Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An American in Guangzhou

I've gotten to speak to Andy twice since he arrived in China. They are 12 hours ahead of us - which causes Andy to say "Good Morning Honey" when he calls me at 7 pm. It's now Wednesday there which is our tomorrow but it's Tuesday here which is their yesterday. CONFUSED YET?

Here's what's happened so far:

  • When the plane landed in China, Andy started to get up but was told by a flight attendant in broken English "You sit temperature?" Andy decided to just do whatever the guy in front of him was doing - and the guy in front of him was sitting. He sat waiting for about 30 minutes when finally one of ten men in full biohazard suits approached him and took his temperature. Welcome to China, the Land of Swine Flu Hysteria.

  • This actually extends to his workplace too. When he is dropped off by the van in the morning, the security guard takes everyone's temperature before allowing them into the facilities.

  • At lunch yesterday (today?) he had to pass the chopsticks test. This required him using chopsticks to get a greasy peanut out of a dish. He passed on his first try.

  • His lunch included fish head, which he said was delicious. He even ate the eye of the fish. One husband's delicious is this wife's Fear Factor challenge. He is eager to try chicken feet.

  • Guangzhou has 100 million people. I thought about typing that out with the zeros, but figured I'd lose count along the way.

  • Well traveled people with whom he has spoken have told him that Guangzhou is the worst city in the world (seriously) for driving. They went to dinner last night. It was a half mile from the plant. It took them an hour and a half to get there by car. My sketchy math tells me they averaged .66 mph.

  • The road that goes from his hotel to work is a 3 lane road. However, apparently "lanes" are just suggestions there, because this 3 lane road carries 5 rows of cars. Due to this fact, Andy says no cars have side mirrors and the drive is a semi-scary experience.

  • He described the weather as "95 degrees and 100 percent humidity." He wore a long sleeve shirt. Because his white skin didn't scream "I'M A TOURIST! I'M NOT FROM HERE!" enough.
I believe that hits upon the most interesting bits as of now. I'll let you know how those chicken feet taste when I get the update.


Erin Marie said...

Excellent post =). Do you guys use Skype? I highly, highly recommend it for the long-distance conversations.

Kara said...

he probably would have been better off wearing his mountain menace t-shirt. he totally would have fit in...

Keri said...

Wow, interesting experiences. I can't even imagine.

I had no idea they took swine flu so seriously in China. Are they having really bad outbreaks, or is it all just preventative?

Regarding fish, I've heard that at high-end restaurants in China, they cook the body of the fish, but when they serve it, the head is still alive, moving, and looking at you. This proves that its fresh. Just the thought of it totally freaks me out.