December 30th, 2010 §
So I live near a construction site. And if you have been reading this monster of a prolific blog, I post photographs of it every once and awhile. So, here is the lastest photo, and it’s interesting to say the least.
I noticed that they brought in a backhoe and started hammering on the concrete that they just poured the week earlier.
As you can see in the top photo, there is concrete webbing that they poured. It contains internal structural support in the way of rebarb. So what’s new in the bottom photo besides the plywood.
There is no webbing. That’s right folks. Last week they spent a day or two pouring the webbing and before that countless hours fitting the metal that made up the internal structure of the concrete. Then they spent two to three days after it dried to hammer it all apart and throw it away.
Small blimp, hardly. I can image that this construction isn’t the cheapest of hobbies and to lose 5 days to someone’s mistake, probably not a light hit to the wallet. Either way I thought this was interesting because if this is a common issue in China, and they build tons of buildings here, then I have probably walking on someone’s mistake that hadn’t been caught yet.
Oh goodie. Really this doesn’t surprise me.
December 23rd, 2010 §
So I woke up this morning, Christmas Eve to a rainy cold windy day. Great. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t really have four seasons. I suppose that we do, it just doesn’t snow.
Anyway, yep, it’s Christmas Eve. No really big plans. Tomorrow I have an idea what I want to do, however with the way that Chinese work, it will probably be crushed. Either way I have a back up plan.
So that about all. I’ll miss my moms baking, and my Grandmas nagging. The smell of Dad’s coffee and fighting with my brother.
Oh well, at least I got dumplings.
December 22nd, 2010 §
I wish I took photos but I was busy trying to keep a bunch of women from annihilating each other.
So the story goes like this.
If you haven’t read my last blog post do so. It was about me yelling at someone, which, I don’t like to do but it sets up this story quite well.
We were in Beijing walking through a clothing market. A famous one. We had gotten done with the main ground level floor and decided to head down to a lower level to scope some more things. The first thing we see at the bottom of the escalator is hand bags. Knock off LV and what not. My friends brother and I stop to take a look. He was in the market for a nice ladies hand bag and I decided to lend a hand. He asked about some LV or something. I don’t remember. She had to “open a secret compartment” under a shelf to get to the stash. She also kept saying that she wasn’t supposed to do this. Yeah right. Either way here is what happened.
I told my friends brother not to act interested. Kind of like, ugh, it’s ok, kind of face. He found one that he liked and asked how much, she said 800 yuan. I have no idea what the going rate for a knock off designer handbag is but I know it’s not over 100 USD. So I then told her Ill give you 80 yuan. 10%. Nice little starting point. At that point my friends wife rolls over to see what we are doing. The vendor starts saying that’s way too low and we have to offer higher. It’s real leather etc. So we went a little more and then I told My friends wife to take over. I left the shop, or rather cubicle and stood outside.
At that point the vendor had blocked my buddies friend into the rear of the shop and proceeded to wave a calculator saying “ok, ok, ok” I assume she had a price on the screen that she wanted him to pay. So the wife grabs one arm of the brother and starts to take him out of the store. The vendor girl grabs the other arm of the brother, still asking him to buy. He’s in between trying to get out of the store. I guess that he didn’t want to buy anything.
The vendor girl still has the other arm of the brother, the wife yells at her, to what I can only assume is to the effect of “let go.” She doesn’t. The wife them swats the arm of the other girl and all hell breaks loose.
The other girls working there start to yell push and a girl fight ensues. I luckily saw the whole thing and got in between them before the hair pulling started. Chinese girls are like fire when you mess with their family. If I had one piece of advice about Chinese girls it’s this: Never, never piss of a Chinese girl pertaining to her family.
So fists are flying through the air, hitting nothing, legs are kicking hitting nothing, a crowd gathers, the cannons are all lined up from some epic war or something.
The wife’s mother comes over and starts to try to land some punches. Myself and dad are in between all the girls. Calculators are being thrown, cussing, and all kinds of things are being said.
Finally we started to move away from the booth and down a hall when someone says something and another calculator is Nolan Ryaned threw the air. And stoked the fire.
All said and done, we finally left the floor and headed upstairs. I was told that this was the first time that anyone had seen anything like this.
Lessons learned: Beijing clothing markets can be very aggressive. They also have an ungodly amount of calculators on hand for calculation and throwing at people. Try not to toy with the vendors. We didn’t. But I can see if you got them down to nothing on a price and then decided that you didn’t want it, well, that would really piss them off. Although it’s fun. I think acting not interesting really pissing them off. Again, lot’s of fun.
Anywho, it’s a cool story. Nothing like making memories for visiting families. Just let a homie leave the store and we don’t have a beef.
December 20th, 2010 §
Shopping online is huge in China. Or at least with the people I know. You can get most of the knock off items without having to argue with anyone about price, and the “market” sets the price. So the prices are already low.
I’ve been looking at a few things but the sizes are a tad small. Go figure, I’m in Asia. Either way I think I am going to drop the hammer on them. A jacket for 15 USD, Beanies for 1.50 USD, and scarves for 2 USD. Can’t beat that.
If you want to check it out head over to Taobao.com, Girls click here Guys click here
December 19th, 2010 §
My friend, his Chinese wife, American family, and I are out in Beijing. They wanted to go shopping so we headed to the silk market. I think that’s what it was called. It’s a major shopping center with knock off everything. We head there to give them a taste of what it’s like to shop at one of these places. I must also mention that these place are really aggressive. They will touch and grab you to get you to look at their booth. With all booths basically carrying the same stuff, they have to do something. Yell, grab, etc.
