Saturday, January 10, 2004

Delicious Refuse

That’s what I read recently, on a package of candied peanuts sitting on the shelf at our local market. Delicious refuse. Ya gotta love Chinese interpretations of the English language. Yum!

So, I bought a bag.

Not bad for refuse. Pretty tasty actually. Today, while sitting in a taxi, stuck in traffic in downtown Guangzhou, I passed a store with a sign out front that said, “Drugged Store,” which was just down the street from an Interrational school.

Things that make you go, “Hummmmm”

But, Guangzhou isn’t tops on my list of places to go since to date I’ve been robbed and have been involved in a rather horrific bus accident. So I stay pretty close to home nowadays, mostly venturing out to farther destinations with friends, using Guangzhou as a jumping off place.

Speaking of friends, this is a picture of Sebastien. He’s from Montreal, Quebec. I received an e-mail from him one day entitled, “Hello from Phoenix City!” Seems he somehow managed to get on my blog site and found out I was working just down the road from him.

Sebastien used to teach English in Beijing but after returning to Canada for a respite from the SAR’s scare here, he returned to China and found a good job working at the Phoenix City Hotel, a five star hotel here in our sprawling community.

Sebastien works with two men from Nepal, named Tanka and Bala. These guys are a riot. It’s so nice to have friends here finally, who I look forward to getting together with. Don’t get me wrong, Chinese people are fun, but sometimes the battle over English is a tiring struggle.

After my fourth grade class yesterday, at 2:15 p.m., my teaching schedule for the term is over for a month. I’m now on vacation until February. Money is tight because I’m flying to Bangkok in nine days, but I was bored stiff and wondering what to do when Sebastien invited me to tag along with him, shopping in Guangzhou. We visited a couple of places I’ve never been to in the TianHe district; the Corner Deli, which specializes in Western food and the large market in the basement of TEEM Plaza.

I actually bought mustard and cheese! Now I can have real hotdogs! Something that is very rare around here. The market at TEEM Plaza was awesome and huge! I’ll certainly return there in the future. We ate dinner on the sixth floor of the Plaza building, at a food court that ads a new dimension to the word, “Affordable.” I had a wonderful meal of some type of spicy mystery meat (I think it was frog) served on a sizzling plate and piled high with vegetables, and meat and served with rice. The whole meal cost me the equivalent to about $2.25 U.S.!&nb! sp; Food here in Guangzhou, if you manage to find the right places, can be incredibly inexpensive.

After dinner we took a taxi and managed to get to our bus stop just ahead of the Phoenix City bus, arriving back home in short order, around 7:30 p.m. A nice respite from the lack of activity here in Phoenix City.

I’ll be in Bangkok for five days and then will return January 19 to wile away my time until school begins again, the beginning of February. If finances allow, Sebastien and I will be making a trip to Hong Kong for a day or so, just to check things out.

Oh, almost forgot…..Happy New Year, Merry Christmas and all that crap. I’m not much one for holiday celebrations and it’s hard to get into the spirit of the holidays when you live in a sub-tropical zone. Ha!




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