23 October 2013

Howard the Duck and Toothpaste and Other Distractions

Howard the free duck photo 
I've had this Craigslist listing open for days, because, come on--a free, cucumber-loving duck named Howard? And Engrish you can treasure care of to boot? This makes one almost forget about the hotel rat that has been dubbed "Hulty" by some.

In other, more serious news, we finally got a huge load of laundry washed. It cost 150 RMB (25 USD--and that's cheaper than the service lined up for the students!) Luckily the price was made up for by the fact that they gave us an extra pair of underwear. Someone out there is missing a pair of black, silky women's small panties of the brand "Jacob." We are clearly winners in this situation, no?

There was a typhoon. Or two. It rained a lot, and sometimes while I was sitting at the desk, water bounced onto my arm . . . from the closed window . . . ?

There have been a bunch of mosquitoes climbing in our windows, snatching our blood up. One night, I kept hearing the sound of a mosquito buzzing past my ear and I would jump up and turn on the light and try to find it. Michael is way better at being fast enough to kill them. I think it's sad that the hydrocortisone cream I brought is now in my "daily-use" bag instead of my "occasional-use" bag.

I also keep hearing explosions (maybe fireworks), sounds like buildings fall down, and some kind of loud public announcement coming from outside. Puzzling.

Loved chatting with these lovely people photo ScreenShot2013-10-14at95648AM_zps752f6743.png
We loved chatting with these lovely people recently. At first we weren't quite sure who that little wide-eyed guy in the middle was. He's come miles from how he looked when we last saw him. (That's punny.)

The Chinese soap operas that I've been forcing myself to watch haven't been so great for learning the language, because they have long periods of people staring off into space and sighing while cheesy music plays. Luckily, I found an article about the top TV shows in China, and by closing my laptop and just listening (instead of watching), I've been getting some good comprehension practice.

Also, a nice girl (or "woman" for you sticklers out there) I met at a meetup and I are meeting once a week for several hours. I teach her HTML/CSS/JavaScript/etc., and she teaches me Chinese. Good trade--I like both of those.

Being a library lover (duh), I loved hearing that my 7-year-old nephew said, "When I'm in the library I feel like my brain can do anything." One of my very first stops during the first few weeks in Shanghai was at the Shanghai Library. I secured a card with a 100 RMB deposit, and then went about discovering the tech section and the English section. Imagine my surprise when I asked about taking out one of the books, and was told that I had to deposit another 1,000 RMB because it was an English book. That's about 166 USD. Ummm, I'll have to think about that one, thanks. I have been using my never-ending books-to-read list to find eBooks to check out from the San Francisco Public Library's OverDrive account.

Michael has been crazy-busy with his global HULT responsibilities, his local Hult leadership position, all the meetings that come with those things, his classes, and homework that keeps him up until all hours of the night. Hopefully once his test is over on Friday and his schedule shifts to just one class per day, we'll see each other a little more often.

Aaaaaand . . . the random photos continue.

Best combover ever in Shanghai photo 2013-10-16182009_zpse3519897.jpg
Best combover in Shanghai photo 2013-10-16182012_zpsf4d9a997.jpg
Prize-winner of best combover (or should I say "combacross"?) in Shanghai.

Man bag. Looks like one of those Purs'nal Pals http://pursnalpal.com/ photo 2013-10-20220426_zps4a92b600.jpg
Man bag. It looks like one of those Purs'nal Pals that my mom and Charla sell at their boutique.

Where the heck are the floor numbers? photo 
I have never thought twice about the nice, consistent, logical, clear labeling of floor numbers in the U.S. and Germany until now. I keep getting off the elevator at the wrong floor, because this is all you see when the doors open (that door just says something about employees only), and I've never made it a habit to stare at the numbers as we go up--I never needed to. When I take the stairs and I'm not sure which floor I'm on, I have to go all the way onto that floor to check. Weird.

 Celery? photo 2013-10-21195824_zps637d8c38.jpg
This is celery. The stalks are so thin that I thought it was parsley or something. If someone will mail me a Ziploc bag with 1 Tablespoon of thyme, 1 Tablespoon of marjoram, and 2 Tablespoons of sage, we can celebrate Thanksgiving (stuffing is all that matters food-wise, IMHO).

Not an apple. Pear. photo 2013-10-23072112_zps752d20db.jpg
I thought this was an apple. It's a pear. Shanghai likes to play tricks on me.

Interesting toothpaste flavors photo 
We needed more toothpaste, and they had some interesting flavors--watermelon, apple, lemon, orange, pomelo, herbal.

Possibly too much information: my teeth have been so gross here! They get weird brown stuff that has me crazily brushing, flossing, and scraping with the periodontal scaler I got at Walgreen's a few years ago (I had to look up what it's called, by the way, and dental instruments sure have interesting names, like "burnishers" and "excavators"). No wonder I see a lot of freaky teeth in China. But where is it coming from? Is it the pollution in the air? The lack of flouride in Chinese water (and yes, we have to filter water here--it's not potable)? I've no idea.

