Monday, October 28, 2013

Celery:The happenings of the last few weeks are completely unexpected and wild. there are so many times in my life where I have created circumstances that require me to hold on for dear life because, the ride is leaving! Get on or get off.  I thought for a while that all lives were like this, then I realized, this is what I chose. Some people are adrenaline junkies, base jumping, river rafting, crazy skiers, motorcycles, boats, etc etc...I think I like my adrenaline in the form of gargantuan life changes.  I think a move to Asia should tide me over for quite some time. Now for a few pictures....while I was at the factory with B, they fed us lunch everyday. It was usually hot so it was safe to eat, but from time to time they had salad that had been washed with the non potable water so we have to leave it {or suffer the ugly consequences}. One day while working on the machine, I looked out the window and saw across the corridor an open door with celery on the floor. Not thinking I might be eating that for lunch, I snapped a few shots because it is such a different way of life. Food on the floor? never. 

and then I ate it for lunch.....and thought about how it had been on the floor, but didn't care because it was so good. 

I did not however, eat this. It looked like a bat ear and had the texture of what I think I bat ear would feel like, so it got left. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This one time, B and I sat on the Great Wall,  to rest, and take a picture. This one time the sunray blocked my face.
this one time I took pictures using the remote, and B didn't know, so if you close one eye, squint the other, and cock your head, we look like we are in a fancy ad ;)
this one time I tried to take a selfie....and I opened only one eye! {again!}
this one time, after B and I climbed the world's toughest stair climber, we got back to the hotel, and crashed

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Typical Day in China for me and B: Walking around with Brian is hilarious because, he is 6'4" so everyone thinks he is a celebrity ....and i am like lady Godzilla.... so people are taking our picture right and left. People have even handed us their babies to pose with, ah Asia I adore so much of the shutter happy you. The water here is so contaminated that you can cook with it, and shower with it and be fine, but brush your teeth with it and you are toast...diarrhea for days. So we brush our teeth with bottled water, and close out mouths when we shower. It is awesome . We wake up at 6a have breakfast -consisting of yams, warm soy milk or Tang, steamed buns, and egg fried rice-, then go back to bed until about 8a, then the car from the factory picks us up at 9a and it is a quick 15 min to the industrial wonderland. I feel at any given time at the autobots are going to come out and transform. The cook at the factory has treats waiting for us in our conference room everyday, some edible some not. Note to self, just because it is wrapped in gold doesn't mean it is a treat, I am pretty sure I ate a bullion cube today ...make that a brown MSG cube. Nothin sweet about that treat. We work on the machine doing our best to charade out what we need with the workers, then my second favorite part of the day comes, lunch. Yes I feel like Winnie the Pooh, always looking to the next meal. They bring this partitioned tray of rice, some veggie thing, some egg thing, some chicken thing, and usually a mystery item, which I may or may not try depending on the smell. Then back to work until 5p when the car takes us back to the hotel and the entire city comes alive. The grocery stores are packed, the streets are awake, and fireworks are shooting off from 6 different street corners at once. We wander the city until we can't move, and then off to bed...being lulled to sleep by the Orwellian 1984-esque speaker blaring Boys to Men, just outside our window. So that is what has been going on here, a little adventure everyday. Not taking China by storm per se, but definitely glad I have a bit of a layover here before Singapore.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sometimes I go to China and spend a glorious day testing out prototypes in a factory....

and sometimes I bend over and the workers get caught on camera checking out my....calves :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ah the lovely Shanghai what is the last thing you would think to buy, the last craving you might have before leaving this city? Look closely at the case on the right....

....nope look even closer. There it is, hairy crab, sold in the airport, put into a cooler for you to take on a plane. Take that TSA, I can't take a water bottle through security, but I can carry on a hairy crab??

