Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday, August 27, Yantai, China

It continues to drizzle and rain here. While making things a little more humid, it has made the temp wonderful. For those of you that have forgotten, I got an undergrad degree in napping. Napping in this weather is almost required. I do it 3-4 times a day.

We had an incredible dinner last night with one of last year's exchange students, Angi. She took us to a Korean restaurant at a nearby shopping center. Grilled pork rolled up in lettuce with a hot sauce, deep-fried octopus, and a soup made with rice dumplings were the main course. On the side we had rice fried with egg in a hot sauce and vegetable sushi. ( Am I starting to sound like one of those critics in the paper?) Along with the meal came typical Korean relishes. The kimchee was outstanding. We finally found out what the green stuff that we like so much is. This is difficult to pronounce. It is called C H I N E S E C A B B A G E. Complicated, huh? We also had marinated bean sprouts, seasoned beef (HOT), and peanuts. I think the peanuts were in honor of Jimmy Carter's recent trip to Korea. We ate so much, we could barely waddle home.

We are taking all 5 exchange students to lunch this Sunday. Chang introduced us to this really great restaurant by the seaside. I have loved the food but have to admit, every time we pass Pizza Hut and I see folks eating pizza and spaghetti, I start to get hungry for home cookin'. Marco and I have talked about opening a buffet that serves meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and mac n' cheese. We are looking for a clever, catchy name. Please forward suggestions.

Joan and I think we have acclimated to life here. Nothing is done at a fast pace. Much like SW Florida, an appointment at 2 PM on Thursday means sometime around the end of the week. Food comes from the kitchen when it is finished, no particular order. Driving continues to amaze. Yesterday, on our way back from the visa registration office, our cab missed another by a few inches. This happened in front of a police car. Our Chinese friends asked if this would have gotten a ticket in the US. Someone would have been ticketed. Here, the police continued their nap. Costs of items also are interesting. Price depends not only on the brand, but where you buy. Go to the Japanese owned mall and buy a brand named item costs about 1/3 more than buying it an individual street front store. Find the same item at a street vendor and pay less than half. I wish Lisa were here to buy a designer purse. She wouldn't have to chase after the vendor like she did in Pisa!

We also read a new term in the English edition of China news- Chimerica. It refers to the new, growing China that is attempting to become a world, economic power. There are many opinions about this in China. Many feel that China must first learn to preserve the new growth. Others want immediate expansion through land and business purchases abroad. It is a very interesting time, economically. ( That comes from the guy who balanced his own checkbook on 2 occasions.)

Do any of you know how to have a multi-person Skype conversation? We can do it but with voice only. We would like to include video. Also, do any of you Mac owners have a shortcut way to sort photos? Presently, I must split photos individually then place them in a new file. We are going to attempt to try to connect Joan's little computer today at the office. Keep your international fingers crossed that it works.

My Mom has become quite an accomplished emailer and Skype-ist. I am very proud of her.

Joan just announced from the bathroom that the shower arrangement is very convenient. She can sit on the throne and shave her legs. Yankee ingenuity. ( Sorry Joan, rebel ingenuity. After almost 16 years of marriage, she still refers to me as a damned Yankee.)

Please know that we have intermittent service from our email provider. If we are cut off during a conversation, know that we said,"Adios" and will try to contact you later.

I have now exhausted my voluminous wit ( and my typing finger is sore.) I close and hope to hear from you soon. Remember to email us directly as we cannot read our blog,nor the comments.

With all the temples and pavilions we've seen (Jade Buddha, Reclining Buddha), we are proposing the next will be the Hairy Buddha in honor of Andy!
We certainly get lots of looks (we are the different ones) but people are very friendly with ni haos and hello good mornings.
To date it has been a delightful experience (with the exception of the incredible heat our 2nd week).

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