Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

We had to change our plans today because it is pouring. This is unusual for Beijing. I guess it doesn't rain. But the day we decide to go to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, it pours. Is there a message there?

I am enjoying the time sitting in my room reading. I have my balcony door open to let the cool air in. After 96 degrees the other day, I am enjoying that it is in the 60's. I am a bit chilly, but I don't care. I do not want that heat for the rest of our trip.

I started to make notes of the things I wanted to include in the blog but forget to each time I sit down.

While we were visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses the other day, we were bombarded as we got off our tour bus. Street urchins with plastic bags were asking for our used water bottles. I was a bit excited thinking that China must have a sort of recycling program whereby people can return bottles for money. I am a fan of programs like this. This recycling program was a bit different. Instead of returning empty bottles, they fill them with tap water (which you should not drink in China) and resell it to tourists as bottled water. As I said, it is recycling, however......One of my students said, "but, if that's all you have, it isn't so twisted." It's still twisted. You are lying and cheating. I don't care if that's all you have. It is a bit screwed up.

Our tour guide in Xian arranged for a foot massage. It was to cost 100 RMB (which is about $14) for 45 minutes. When we arrived, we were told she arranged for a 70 minute massage for 100 RMB. I didn't know what to expect but didn't care because you will never get a 70 minute massage for $14.

This was much more than a foot massage. They started by soaking our aching feet (and they were aching after walking around in the scorching heat and humidity all day) in some sort of tea soak that felt sublime. While our feet were soaking, the dudes rubbed our shoulders and neck. Then he rubbed our backs (we were completely clothed). He leaned us back and my back cracked as if it had never cracked. It felt fabulous! Then they started rubbing our feet. Since this is China, a foot rub is really reflexology. I wished I spoke Chinese so that I could figure out what my dude was doing and what it meant. Instead, I laid back and enjoyed every one of those 70 minutes. My massage man did comment that I have big feet. He said, "Your feet are really big." The group of ladies I was with laughed. I do have big feet. I am 5'11". If I didn't have big feet, you should worry. The next day a student came over and called me big feet (for the record, I prefer big foot). It was funny.

By the end of the massage, I was so relaxed my massage guy could have done anything he wanted. Message to Jamie: I really wouldn't have let that happy, honey.

We ate at TGI Friday's last night. After eating Chinese food all week, we were craving something Western. Friday's is in our hotel complex so it won. The burger I had was wonderful. I don't normally eat at chains because Western New York has so many great places to eat. But I had to. I had to.

One of these posts will discuss some of the things we are learning here. I have comments from students as well as my own observations. I have to go shower now so that I can go eat some more. Then I hope to just rest. We are meeting with other companies tomorrow. This is an incredible experience for our students. And for me.


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Michael said...

I am enjoying your China trip entries!. My son is also in China for the summer (looking for work at the moment actually). It's fun to compare his observations with yours.

Marvene said...

Well written article.