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arhyalon

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06:53 pm: China Post Two-Things are different here
Things are different here. Different in odd little ways. For instance, driving is different. There are almost no traffic lights here in this huge city. The main roads all run beside raised roads, the nature of which I don't know because I don't think  we've been on them... but they are bestrooned with greenery that hangs down. Some of which is flowering. These roads are divided with exits, so there is no need for lights. 

Drivers drive differenty, too. They nudge in front of each other and weave in and out in a way I never see at home. It is scary because they also seem to walk and bike in the middle of the street. So, you always seem as if you are going to hit someone.

There is a gated community of sorts near us...at least traffic is limited and has to go by a toll-like turn style. At first, this seemed  very random, as if the gates were only on some sides, so you could not get in one way, but you could just drive around the other way...but now I think I may be wrong.  Maybe it is gated on both sides. 

Eating is different, too. You aren't supposed to put you hands on anything, and yet everything has sharp little bones, which the girls put on the table without a plate or anything when they are done with them. And I just ate a part of a pig that I fear to have identified. I am very adventurous with the food in general, but twice today, I had to spit something out. And there were so many unfamiliarly weird things at lunch, that I skipped a lot of them. And some of the ones I did take were not what I expected. I have so much sympathy for Ping-Ping's misadventures sorting food out at home. 

I did really like the brightly-colored objects that looked exactly like aquarium rocks but turned out to be chocolate.

They sell it differetly, too. There is a spot on the way from the school to the apartment where they sell stuff on the roadside. Literally. Piles and piles of garlic, ginger, tiny oranges, etc. just lying on a tarp on the sidewalk. And it comes in different packages. Squeeze bottles are seldom food at home. And instant noodle shaped containers never contain coffee, much less sweet milk coffee   with a thing you put in it that is like solid jelly like strips, almost like a bubble tea thing. 

Last time we were here, so many people spoke English...near the adoption hotel, that I never used any Chinese. Here...across town...it is quite different. No one speaks English except Ping-Ping and one girl who shouted toilet at me a  number of times to see if I needed to use the bathroom. There were people from all over in the White Swan. Not here. I am the only Caucasion around. No one has stared though, except for one pretty little girl who seemed to find me fascinating. 

People don't hug much, but they are constantly taking each other by the arm and walk together. I've been by the armed all over the place. I find it mildly disconcerting, but I like them all, so its okay.

So...different. Nice, but different.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:January 11th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the update!

Even at home cultures can be strange sometimes. I remember when Steve and I were dating one Fourth of July here and, much to his surprise, I not only knew the guy who was selling organic fruits and vegetables and soda on the side of the road, I also felt perfectly comfortable haggling with him in a goodnatured way...and successfully. Apparently in the Fairfax suburbs, the price you are quoted is what you pay. ; )
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 11th, 2012 11:11 am (UTC)
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very true...about prices. I came from a place like Fairfax. Haggling baffles me. Lol



[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:January 11th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
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Well, I had known the guy since I was ten or younger. He owned/owns the organic food shoppe next to the art gallery where I worked as a kid for a dollar an hour. I would go over there for sesame-honey candy before work.

[User Picture]
From:cathschaffstump
Date:January 11th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
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Being somewhere else is great. Hard, yes. Great, yes.

Catherine
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:January 11th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
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The wealth of experiences you are having! Some of this should find its way into a book.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 11th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
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I am sure it will!
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