Oh yes, and this can be found in the meat section at your average Chinese grocery store:

Bon Apetit
....oh and lunch looked like this today

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sometimes when you are in China you think it is a good idea to get a massage, because it is about 10 dollars per hour with an half hour foot massage. Sometimes you can't decide whether what they are doing is really good, or really bad because it is the cause of so much pain. So you play along like agony at this level is normal. Sometimes they finish and you can barely get off the bed, and then someone takes your picture....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Last year, just before moving to Utah, my neighbor Linda and I decided to send in an audition tape for The Amazing Race . We weren't selected, but while in China these past few days, I am fairly confident we would have won.  Day #4 brought an onslaught of undesirable physical issues due to a combo of mystery food and contaminated drinking water. I was shaken not stirred, but my friend was not so lucky. It was up to me to: find a food store, buy clean water, ramen noodles we could cook in our room, and the chinese equivalent of peptobismal.  Confident I could manage this task, I got suited up in a darling dress with hair back, and headed off. Down to the lobby I skipped knowing I would return victorious..... "you want marp?" "no I need a map...a MAAAPP" Chinese heads shaking back and forth, no one understanding anything....blerg. I left.  Out on the streets I determined my land marks and headed out. A few blocks away I found a market and quickly maneuvered the aisles finding juice, saltiness, and ramen. Everything was in characters however, so I wasn't really sure the flavors. As far as I knew it was baby panda flavored with chunks of dog. I didn't care. Off to the check out only to be met with the fact that american cards don't work ! So I had to mime time I was going to an ATM and to leave my groceries because I would be back. I thought I did rather well, but let's be honest she probably thought I was epileptic. ATM found, food and water bought, off to the pharmacy. More charades, this time about an upset stomach, but they brought a twinkle to the women's eyes who were working there. Next thing I know I am whisked throughout the pharmacy with attendants on every side chattering and handing me bottles. Awesome! Finally a little help...until one touches my stomach and says, "so tiny" at which point I realize I suck at charades, because they think I am preggers. On a happy note I only appear in my first trimester to them, so that's good...I think. Back to square one. A crude drawing of an angry stomach, more charades, and I was off with what I hoped was pepto-ish... and not some form of Chinese laxatives or Viagra. Mission accomplished. I felt victorious. I managed to leave a hotel in a very modern city, buy some things at a modern market, and head back all without getting lost or kidnapped for the sex trade.  Small victories people, it's all about small victories. And I would have won amazing race.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Economy: And voila the eagle has landed. I am sweating like a pig in the Shanghai airport. My ideal travel outfit: cotton cardigan, scarf,  long dress, is now working against me as I enter hot humid China. In a glorious turn of events we got to sit in business class during this 13 hr flight from Seattle to China, complete with fully reclining seat, down blanket,  fluffy standard size pillow, and a hot towel before my bacon wrapped scallop dinner (don't be jealous, it was inedible). In typical Monica fashion, I of course wanted to appear as glamourous as possible while in business class.....and then the flight attendant spilled wine on me due to turbulence ....and then he spilled beer in my ice cream (i ate it anyway, it was just a little beer) ....and then I forgot to check if the guy before me had put the seat down, and he hadn't so i fell in, and my buns hit the cold steel of the bowl....and and then I fell asleep in my Delta bed .......and then I slept with my mouth open....and then Brian took a picture and showed it to me when I woke up, yowzer. All attempts at glamour had failed. You can take the girl out of economy, but sometimes you can't take the economy out of the girl :) 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So today I am getting on a plane again! Yay! 2 New countries in 1 year, I did not see that coming. First there was Singapore, hadn't planned it and then in April it happened! Then a few weeks ago, I invited myself on a friend's business trip to China.  Much to my surprise he said, "let me check flights". So I got a visa and  now I am waiting to board a flight to Beijing. A few weeks ago I thought this trip would be a wild 2 week adventure with a dear friend, I had no idea it would be my 2 week layover before moving to Singapore.  I am choosing not to process any of the 674 emotions I am feeling.

Flight to Beijing: let's not talk about it
Rush Chinese Tourist Visa: $325
Mentos and People Magazine: $5.26
Flying by the seat of your pants, as usual: priceless

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Remember last April when I went to Singapore for my 30th birthday? Well I am moving there. I got offered a pastry chef job there and I of course have accepted, my first day with my new staff is Nov.1st. So now you have a reason to save up flyer miles, Singapore is always calling, and I have a guest room with your name on it! (I will be working inside that alien pod-like structure on the left @Pollen) And will of course be documenting my life abroad, right here.