Friday, August 26, 2011

Our most productive supermarket trip yet

After “auntie” left my room, I went downstairs to go get some water and green tea from the store next door, and happened to run into Mr. Fu knocking on Emily’s door, yelling, “Lauren? Laaaaauren?” I guess he wanted to tell us that there is a school outing for all of the foreign teachers and students tomorrow morning at the botanical garden. Then, he took us over to the school to show us the cafeteria, where we can eat for cheaper than the markets around here. (We had rice and tea for 75 cents later that day…what is cheaper than that?!) Next, he took us to the building that Mr. Dong’s office is in, in case we need him for anything.

Unfortunately, it was the same hallway that the boy’s bathroom is in. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever smelled in my life. Thankfully, Mr. Dong’s office is at the other end of the hallway, so it doesn’t smell.

We told him that we couldn’t get the internet to work, so he said he would talk to Mr. Zhou and offered to let us use some computers there to e-mail our parents, which we did. Hopefully they can get the problem solved soon, because I really need access to the internet. It’s gone past a want at this point.

After leaving Mr. Dong’s office, we went to one of the restaurants down the street. We were all hungry, but not feeling well, so we just wanted rice and some tea. In China, rice and noodles are served at the very end of the meal, after a salad/vegetable of some sort, meat, and soup. Although we knew the words for rice and tea, it took us at least 5 minutes to get them to understand that it was all we wanted. Then, after we got our rice and tea, they sat and watched us eat, while laughing. It’s only been a little over a week, and I’m already used to having an audience while eating.

While we were eating, around 11, there was another group of people eating at the table behind us. It was a group of five people, and they were on their second bottle of bai jiu. Bai jiu is generally between 42-55% alcohol. This was lunch, and an early lunch at that. There was, of course, lots of toasting, and lots of chugging contests.

Another hilarious thing about China is that, after finishing a good meal, a lot of Chinese men pull their shirts up over their stomach. Some of them take them off completely. I have seen far, far too many Chinese men with their shirts pulled up. I guess it’s a thing here.

So, after our meal of white rice and tea, we went back to the supermarket. It was our most productive yet, probably because were mainly on the lookout for groceries. They have a huge food section, but hardly anything is labeled in English.

I left with almonds and pistachios, which I am eating as I type this, cucumbers, oatmeal, and, most importantly, INSTANT COFFEE! The word is still out on whether or not it tastes like dirt, but, at this point, I don’t think I’ll care. I’m just happy to have coffee!

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