Sunday night: After having our usual Sunday night meeting, my team surprised me with a belated birthday party. Everyone was so kind to spend a bit of their precious prep time hanging out with me. It was a wonderful to start the week!
The yummy cake from the bakery down the street.
Beth, me, Lindsey, Megan, Jamie and Daniel at my party.
The presents from the team: A book and a Starbucks mug.
Monday afternoon: After school, Megan, Lindsey and I ventured out to a wonderful store called Metro. It is similar to Sam's Club with the idea of buying items at wholesale. Our school got us membership cards because it also carries a great variety of imports. This is the store where we purchased our bikes as well. So we spent way too much money on food from home, but it was good. Metro has a great selection of a lot of things, one of which is seafood. We are close to many bodies of water, which feeds the seafood craze. Growing up in Colorado I was not exposed to seafood at all. I avoid it now at all costs. While at Metro, I was standing in the frozen food section, looking into the seafood section. I notice a fish tried to escape for freedom by jumping out of one of the huge fish tanks. It just flopped around for a minute and then a worker comes over and scoops it up and places it back in the tank. I'm sorry I don't have a video of it--All I can say is that incidents like that make me happy that I don't seek out seafood. The seafood aisles provided some interesting pictures:
One of those giant fish tried to escape.
Crabs occupy the top bin and snakes are for sale in the bottom one--all alive and all for sale for tonight's dinner.
How about some turtles?
Or some normal fish, whatever sounds good.
So that was Metro and their seafood. Interesting huh?
Tuesday: I have developed a nasty head cold and after coming home from school, I crashed on the couch until 9, when I got up, ate some popcorn, took a shower, and went back to bed.
Wednesday: Here's an update on the construction project near our house. Not too long ago, I posted a picture that showed a man bent over a whole bunch of bricks and a dismantled house.
Here is the same pile of bricks a week later, now minus the building.
This is the construction site--it is huge. I'm not sure what exactly they are building, but they work around the clock.
These huge cranes were just brought in and now things are starting to sprout from the ground.
The quality of the last two pictures isn't great. Sadly, those dots are not rain, but dust. It hasn't rained here in over two weeks and the smog is nasty. The air is just so dirty that it shows up in the pictures. The construction site also puts a lot of particles into the air which are visible to the camera.
So Wednesday, we went downtown, ate McDonalds for dinner, and hung out at Starbucks. A nice, relaxing evening.
Thursday: We went to dinner the Orange Restaurant and it was yummy, as always.
Friday evening: To celebrate making it through the week, we went to Friday's for dessert. The entire back row was empty when we got on the bus, so we decided to sit there. It was a fun view. We also went exploring--by exploring, I mean that we went up a few random elevators and escalators. Look what we found:
Karri and Jamie (and Meg's hand) flashing the victory sign, just like the Chinese!
Meg, me and Lindsey (oh wait, is that me with my hair down?!? What?!? Take a good look because it doesn't happen very often :)
From the back of the bus looking forward. Most of the busses have TVs on them. I don't think there is sound to match, but they usually just play the news or something. This is a relatively empty bus for Wuxi.
One of the elevators we went up landed us at a spa. This was the chandelier that marked the entrance.
Dried meat floss...yes...I'm not sure how to explain this...Some of the pastries here have meat in them. Not normal meat though, it's like preserved, it-used-to-be-meat kind of meat, and so apparently it is called dried meat floss. I ran across this at a grocery store we stumbled upon last night, it's nice to know that it has a name!
Ahh, Clinique, how I love you! It's even more expensive there though than in the States.
Somehow we ended up on the 38th floor of a building we have nicknamed the Needle building because it has a point on the top. Creative, I know, but here is downtown Wuxi.
Another look at downtown Wuxi from a different angle.
A few other stories that are pictureless.
- A ground-level neighbor has purchased some roosters. I don't know what their purpose is, but they have taken it upon themselves to crow at the crack of dawn. Not the way most people expect to be woken up in a city of 5 million. The reason that I do not have a picture of these animals is because they are on a leash and like to hide under the bushes.
- I was so happy for my supplies that I bought from Walmart. One of them was a set of alphabet letters like most families with preschool-aged children have on their frigs. I was excited to find them here, but I when I opened them at school this week, I found out that they don't have magnets. What's the point of having letters if they don't work on the whiteboard or the frig?!? I was a bit peeved.
- On a happy China note, I decided to see how long I could go without charging my cell phone. Answer: At least a week. I got scared when it got down to one bar that I might loose all my data, so I didn't let it die completely, but I went at least a week without charging it, which I find pretty impressive.
- One of my favorite China quirks is watching people smoke and what activities they can complete while smoking. I have noticed a few people smoking while riding their bikes and driving the motorized carts. But my favorite was one guy who was walking down the street in the bike lane, reading the paper and smoking, all at the same time.
- After school one day this week, we were riding home and noticed a white woman on the sidewalk. We don't see a lot of Westerners in our area and if we do, it is usually at the store or something. Anyway, so we see this lady and her little boy has blonde, like bleached blonde, hair. We all turned and look at the boy and when we finally get our eyes back on the road, we see that we're about to run someone over. Yes, I got caught rubbernecking, just like everyone else here. I guess that makes me a local or something!
- I survived teacher observing week! The middle school did not get too many visitors and it was nice to meet most of the parents of our students.