Crest choices photo 
I'm not very loyal to brands, but somehow Crest is an exception. But there were so many choices and I didn't know what they were. It took a lot of debating and me asking Michael what different characters meant to eliminate the salt one and a bunch of others and pick one that had a diamond on it and one that had a pearl on it. I was amused at how amused I was after we got home, because

  1. we chose well--even though there was a slight lemon taste to the pearl one, it was somehow fine with the mint,
  2. buying over 14.90 RMB of toothpaste ($2.50) meant we received two free mugs because of some promotion,
  3. we used a 5 RMB off coupon for Crest products from an earlier purchase (though we first remembered it post-purchase and had to do some finagling). Ha!

Dee Hsu, or "Little S" from a Crest 
commercial photo DeeHsu5F9071995A23_zps0b57e907.png
Speaking of Crest, I really like this Taiwanese actress I've been seeing in Crest (and other) ads. Her name is Dee Hsu, 徐熙娣, or "Little S." Every time I see her in the Crest ads, I think, "I wonder if my hair could look good like that." Maybe I'll try it out after our Taiwanese wedding celebration.

Yogurt with straws. photo 2013-10-24080527_zpsedc8d4ad.jpg
Yogurt with straws. Never seen that before.

Mini pockets shirt photo 2013-10-11112142_zps461240e5.jpg
Dad, this shirt made me think of you. You could put one M&M in each of those mini pockets!

Using the pedestrian walkway as a turnaround photo 2013-10-11110922_zps12b4f0ae.jpg
People were wondering why Michael and I stopped to take a picture of this, but you see, to us, it's weird enough to have scooters try to run you over on the fenced-off pedestrian crosswalk, and weirder still to use said crosswalk to turn around your car.

Traffic in Shanghai photo 2013-10-09085400_zps1f6d26b7.jpg
This may give you an idea of the craziness that you must anticipate in Shanghai. Scooter-ers totally disregard stoplights, cars, and pedestrians--even on the sidewalk.

Not sure what this sign means photo 2013-10-11163716_zps0a6f4bf8.jpg
I keep trying to think of some hidden meaning in this. Is that guy a spy or detective? Why is he there?

Make sure to cover your toaster photo 2013-10-10105524_zps2d1c5ba1.jpg
I keep trying to understand why it's necessary to have a cover for your toaster. So bugs don't get fried? So you don't accidentally put a knife in there?

Thanks for cleaning up after using the kitchen photo 2013-10-08183757_zpscf879097.jpg
I went upstairs to bake cookies. This is what I found when I pulled out the oven pan--dried-on barbecue meat. Oh joy.

Shanghai photo 2013-10-06113919_zps6030bb8e.jpg
I have nothing interesting to say about this.

Tiffany Cafe for Heidi photo 2013-10-06123142_zps16601406.jpg
This cafe was calling Heidi's name.


Amos! China's calling you! photo a489c6ae-c8ba-463e-9b5a-3b012e7f012f_zpsdb7e9c6e.jpg
China is looking for Amos, so send him on over to Red Rover!

 Heh? photo 2013-10-13102501_zpsfb1103c1.jpg
Heh? What do these warnings have to do with "Improve oral English"? Is that just a way to get people's attention?

 What you buy when you're depressed in China photo 2013-10-15204909_zpse62e66be.jpg
This is what you buy when you're feeling down in the dumps at 9 PM on a weekday: sweet drinks, another jar of Nutella, brownies, pudding, chocolate cookie sandwiches, cheese, chocolate muffins, and grape candy. (Side note: the brownies looked green and they were dry and they didn't really taste like chocolate, while the muffins were actually really good, didn't have any filling, and were more like brownies--I'm pretty sure each one had more calories than an entire bin of those addictive mini Costco muffin brownie thingies.)

We ate Taiwanese dessert photo 2013-10-15212730_zps4b3c3499.jpg
And then, on your way home with your sugar, you stop and eat Taiwanese dessert. Because you can.

The thought of this on my toilet makes me shiver photo 2013-10-17212647_zpsfda9be66.jpg
The thought of this terry cloth on my toilet makes me shiver.

One of the best typing errors I've ever seen photo ScreenShot2013-10-14at92536PM_zps1421a0eb.png
This is one of the best typos I've ever seen in a comment on Facebook. I just had to take a screenshot.

Finally, I went to a meetup where we did JavaScript testing with Jasmine. Pair programming always makes me nervous--I'm always scared I'll feel dumb or, less likely, that I'll wish the other person would work faster. Also, I've never felt like I really knew how testing worked. I was the only woman, and a mosquito got my face while I was there, but it was great. The other attendees were quick, not condescending, and supportive of the women-in-tech cause I'd like to build up here. I'll be meeting even more techies on Saturday at my first BarCamp! Hurray!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! That's the best Craigslist ad ever. I wonder if they have him toilet trained?