy.  So more on indigestion next post?