The first thing that happens is we walk in and find a stall that has a t-shirt that my friend’s brother wanted to buy earlier in the trip. I have to say this is the first trip to a market like this since my Chinese speaking had reached the level it is now. Terrible to not so terrible. So we approached the first stall we see with this shirt and the brother and I proceeded to discuss the shirt and what we should pay. He had bought one already on this trip for 30 yuan. I suggested that since that one was 30 we could go lower. maybe 20. But really 4 bucks for a shirt is nothing and that is what these vendors are betting on you thinking.
We where approached by a girl, early twenties, Chinese, you know the usual. She didn’t know that I spoke nor understood Chinese. This is what I think is fun. More on that later.
She tells us something like 80 yuan. I tell her uh, no, too expensive 20 is enough. She says it’s good quality, etc. I then tell her that we already bought on for 25 somewhere else. She says not possible and that this one is of better quality. I then ask her how many factories do you think make this exact shirt in China. It’s a unique screen print, I’m going to guess only a hand full, probably one, and that they where made at the same factory thus there were the same and 25 was enough for the shirt.The quality is the same as the other one because it was made in the same place.
She got lost, the extent of her English is, buy, buy, good price, cheap, good quality, etc. I went over her head. She lost some face probably. It didn’t help that my friends brother and I were also talking and starting laughing about something. I think we were laughing, I don’t quite remember. Either way a few seconds later she yelled, “YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME.” Right after that I yelled back at her in Chinese. 你要听我， 你不要叫我。I really yelled. Let her have it. She was blown away. I thought she was going to cry. She had now idea that I spoke Chinese, and the first time I did it was letting her have it for yelling at me. It translates as, “you need to listen to me, you don’t yell at me.” Thus the toying with the girls started. It only got worse as the day went on.
On a side note, I reacted on instinct and spoke Chinese. Which means I did without thinking about it. It’s gotten to a point to where I don’t think or translate in my head before I say things. It’s starting to click.
So the next story I have is about a cat fight, almost turned into me teaching everyone how to use a can of whoopass. Actually I am kidding, slightly. But really I never thought a calculator could fly like a throwing star.
December 19th, 2010 §
Really, crossing the street in China is easy, unless you are white. Then it becomes a circus. Let me explain.
I was on a major road today and I needed to cross. I waited for the green light and proceeded to cross the six lane road. But why is it so hard to cross this road, because I am white. Yes that’s right I said it, because I am white.
So how does my skin color effect such a simple activity. Because whoever sees me while driving either A: slows does to be extra careful, B: slows down because I am the first white guy they have ever seen, or C: slows down because they want to know if I need a ride.
Taxis stop in front of me, cars are spaced wrong because everyone is driving slow looking at me, people turning in front of me slow way down and take their time, all causing me to miss the light and have cross traffic proceed to cross in front of me.
Either way I made it finally.
If I was Chinese cars would by flying by me at mach 10, cutting me off, etc. But I would of crossed the street 3 minutes faster.
Dang it, that 3 minutes cost me money.
December 13th, 2010 §
The second day in Beijing we headed to the Olympic Stadium and then onto the Great wall.
It was super interesting to see the Great Wall and where the opening to the Olympic were.
Here are some photos.
The Bird’s Nest
Read this, it’s awesome.
The Great Wall.
Even more Wall.
A door and some Wall.
Yet more Wall.
Door to top of tower.
High voltage power line.
This pizza place is called The Kro’s Nest. I would of boycotted it but, the pizza is awesome. A foreigner started it and eventually got pushed out by his Chinese partner. I don’t know the entire story but it probably went like this. Of let’s start a pizza place, oh we have a lot of money coming in, we are rolling in it. Chinese guy, yes we are, now I’m pushing your ass out because I want all the money for myself. You have no legal recourse, sucker. But I might be wrong on this.
Burger at The Den.
Again with gigantic burger.
December 10th, 2010 §
Last weekend I went to Beijing with a friend and his family for a little sight seeing. It’s good to get out and see China and do the touristy thing. Even though this really isn’t the real China, it is and isn’t, it’s something you got yo do while you are here. So, onward with the story. We’ll start with day one.
We arrive in Beijing and head to the hotel. I remember my first time in Beijing and things start coming back. We stayed and the same hotel that I stayed at when I came to China the first time. We drop off our things and head to Tiananmen and the Forbidden city.
Time for the photos.
We had b fest super close to the Beijing Hooters. I’m not sure what to think of this. I still have yet to sample the fine food they have within. Maybe next trip.
The Forbidden City Entrance.
A massive door. You touch the golden domes for good luck. By golly I spent an hour touching all of them.
The tallest building in the Forbidden City. It contains the large gates and probably a secret bar no one knows about.
Detail of beams that are on the ceiling of the buildings.
Some sort of something.
Cool looking bowl handle
Inside a building.
Looking out rear gate of the Forbidden City.
The rear gate.
The rear gate.
Panoramania, I love doing that.
Next post, The Great Wall.
December 7th, 2010 §
Yes folks I took photos. I remembered this time and did my best to snag them while I could.
This is inside the Forbidden City. Yes that’s right. One of China’s most precious landmarks and a boy is taking a leak on a tree. Nice.
This is near the Great Wall. To the kids credit, the wall is off the beaten path, much like my house in America. I would mount up near a tree or something. But I suppose if my house was near the great wall, I would say, go inside my house and sit on the john. To each their own.
So there are the photos that you asked for. Enjoy.
December 6th, 2010 §
I went to Beijing for the weekend to do all the gooky tourist things. Tiananmen (天安门), The Great Wall (长城), getting into fights while shopping, you know the usual things.
So in the next couple days I’ll try to write about what I did and provide some photos for the interested people.
Fight stories included.