Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learning the Ropes

There are some things I realize you might not know. If you do, skip ahead until you hit new information.

1. Time zone: Shanghai & Beijing are NY City + 13 (12 during the summer which you may remember from the Olympics) so I am writing this and sending it around 8pm Saturday local time and it will land in Bethany's mailbox (internet willing) around 7am Saturday her time.

2. Internet access: I couldn't be happier that I decided to have a blog baby-sitter or more grateful that Bethany agreed to hold the reins. I have not been able to access Facebook or Twitter at all and don't expect that to change. I can get to the homepage of Chili's blog ( but can only see what the screen captures, no scrolling down and I don't think I could get any of the links to work. I cannot even access my own blog yet. It says the server is not responding. Maybe I'll try again and see what happens but I'm probably going to assume that'll be a no go. I have all the comments from the blog emailed to me and my email is working fine so I am able to read everything you're saying and thank you very much!

3. Food/Priorities: I suspect some of you were disappointed to hear that our first meal in China was a pulled pork slider. The reasoning there was that it was late and it was the one place we knew that was open and serving. It's also a frequent haunt of Sister Bee's and we wanted to meet the people in her neighborhood, as it were. Last but not least, it was fucking delicious! However, today we went authentic. Mr. Li, our driver, is a font of information. We asked him to recommend a noodle shop for lunch and he took us to a real local joint. We had pork dumplings and a huge bowl of noodles with a slightly hot flavor and the sweetest, most tender, juicy tiny chunks of pork in it and it cost about $1.20 per bowl. I will dream of that for years to come. Then we wanted some real Chinese tea (Note: Not being a caffeine drinker I am terrified of drinking too much caffeine and having my head try to explode.) and he found us a place that looked kind of swanky and lovely. When we got back to the car her told us it was to tea cafes what McDonald's is to American food. It was still delicious. Later we had the opportunity to sit in a tea shop and try different loose teas prepared specially by the shop mistress.

4. Learning Curve: We went shopping this evening. You know I'm not much a shopper anyway but this is a whole different experience. Nearly every shop dickers prices and it is rough play. No, seriously, ROUGH play. Between learning to do the math for the exchange rate and learning the verbal and physical banter to get the price you want it's like doing calculus while riding a bike. I'm not great at one and a complete failure at the other, you can guess which. But I'm learning. Let's just say that so far we haven't bought much. We have to let the shop keepers learn our limits. It's OK, we're here for a couple of weeks.

5. Jet Lag: Tired. OK but tired. Slept on and off from midnight thirty to 7am. Have felt pretty good most of the day. Getting a sore throat and feeling a little achy (air quality is an issue here and I showed up with a cold so I may be screwed but I have meds and will just power through, dagnabbit) but we're hunkered down at home for the evening, getting ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Note from Bethany: Sorry to those of you whose feed-readers got hit twice yesterday, my Blogger skills are a bit rusty! 


  1. I'm so excited for you, Kizz. (I'm getting vicarious travelling pleasure from your trip!)

  2. Bethany, do NOT apologize. That you're doing this at all is AWESOME. I know I'd be losing my mind not knowing what's going on with Kizz, so if I have to see it twice, I have to see it twice.

    Kizz, I'm grinning like a fool over here. I had NO issue whatsoever with your first evening's meal - who are we to judge? - though I DO wish that I could taste what you're tasting. Also? I'm TOTALLY jealous of the tea. I've been trying to score some good green tea in bulk, and I'm finding that it's much harder (and WAY more expensive) than I'd like.

    Oh, and one more thing? I love you.

  3. Everything Chili said, ditto from me.

  4. Chris didn't believe me when I told him that your first meal in China was Texas BBQ. Now he's having fits over the $1.20 bowl of noodles. We are so jealous. Enjoy every second.

  5. Wow, this is so exciting!!