Thursday, June 9, 2011

Waiting for the plumber

Well, we spent a good portion of the day waiting for the plumber to fix our errant toilet and then another part of the day waiting for someone to come and clean the disgusting bathroom!!! 

Since we couldn’t really leave to go eat lunch, I ran down to Carrefour and bought another French Baguette which we ate.   As Michael said “Bless the (horrible, imperialistic) French!!!!”.

When I first walked into the mall heading to Carrefour I was met with a cacophony of smells and wondered what was going on.  As I walked down the main walkway I realized that it was lunch time and everybody was sitting on each side of the aisle with their particular bowl of rice, noodles or something equally good.   It reminded me of our visits to some of the Dorms at Australian National University.  Some rooms had a common cooking/eating area where several students shared a small kitchen.   When you walked in there you were met with Asian, Indian and Aussie food aromas all at one time.

I was surprised as I entered the store because it had been completely rearranged.  Where there had been tables and tables of Tea Boiled Eggs and Zonzgi, now resided shoes, socks and mosquito rackets (if you haven’t ever seen these they are electrified by 2 batteries and zap the mosquitoes when you hit them with it)….Michael really wants one!!.  And then in the area where there were huge cases of refrigerated Zonzgi  and hundreds of clamoring shoppers, now there were simple rows of drinks including water, juice and soft drinks.

What a difference a day makes!!!!!

Fortunately the cleaners were finished by 5:00 and we strolled to Salvador’s for a quick dinner. 

There was a table of four beautiful young women playing cards at the table next to us.  They reminded us of the Chinese equivalent of Jenny, Betsy, Jamie and Morgann!!!

The “non-English-speaking” waitress  presented us with a different style of menu and we THOUGHT that we were once again ordering the nachos, but what came out was even better!!!!   It was a mixture of rice, beans and chicken, smothered in lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.  It was served with a side of fresh fried tortilla chips and a bowl of fresh tomato salsa.    EXCELLENT!!!!

We failed to take a photo when it arrived so thought we would instead show a photo of the aftermath……IMG_0241

Salvador’s is located next to Yunan University and is a huge expatriate area.  It is about the only place where you don’t get a double-take when people see your white face and round eyes. 

We love to sit up in a loft area at the front of the shop.  That way we get good air circulation from the front windows AND we can people watch on  the street b below.  We watched this little girl waiting on the motor bike for her father to re-appear.  She made a really cute face but unfortunately I missed it with the camera…..

IMG_0240 OK…..while we have this photo, I want to talk about the blue thing on the front of the motor scooter.   It is a poncho that covers the front of your bike and goes over your head and back.   The front of the “moto-cho” (our term, not theirs) is made of clear plastic so that the headlights will show thru.  It had been raining earlier in the afternoon and was threatening to rain again so many people had these draped over the front of their bikes, with their hands thru the arm-holes, fully prepared to slip them on if needed.

I will also say that kids of ALL ages ride on the backs and fronts of these scooters.  The younger ones (such as this cutie) will ride in front of her dad, sometimes even standing up between his legs.  Older ones will perch with great relaxation on the back of the seat.  I have seen a couple who look like they have been asleep in this position.    They do not use car seats and we have seen children standing in the front seat and lolling around in the back seats.  We all recoil against this now, but it reminds me of how we lived as kids!!!

On the way back home, we decided to detour thru Yunan University campus and we were so glad that we did.  The campus was beautiful and was covered in students. 

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We could hear popular music all over the campus and realized that it was coming from strategically positioned speakers.   In one area there were 6 or more basketball courts and the young men were practicing their skills.   Basketball is basically a passion here….they LOVE it!!!

If you remember we got lost the first time that we made this trip because we turned one street too early.  To avoid this in the future, we looked for landmarks and came across a billboard for “Haima”….no idea what it is.   BUT, what we thought about was a scene from Fawlty Towers where Basil (John Cleese) says to Manuel (he’s from Barcelona) that he needs a hammer.   Manuel answers, “a ham-a-sandwich??”   A long explanation of why we call this the “Hama-sandwich” corner.   Silly, but we never forget where to turn!!!!

To end this post, we wanted to catch you up on a few things that we have mentioned previously……

We had found it extremely hard to climb the 94 steps up to our apartment and suddenly realized that part of the problem is the altitude…..it is about 6000 feet above sea level so that partially accounts for our lack of breath.  I personally think that being over 50 has something to do with it too. 

When we are climbing  these stairs, we look forward to seeing this decorated door……

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…..as it marks the 5th floor and only 18 more steps to go!!!!

When we first walked up at night we were surprised that there were no lights on the stairs, but after we turned the first corner a light came on.  So, we decided that they were motion sensitive.  Unfortunately, although we waved and waved, we could not get any of the other lights to appear.   The next evening we walked out of our door and when it slammed shut, the light came on.  OK….so they are sound sensitive…..so now we climb the stairs and give a sharp clap on each landing.  The light comes on, but I am sure that the resident’s behind the nearest door are jolted out of their reverie.  Now that I know, I have heard other people hooting as they round each corner.

Here is Michael wishing that he was 90 steps closer to home…..

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AND….go figure, I have found an idea for a quilt……

_6072806 ……isn’t this bamboo cool!!!!

Finally, I mentioned on Saturday that we were having some stomach issues.  They did not improve so we have both started on a course of antibiotics to clear out the unfriendly bacteria in our stomachs……MUCH better now!!!!

 

And I leave you with our next installment in the “Study in Bike”……

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1 comment:

Super Mom said...

You can get the mosquito swatter at Harbor Freight Tools here in Athens!

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