I notice so many things every day, that are so different than what we do in the US, but then just as quickly forget them. I guess it might be my way of just getting through the day, as I think somethings could be quite irritating here if you let them get to you! Here are a few things I can relay....
*TV - I havent watched one show since moving here. not one. zero. nada. ling. we supposedly have a sattelite with shows from phillipines, but it hasnt worked since we got into the house. In some ways, I miss being able to sit down and turn on the tv for a bit, in other ways, I could care less. You can of course get movies and also entire seasons of shows quite cheap. I have gotten some for the kids - they have watched all the Home Alone movies, Cheaper by the dozen, newest released kid movies, charlie and lola and now C has started on the Indiana Jones movies. For some reason I just haven't gotten anything for myself - maybe I like not watching anything?
* communicating - I start with english..if that doesnt work, I usually tend to start to talk in spanish before I catch myself...then I try hand gestures..they also dont work - pointing etc - they have no clue what you are doing, I may hold something up to describe something, ask for someone who can speak english and last resort walk away or hang up. One night it took me 5 calls to order pizza. yes, 5 calls. I called different locations of the pizza place to try and find someone that could understand me enough to then call the right place and order for me. crazy. Cant complain - its their country and they dont have to speak english if they dont want, but it makes it hard!
* "I will try" or, "maybe tomorrow" - the chinese culture is not one for disappointment. They never want to say no, or that something can not be done. I appreciate the tenacity, but sometimes better to know that something will really not be done rather than say it will then disappoint! This is frequent when it comes to fixing things at the house or bringing furniture - we still dont have all our furniture that we ordered - most but not all, but everytime you call -oh i think maybe today! I do keep on it, calling regularly but not sure it helps??
* Most expat wives dont work - now, I did know this before coming, but its reality! There is lots of time to see every local site, gossip about who does what, who has best expat package, budget for this or that - oy. I am working on finding my balance of work meetings, school functions, social activities, exercise. I have to find a new schedule to my day. I had it down pat quite well at home, and now I am in a bit of turmoil finding my new norm. While I can't, nor do I want to go to every activity around, I am trying to pick and choose a few things so I can get out, meet people and see China in between other things. A few weeks ago I went to the chinese tea appreciation event - and decided I dont like Chinese tea. Next week I plan to go on a local "lane walk" - where a guide takes you on a tour of some local areas, to see real life in china and how they live. Should be interesting...and only lasts about 3 hours, plus I will go wtih some friends I know and maybe meet some new ones.
*this leads me to....meeting new people day in and day out is tiring! who knew? about 80% of daily sitauations involve meeting new people it seems - though it was 100%..so it is getting better? the area we live in, you start to see the same folks over and over - its a good thing. It is fun to meet new people, see if you click, have common interests ...but it is hard sometimes too, as some days - you just dont want to start from zero with everyone!
* food - I really dont want to just eat chinese. sorry, but its true. yes, if you eat "local" you can eat fairly cheap, but just am not interested in doing that every day. Sometimes its fine, but sometimes you want pasta, or a burger, or pizza...or a hot chocolate chip cookie. So I do!
* lines and traffic - people dont wait in line here. they all butt in front of you. I have to be on alert at all times to block people - drives me nuts but its true. At the big grocery nearby - good luck - i wish we had brought C's football pads, I would wear them! they are sneaky about it, too. I felt a bit intimidated at first, but I dont anymore - just say Bu! and elbow them back. The traffic part - is more for when i am walking - you get the Green Walk sign and one would think you could start to walk - but not here! cars are turning, or running red lights, etc. you really have to watch like a hawk, even by our school and we aren't in a super busy area of the city, either. I think this is one of the worst parts of being in China - and they dont seem to even care they are turning while you are in the middle of the road?
* massage - very cheap here, even the place i normally go which is a bit more high end - about $12 for one hour massage. I do like this perk. today, for my lunch hour, I am going with my neighbors for foot massages so we can visit, too.
Enough for now. I will try and update some on Hong Kong soon. I am also heading back to AZ in another week or so for work, so will be enjoying some yummy mexican food and visiting with friends!