Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's a long one!

So, I didn’t plan well, and came to China already desperately in need of a haircut. It took me so long to find a stylist in Boston that I liked, that I was really nervous about having someone I’m not yet capable of communicating with, cut my hair. Three days in a row Brian left for work with me telling him “I’m going to get a haircut today!” Finally, I walked two doors down, armed with a picture of the haircut I wanted and took the plunge.  I’ll admit, the first 30 minutes I was really scared after the young guy with the beginnings of Howard Hughes nails made some horribly blunt chops with kitchen shears, but in the end it turns out I’d worried for nothing. The best part is, it was only $3!!!! The first week here I’d just been going around in a baseball cap, figuring, I’m not going to run in to anyone I know, so why bother gussying up? But I tell you, that $3 haircut got me feeling all spunky, like a good haircut tends to do, and I’m feeling like this town is my oyster! No more lazy days lady! (Even though they were great!) But it’s time to get out and explore!

We’ve had several great meals so far. There’s a fantastic Korean restaurant we went to with Brian’s office. And we found a Japanese restaurant just around the corner where we had sushi and drinks last night. (Don’t worry mom and dad, it’s been 24 hours and we aren’t sick, so the fish probably didn’t come out of the Yangtze!) And Brian’s boss took us to a tea house/bar in the middle of a beautiful park that I’m eager to go back to with my camera. In fact, there have been several missed photo ops just running around town doing errands, so I vow to always carry my camera with me in the future. Sadly, I can’t show you pictures of the soldiers with huge guns randomly patrolling the entrance to the grocery store. Nor can I show you Chinese street cleaning—on my way to the haircut, water trucks drove by spraying down our street—a very busy 4 lane road. On my way back from the haircut, 5 men were in the middle of the street with brooms scrubbing the road! The omnipresent smog makes the city look and feel pretty dingy, but they seem to work hard at keeping it tidy. Right now gardeners are planting flowers (and using HIDEOUS smelling fertilizer) at the many parks and large squares, so hopefully spring is on its way!

I went to Brian’s office at the shipyard on Friday and watched a ship launch with him. It wasn’t for his company, but it was interesting to watch nevertheless.  Just the hull was built in a slipway (a big ramp that can slide in to the water) and we watched them slide it out into the river. It was amazing how quickly it happened. The shipyard is huge and it is one of many in Jiangyin. The Yangtze is absolutely filled with ships coming and going. As the ship was being launched there were tiny rowboats crowding around to watch—I can only imagine the safety precautions if this were to happen in the States! Also reminded me of Darcy taking our little Hobie Cat out on Lake Shasta and getting too close to the dam and the security going nuts waving her off because the flood gates were open…. But in Jiangyin, if you want to row your 6’ homemade rowboat right behind 45,000 tons of steel, you go right ahead! I’m sending photos and a video to Darcy so she can post them here for me. Thanks Darc!

Lost in Translation:
 - "Soiled dish in a pot" (item menu at the Japanese restaurant last night)   
 - A store around the corner named HoLike  (I guess we have to go inside to determine if this is or isn’t lost in translation???)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like every day is an adventure, and I'm loving reading your posts, Leslie! Looking forward to seeing the images too.