Wow where did the time go? Got printing and pictures done yesterday for my class today. Chuck had school and Nate and I stayed home for the most part. We talked on Skype to mom on Monday and I talked to her again this morning. I’ve been worried about my Aunt Helen today. She has been on my mind a lot and the storm heading for the east coast of America was going to make landfall in New Jersey today. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who are being affected by the storm may you ride the storm out in safety and come out the other end in a good place. We’ve got lots of family in Jersey, Virginia, and Georgia. We’ve got friends in the Carolina’s too. I pray for their safety as well. Here it got real windy overnight. One of the cats (Arthur) came up the stair well and was meowing loudly around 4 am this morning. Got home from teaching and while I was teaching my last class of the day Qi Yan called to see if I was home so we could get the hot water heater looked at. I wasn’t home, but I told her that she could call Charles as he was home. My class got a kick out of my cell phone ring…CHICKENS! After my class three students wanted to have pictures taken with me today.
Today we went with Johnny to 2 7 Mall and had a pizza lunch. The pizza was good but they had some very different toppings from what we would eat. I think Pizza Hut is still a better place to get something that is authentic to America. The mall is 5 levels tall and the thing is that for food you go to the basement which is the opposite of all other markets here. After that we went to the largest Dashang Market in the area right down there at the 2 7 Square area. Very impressive and although the imported food isle wasn’t all that; it was perhaps a better representative of the different cultures in the world than what we have seen so far. It was nice and I got lots of pictures of the area and the food we ate. We are all tired and relaxing this afternoon. I still need to get my pictures and worksheet pages printed out for this week.
Chuck surprised us today. He got his hair trimmed, that I knew about but today was as he put it Old Man day at the hair salon and he got color in his hair. He went out this morning to have breakfast with Johnny and he played Gangnam Style and Johnny and everyone else in the place knew the song, some even danced along with it. He got the hair color later when he went to the hair salon for a trim. Once there he saw other men getting color put in their hair and he decided to go for it. He was dying his hair in GA for a while but then stopped so this was unexpected. Nate opened the door for him today and he was speechless; not a normal thing for him either.
We went to Wanda Plaza and walked around on the third floor looking for a place to eat. We saw lots of restaurants that had lines of people waiting to eat there, always a good sign. We choose Ulike, a traditional noodle shop that was busy but not so busy that we would have to wait in a huge line for food. The noodle dish that we all got was very good and very spicy. My mouth felt like it was going to spontaneously combust from the spice. I also got a side dish of broccoli lightly steamed with garlic and butter or a light oil and served chilled. It was yummy. Chuck got a side that looked like parsley and some very hot and spicy black stringy thing. I’d say that they were saffron because of the shape but saffron is a yellow color so that is out, but that is what the black strings looked like. I forgot to take pictures of the food before we started eating so I don’t have a picture of the sides (they went fast) but all three of us got the same noodle dish. It was supposed to be stirred up so the broth at the bottom of the bowl will coat all the noodles. However, doing that made the entire dish way too hot to eat. A server came and mixed Chuck’s and he had a rough time eating it after that. Then another server came and wanted to mix Nate’s and mine. I put my hands up and covered both dishes and shook my head. He motioned that the dishes needed to be mixed (not on your life) and I motioned that I understood but we were eating them without stirring. That I paid for it should be enough to let you know that I will eat my food how I want. True to form, after the first round of drinks I went back and got more. The cashier wanted to have her picture taken with me. I guess they heard my songs on Youku.com…LOL I have pictures of the two servers that wanted pictures with me and then got our second round of drinks. After drinking two rounds of soda with our lunch we took a walk through the rest of Wanda Plaza, but as we were leaving I turned around and my new friend the cashier was waving and I waved back.
