Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chengdu Trip #7 - Chengdu, Day 5

Since Leon's is in Taiwan and I still feel sick, I didn't go to PMI today. Just to make sure, I skipped the meat baos for breakfast and went to McDonald's for lunch. I didn't feel like a burger but it was probably the safest thing for me to eat at this point. I ended up with a Filet o'Fish sandwich; though it tasted the same, it felt smaller than the same item in the US. I also got a pineapple pie and it was good! Like in Beijing, the pies are still deep fried so the crust is really crunchy. My friend ordered a hot'n spicy pork sandwich which seemed kinda weird for McDonald's. The total came out to ¥42 or ~$6 which is a bit cheaper than the US but really expensive compared to local food.


Other than lunch, I pretty much spent the entire day napping and checking work email. At night, my friend invited some of her college classmates over for dinner so we went to the local supermarket (operated by Taiwanese owners) for more groceries. I really don't like shopping in China. There are just too many people are they are all pretty rude. For the fruit & vegetable section, you have to get your purchase weighed and tagged by market workers but there are only two stations. If you try to line up, you'll never get anywhere. People would squeeze in front of you or reach across and push their bag of stuff on the scale to be priced... without exception. They also run into you with their carts without a word of apology or even acknowledge you with a glance. It's really tiring after a few days. Add to this all the noise, air pollution, unsanitary food and water, strange smells, etc... it's a real challenge to live here on a local person's salary once you're used to living in US/Canada.

One example is my friend's bathroom in her apartment. It doesn't have a separate shower area so everything gets all wet in the bathroom after a shower. The water heater would also mysteriously shut off if you turn on the cold water faucet along with the hot water. The first time I took a shower, the showerhead would only give me a trickle of scalding hot water. I asked her about fixing this and she said the landlady told her that all the water heaters were this way in the apartment building. Sigh... it's such BS (how can hundreds of people take scalding hot showers each night?) but that's how things are in China. Nobody wants to take responsibility for anything.

Balcony view during the day...

and at night

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