Thursday, September 29, 2005

What $20 Bought Me at Wal-Mart in China
(Okay, according to current exchange rates what $20.33 bought me at Wal-Mart)
  1. 5 500 ml bottles of diet coke (ok, coke light. Not only is there not diet coke, but it doesn't seem to come in anything except for cans or 500ml bottles. AND, unless you go to a bulk shopping type store, you buy individual cans or bottles and not 6 packs, cases, etc.)
  2. 2 liter bottle of orange juice (100% juice and pretty good stuff!)
  3. 1.5 liters of corn oil (soybean is cheaper, but I thought I would give this a try and compare)
  4. 4 pounds (slightly more) boneless chicken breasts
  5. 15 medium eggs (priced by weight, not per egg)
  6. 1 bunch Dole bananas (just over 1 kg)
  7. white rice (just over 1 kg. I get bulk instead of HUGE bags since I am walking home)
  8. 2 bottles shampoo (one pantene, one wal-mart china brand)
  9. 1 small bottle of Johnson’s baby powder
  10. Box of 200 toothpicks
  11. 3 seasoning packets (for chicken)
  12. 1 small bag of granulated chicken bouillon (200 grams)
  13. 2 small bags of cheetos (kind of like “Big Grab” size
  14. Small box of Tide (enough for 4 or 5 “American” size loads
  15. 1 loaf of bread (for sandwiches, etc.)
  16. 1 loaf coconut bread (for dessert)

Okay, LAST time I went to Wal-Mart and bought eggs, I couldn't for the life of me find them pre-packaged in carton type things. There were just these big plastic tubs filled with eggs and you picked out the ones you wanted, put them in a bag, and had them weighed and stickered with price. TODAY I went over to where the bulk eggs had been, and in their place was a stack of pre-packaged eggs (in packs of 15) priced by the kg. Bulk eggs were nowhere in sight. Now while I appreciate having my eggs in a carton rather than banging up against each other in a plastic bag, I find it confusing not to know what I am going to find. And as for never knowing what I am going to find...I still don't know what half the stuff in the store is (and some of it I don't want to know)!

Turning Off Comments and Mr. T's Van

Not that I don't want to hear from you or anything, but I am unable to read comments that are left on my blog. Seems that I should just turn off that feature since I will never read what has been written by others (on the rare occasions when people actually did decide to post comments).

While I am here, don't you think that the van they drive in the A-Team kind of stands out? I mean, even in the 70s and 80s, how many big black vans with a red stripe thing did you see? Shouldn't they be trying to blend a little more since they are fugitives? Even if they weren't fugitives, since they try to do surveillance and stuff on people, isn't that the kind of van you would notice? You better believe I will be suspicious if I see a van like that outside my window (especially since I am not on the ground floor!) That series would have done a lot better with my help!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mr T Doesn't Like Anchoives!

I think that I might be watching certain TV shows just because they are in English. Last week I was watching The A Team and Murdock, Face, and some other guy were in an Italian restaurant that was taken over by bad guys who wanted to kill some important person who had reservations there later that evening. Mr T came in for a pizza and I knew that things would be alright! (Okay, things always work out in the end. Let's face it, this is The A Team after all.) Murdock put anchoives on the pizza. I knew he was going to do that! Mr T hates anchoives and when he opened the pizza box, it was a dead give away that something wasn't right at the restaurant. I guess the anchoives also did spell out "help" which is a subtle clue. Personally, I don't think the help was necessary, but I guess not everyone who watches the show knows about Mr. T and his hatred of anchoives like I do. Do you think there is a possibility that I am watching some shows just because they are in English and that perhaps they are not shows that I really find interesting? Hard to say I guess. I mean, who doesn't like the A-Team? :)

Almost as Smart as a Preschooler!

This weekend Rob and I went to a few different bookstores. I was so excited to discover something in the preschool section designed just for me--pictures of basic things labeled in Chinese! Pretty soon I too can have the expressive vocabulary of a very very very young child. What could be better than that? Hey, I figure that knowing numbers, colors, animals, foods, and other basic nouns and verbs is something, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yes Virginia, there is a Wal-Mart!

We have made it to China and been to Wal-Mart to purchase our rice cooker. What more could we need? It was a slightly unsettling experience getting there, only because of the stares I get. I could understand it if I had blue hair or something, but because I am white? I keep wondering if I forgot my pants or something as people do a double take as they pass me on their bikes. I especially like it when I am pointed out to young children. Yes, stare at the rather average looking white woman walking down the street. I know that it is only a matter of time before I cause a major traffic accident because drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are watching me instead of each other. I suppose I will get use to it before too long. I hope so, because it is SO hard to resist the urge to stick out my tongue and make a face. Truly THAT would be a story worth sharing at the end of the day. "I saw this white woman and she must have been a devil with her tongue hanging out and her eyes rolling around..." That would probably be most impolite of me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Do I smell bad or something??

As I sit here in my hotel room wearing the same clothing I wore yesterday, I wonder if this is a bad start to our move to China. I did carefully divide my underwear and clothing between the two suitcases in case one was delayed or something, but BOTH were. By the time I carry on my computer, video camera, camera, PDA, wallet, book, medications, important documents, and snacks, there just isn't room for much else.

It began Sunday morning. We arrived at the Spokane International Airport and got to our gate rather smoothly. Unfortunately, our flight was cancelled because of a dead battery. (I am guessing it was not just a Duracell AA.) Instead of leaving at 6:45 AM we got to wait until closer to 10:00 AM. SO glad that we woke up nice and early. :( Okay, not TOO bad. We end up at BWI at 9:00 PM instead of 7:20 PM. Too bad my luggage hasn't made it yet. Perhaps I will end up in China wearing my apple green Eddie Bauer cropped sweats. I guess I could tell people that I was evacuated from New Orleans and then my stinky clothes and lack of personal hygiene products would be more acceptable. Could be worse. I could be one of those people from New Orleans, or have a baby with me who has explosive diarrhea and no spare clothes.

I really need to have my sister (see link to her blog in my first post) to write mine for me too. This should be a great story, but I am too tired or bored or boring to make it the great story it should be. Perhaps she will rewrite it and put on her blog. I hope so. That would be a great post to read. :)

Our FPO address is available. E-mail me if you want it and I will make sure to pass it along.