We were not disappointed on our walk. On the fourth floor of Wanda Plaza is a KTV or Karaoke TV and it is hugely popular in China. On the fifth floor is the IMAX box office. They have one on the third floor that has the times and everything but this is where you go to see the movies. They also had nice bathrooms. Still the squat toilets, but instead of just the porcelain hole in the ground it has a little hood over it so that when you use the toilet it stays in the toilet. This bathroom was well lit and not smelly. I had to use the bathroom on campus the other day and we were at the food area. That bathroom didn’t have light (it was 6pm) or if it did have light it was sound sensitive and who are you going to talk to in the WC? It was also less than nice smelling, not as bad as some I’ve come across but…
Anyway that is our Wanda Plaza adventure for today. As we were leaving today we waited outside of Starbucks for Chuck, a guy was whistling, Happy Birthday. I was taken back, that isn't a Chinese tune, but I think it was very fitting on this the 1st birthday of Wanda Plaza. Tonight for dinner we went American and made Mac & Cheese, fried canned meat (like Spam) and Pringles. Everything was manufactured here in China and since there is no mac & cheese box mixes like in the US we made our own cheese sauce with cheese from the dairy case here and pure milk. The pasta is bow tie pasta that is on the shelf here, not in the Foreign food isle but with all the other pasta that is eaten here. The Pringles are Chuck’s nod to home, but they were made here in China using potatoes from here.
Today Nate and I just made today a lazy day. We didn’t do much after he finished his book work but we did take a bike ride today. We rode to Vanguard and got the few items that we have to run to the store for often bread, drink mix, and pretzels. We were enticed by the smell in the bakery and got some dessert buns (or I think they are dessert buns); and at the checkout I saw a pack of Doublemint gum. This was a rare find after weeks of getting gum here that is in a plastic jar I actually found gum as we have it in the states. A pack of 15 sticks and not the little squares of gum like Chiclets but sticks. This is an epoch event. Chuck had to go into teach and talk with the office about our having to go and be gone for a week in November. My boss was very laid back about it and said that I just need to make up the lesson the next week and make sure the classes know that there will be no class on the day in question.
Chuck will be going to do his class tonight at the university. One of the other English teachers told us about the celebration that is going on at Wanda Plaza. This is the anniversary of the first year in business for the plaza and restaurants are offering a discount for the weekend. Just got to figure out who we want to go to, KFC, Pizza Hut, or perhaps one of the other restaurants on the third floor? Come back and see where we go.
Hey Fans and Friends,
It has been awhile since I last blogged and things have changed. Right now I'm writing from Zhengzhou, China. I can't put anything up on YouTube from here, but China has YOUKU which is like YouTube but this can be seen truly anywhere you have internet. Here are the youku addresses: for Don't Want no Trouble http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDY3MTk5MzEy.html
for Mom's Day Off http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDY3MTkyMDAw.html
Check them out. I had fun writing them and I'm looking forward to doing more with Nate when we get a drum for him.
Peace! Lady Toni in China
Chuck and I went this morning to Dashang Market and to Vanguard. Our goal: To find Halloween. As you remember from our door decoration, people here seem to love anything American and Halloween is no exception. Dashang didn’t have any Halloween products, but Vanguard did. I took some pictures and Chuck took video of the display at Vanguard. We are going to go to the university to get me a cell phone and then stay for Chuck’s class tonight. Perhaps I will even see a mirror for my purse and one for here in the house. Well, didn’t get the mirror, perhaps tomorrow. But I did get my new cell phone and it has internet access so I can get google translator while in class! We visited in Chuck’s class tonight and Nate was once again very popular, but tonight, it was with the boys. He even had one of the boys adopt him as his little brother and the young man even gave Nate a Chinese name that he learned how to say and spell tonight. They are going to email each other and his major is Nate’s love in school Chemistry. The girls wanted to know something of the love story between me and Chuck. I swear the girls are going to think that we talked about what to share as we both talked about how we met on line and the fact that Chuck’s name on line GA Teddy Bear was the reason we met. I love Teddy Bears and wanted to get to know this man who called himself a Teddy Bear. After we got my phone and before the class we walked around the campus and at dinner and tried to find a skin for my phone but to no avail out there. Well it is getting late. Let me put this on my blog for today and hit the bed. I’m bushed. Night night.
