02 October 2006

Downtown Wuxi on National Holiday

Yesterday we were brave enough to face the crowds and venture out to see what downtown Wuxi would be like on National Holiday, October 1st. We took a very crowded bus and walked around and did lots of exploring. Our first stop was to a yummy noodles restaurant, then we went next door to Starbucks. We went in a bunch of random stores and did a lot of window shopping. I made my first DVD purchase here. Almost all DVDs here are pirated but there are no real sources for buying legal DVDs, so I decided that I'm ok with buying them and watching them here but just that I won't bring them home. I found Thank You for Not Smoking, the Whale Rider, the Pianist (all were on my must-watch list at home) and The Princess Bride (what a classic!). Now I only hope that for the low price of $1.25 each, they will at least work. Dinner was made complete with great chicken quesadillas from Friday's. In all, it wasn't as crazy as I expected (not as many fireworks as I was initially told), but there were just SO many people. I know I live in a country of 1.3 BILLION people, but still...it was like the day after Thanksgiving, Chinese style. It was pretty awesome, all things considered.

Regarding pictures: As always on this blog, double-clicking on an image opens it in a new window and enlarges it.

These first three pictures were taken from our perch in the second floor Starbucks.

There were three girls performing Britney Spears style songs/dances (Chinese Britney, of course) and this is the crowd that they drew.

Smack in the middle of this crowd, two cars decided that they wanted to get through AT THE SAME TIME. Did they NOT see how ridiciously crowded it was?!? It was like a five minute process to get them through. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Check out the top left corner...right above the Chinese characters for KFC. Oh yes, there are two guys sticking their heads out the window to catch the action. Somehow, from all the way over there, they were able to spot the three white girls drinking coffee because a minute later they were waving at us!

Someone left their real tie for Ronald McDonald...how touching!

Exigence exit? Hmm, perhaps, emergency exit?

Care head: taken on the up escalator.

It was the manager at Friday's birthday so the bartenders decided to throw him a party. It was quite the show, complete with the buring liquor on the bar and the stack of glasses as tall as a person. We even got a free (non-alcoholic) beverage out of it.

I also have tried my hand at uploading videos to Google. I can't actually see the video on the web because Google Video isn't supported in China, so I hope it turned out well. Check it out here. Well, that is all the excitement that I have to share. I will be out of contact for the next few days as we leave on Wednesday for our conference in Beijing. Hope all is well!


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