Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ni hao from china!

I made it to Shanghai safe and sound, despite my initial mishaps at the airport. My flight from Vancouver to China didn't seem as long as it really was (nearly 13 hours), probably because I was asleep most of the time. I managed to watch two movies, which was pretty awesome and they had a huge selection to choose from. Foreign carriers are so much better than any American airline out there, if you ask me. Everyone got their own touch screen video monitor and there were about 25 movies, 30 or so different TV shows, a bunch of video games, and an endless selection of music to choose from. Go Air Canada!

The food was very strange, sort of a mixture of Chinese and American food, but they had these cute mini-soy sauces that were in plastic fish containers. I don't know why anyone would want soy sauce for mashed potatoes, but when in Rome, I guess. We got two meals and then right before we landed everyone got a Cup O' Noodles which made me laugh. It seems a little dangerous to serve soup right before landing, doesn't it?

I'm still jet-lagged and have been waking up at 5AM every morning. I wouldn't mind if that side effect of jet-lagginess continued because I've been getting a ton of stuff done in the mornings when everyone else is sleeping.

Overall, China is nothing like what I was expecting. People tell you all these things about a country before you go, and then when you actually get there it seems like everything is different than what you've heard. There are pretty much NO white people here, which is totally fine by me because I want (and need) to make Chinese friends, but I was told there was a huge ex-pat population in Shanghai, specifically in the area of town where I am living (Pudong).

Me and some friends took the metro last night and we were the only white people in a sea of Asians. I tend to stand out because of my hair, which is a good and bad thing. Good because people always come up to me and want to talk, bad because people always come up to me and want to talk. It's a double-edged sword. Maybe in a few days when I'm not so tired all the time I'll feel more comfortable experimenting with my Chinese, but at this point I don't even remember any of the 2 months of instruction I had and have been surviving off of "ni hao" and "xie xie" and a lot of pointing to things.


Andy said...

That's what happens when you flight in Canadian airlines and not in American ones. The planes are MUCH better. The entertainment and the food, as you pointed out.

I must admit, I don't know how you are doing living in a country where they don't speak a language you know. (You should have gone to France instead).

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I thought it was "mi hao". Not that I'm arguing with the girl going there to teach or anything. But, seriously, I thought it was "mi hao".

Don't you usually stand out in a crowd with the red hair? Aren't guy like, always coming up and trying to pet it and such?

I'm Frank said...

Soy sauce makes everything taste better!

Strawberry said...

andy - i've done the whole france thing...it was time for a new adventure!

TIM - nah, it's "NI", but it'd be tight if it was "mi hao" or even tighter if it was just "meow", can you imagine? that would be so awesome.
yeah i stand out...i haven't experienced anyone petting it yet, just a lot of looking and a lot of getting approached by people saying "hello" and giggling

frank - total nom

Anonymous said...

You know what I heard tastes really good? Soy sauce on a DOG-sandwich.