Friday, June 26, 2009

My school and classroom

The hallway to my classroom

The ladies room looking in

The toilet--are you jealous yet?

Hot and warm water dispenser

Name of the school

Inspirational message

Looking out the hallway window

My classroom looking in

The air conditioner--I love it.

Looking out the back window of our classroom

Student view

Message in my classroom--guess what it says!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eating Frog Legs and Spicy Cow Hells

Okay, so maybe it is a cow heel, but I ate it whatever it was, and the package really does say Spicy Cow Hells. It’s in this little foil wrapper and I tore it open with my teeth. I expected it to juice everywhere, but it was in fact a small solid gelatinous sphere minus any juiciness. I ate the rubbery gel and thought it was gross but, instead of rejecting the other half, I ate it. Salty and slightly beefy…texture like a gummy bear…slight beef jerky aftertaste…okay, one more bite and it’s gone (repeat sensory experience).

We went to Mr. Steak for lunch today—for steaks--and they don’t ask you how you like it cooked, but rather how many minutes you’d like it cooked. I went for pink, which I think was 3 minutes, but I’m not really sure. Next I could choose from pepper sauce or mushroom sauce. I opted for the mushrooms. My steak and Renee’s came out first. They came on a sizzling skillet with a lid. The waiter gave me a big white napkin, which wasn’t for my lap as I had anticipated. The waiter held it up in front of me so, I was going to tuck it into my shirt…an ancient Chinese tradition? Just as I grabbed the napkin, I saw my student hold it up when the sizzling platter was un-lidded. Ah…a shield!

It came with an egg and some rotisserie pasta and was all bathing in a delicious sauce. My steak was the smallest as mine was gone first. Oh, yes! The frog legs! As we were leafing through the menu, I read the word “frog legs” aloud. All three students perked up and became very enthusiastic about this appetizer. This is the part that I thought was funny.

Crossing the road for peanut butter

Thurs June 25, 2009

Crossing the Road for Peanut Butter

I’ve been here only 14 days and I finally broke down and bought some peanut butter. I got some skippy and some McCormick blueberry jam. I went to the bakery and got some bread. I saw some Americans in the elevator and wanted to be their insta-friends. I’m waiting for a knife from housekeeping, but I’m fully prepared to use my fingers in about 3 minutes.

I crossed 2 major streets to get to the store and it is like saying, hello death, you look just like a car crash. Even though the light has a green walking guy on it, this is merely a suggestion. Cars have the right of way, followed by busses, taxis, bikes, mopeds, and welded together bike/trailer combination hauling contraptions. Just because it looks like a one way street, doesn’t mean that the little guys on scooters and bikes can’t come flying from the street, the sidewalk or??? from any direction.

My tactic is to pretend to be a Chinese person’s shadow when crossing the street because surely shadows are invincible. Oooh! Here’s my knife!

Utility knife

My knife had a weird grease coat on it and it made me think of my secret utility butter knife I keep in the drawer. I know which one it is, even though it looks like all the others. I use it to tighten screws and once or twice I think I used it to scrape something and once to do some indoor gardening. I don’t use it for food because it gives me the heebie jeebies just a little. I know too much about it, that’s why. [ed by Moe: I wonder how often I use this knife for my food since you never told me about it]

This one perhaps is the kitchen’s utility knife, I thought. Maybe they use it to unclog drains, or fish something out of a crack too narrow for a chopstick. Well, I am ahead of them, because I used my round bar of hotel face soap to sterilize it. Then what the soap wouldn’t remove, I polished with my bath towel. It was shiny and clean. Then I made my sandwich and ate it. I think I’ll make one more.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Even More Pics (I need to ask Emily to provide subject titles soon)

My students outside the mall looking out from the entryway

inside the mall

vegan yin yang soup

sticky rice stuffed lotus root

pretty green colored fake seafood soup

The abalone (a gigantic mushroom)

fillet of meatloafs

Stir fry chicken and ginko berries

coconut crusted hot rice balls stuffed with creamy red bean paste

view from the taxi ride home

More Pics from China

I think my clever students have figured out that if lunch takes a long time, it eats up class time. They speak in English (sometimes) though, so it's probably ok. I have so much fun during lunch and I love taking pictures of the food if you haven't noticed by now.

Another morning in Shanghai. This time the sky wasn't all grey!

Going out for lunch on Friday: A bowl of noodles

Steamed dumplings

tasty chewy fried dough bread sticks

My student named Emily eating something

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Pictures

Pictures include, but are not limited to:
  • Something I ate for breakfast,
  • My hotel apartment--bedroom and dining room
  • My students and I eating dumplings in the classroom
  • View from my hotel building
  • A bendy building which is "Cloud Nine Shopping Center." 7 floors of pure shopping pleasure? and escalators

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Three Beds

[Emily emailed me this and I posted it on her behalf since she can't access this blog from China. She can still access facebook.]

I arrived in China on Friday and I thankfully had one big firm bed in my room waiting for me. I got a call in Chinese that evening and the front desk explained that the phone call was to alert me that they needed to exchange my bed for a different one. Maybe my bed needed to be retired?

So, on Saturday morning a guy came in and added another bed to my room. He didn’t take the original bed away so, I thought to myself that it might be nice to have that extra bed after all. I can put my clothes on it when I can’t make up my mind and leave them there for as long as I like—no bed to floor to bed transferring necessary!

Today is Sunday and a guy came to my door with another bed. I showed him my 2 beds and pointed—I really couldn’t use another one. Well, he made a phone call and fortunately my 2 Chinese students showed up to meet me for lunch. They were my liaisons. The girls turned to me and explained that he was ordered to leave the one bed and take the two away. No three beds for me. We don’t know why these things happen, but now I have to use the chair for my clothes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Heart Palpitations

Moe helped me start this blog because I am going to China! in 2!! days! I can't think of anything else to say yet because this is all that I can think about right now.