I started today by correcting the papers of my students at the university today. They did resumes and most looked like they were on the right track. I think at the end of the class I will also have them write revamped resumes so I’m going to ask that they hold on to these resumes and then resubmit them later in the semester. Chuck has gone to teach his writing class and Nate has gone along as a new member of his class. I’m going to go and see if our bags can be repaired and then I’ve got a little shopping to do on my own. I guess I will be riding my bike today. Well, that’s all for now. Peace out. I was able to get both my bag and Chuck’s bags fixed so we have our bike riding bags back. Doing it was very reasonable too. After that, I went to Vanguard and got some things that I have been wanting, like lotion, new pj’s and at last a sock dryer so we can put an end to having to put socks on coat hangers. Right now I’ve got my socks and a pair of tights on this. I can’t imagine how much easier it will be to dry socks now. . I wrote two songs tonight. Well, I wrote one and finished one that I started a week ago, but that still counts as two for today right? If you know me then you know that my music reflects what is going on in my life. These songs do. One is titled “Mom’s Day Off” and the other “Don’t Want No Trouble” I will let you know where you can go to hear these as soon as the videos are up.
It started out as a partly sunny day this morning. Chilly, but sunny so I got the laundry done and hung in the drying room. Then I got me dressed and ready to go to teach this afternoon. I had one disaster and that is that my back pack threw a zipper today. It was one of those things that looking back in retrospect I’m thinking why one earth did you do that? I zipped my zipper and saw that there was some room and I wanted to know what would happen if I pushed my zipper further, the answer it dropped off the zipper track and I can’t seem to get it back on for NOTHING! I’ll have to play with it some more tonight and if not that then off to the seamstress to see if she can put it together tomorrow. I hope it gets fixed. I missed having it with me tonight and will miss it tomorrow when I ride.
I taught my classes tonight also. I had my students to do an oral quiz, I had them tell me what and while they did good on the grammar questions nobody in my first class got the business questions so I just didn’t ask them of my second class. Perhaps that was wrong of me, but I wanted them to feel that they had done well in class. I’m going to start all over again with teaching them the business terms. I handed back the business plans that I had and collected the resumes that were homework from last week. Chuck and Nate got a Halloween Decoration for our front door while on their shopping trip. They did the grocery shopping.
This morning Chuck took the pink quilt over to get it washed. I’m going with Nate to get that tonight. I am also planning on stopping by Qi Yan’s apartment to give her back the key to the apartment we got the mattress out of yesterday. This morning Nate and I put together a doll house for me. We got it as a gift at the Grand Opening that we attended on Saturday. The playhouse is for a cartoon character popular over here; Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. I've not seen the show, but you can hardly go anywhere without seeing something representing the show. This playhouse is made of foam core and it came in four sheets with numbers on all slots for you to assemble it. It came with all the characters and some furniture it is cute and I have it on my desk in it's put together form. It isn't huge and just right to fit on my desk.
It rained a lot last night and was very windy. Since our front door is on the open stairwell the wind has been having fun banging the door. Chuck came up with a door stop out of some wire that he found lying around in our ‘dryer’. It is colder today, on his way out of the house to teach, Chuck yelled that he needed a coat, that rarely happens and I’m concerned that it is getting cold now. We are getting much more in the way of actual seasons here than in GA kind of like TN in that respect. If tomorrow is windy too, I may just abandon my idea of wearing my new dress and go with pants. While it is cooler, Nate and I were just outside and it wasn't leave your dress at home and wear pants cold. For sure tights will have to come with the dress tomorrow.
Stay in the house kind of day. Chuck took another pair of pants over to the seamstress and then he went to the health spa. Nate and I stayed in the apartment for the most part, I did send him out to get buns from the quick market in our compound. We also got the mattress from the UK family that moved over to the old campus. They went from a two bedroom down to a one bedroom, reverse of what we did. I used some of the same pain reliever that Chuck did after his fall. It helped me greatly last night and sleeping was much easier.