Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hearts Are Floating For...A Yellow Haired Girl In Another World

It's been about four weeks since we returned from our trip to China and I'm still amazed at the whole experience. Admittedly, I was in such a state of culture shock, that I was often battling homesickness and the comforts of the western world. But I knew this was a once in a lifetime trip and had to remind myself to just roll with it.

The first six days were the most difficult. We flew into Shanghai and then drove almost three hours to Suzhou where Bill would be working during the days. I was feeling very much like Charlotte without a Bob Harris during this time. Lost.

I did manage to get out a few times. The first being with Sonia, an executive admin from Bill's workplace, who shuttled me around for a day. We had lunch, shopped, shopped, and shopped some more. I didn't buy anything (surprise!) because most of the stores were similiar to a F21 or H&M and I needed to save room in my suitcase for items that I couldn't buy back home. We also stopped at a silk factory - and I did buy a scarf.

At the Suzhou Silk Factory - The quilts are made by layers upon layer of silk. I'm attempting to help stretch the next layer here.

Over the weekend, Bill and I were able to explore on our own. We discovered that WalMart exists in China although it looks very different than what we're used to. The first thing that's evident is the pungent smell coming from the food area where dead animals await to be purchased. What? You don't think dangling dead chickens would go over in the US? I refrained from taking a picture. But I did take this one.

Bill...look he's so excited to see what's inside!

The other highlight of this portion of the trip was his company's annual dinner to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This "yellow-haired" girl was a fish out of water. I sipped my Tsingtao beer and watched Bill sing a rockin rendition of Jumpin Jack Flash during karaoke. (Not one person knew the song except us and the one other American at our table.) I somehow won a giant stuffed dragon. I'm still not sure how and why but there they were shoving it into my arms. And I discovered that in China they don't flush used toilet paper but rather throw it in a basket. (Now think 200 women, 3 toilets, and one big mess that I will let you imagine.) 

Lots more to come....  

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