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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Observations

Posted by She Said

Every day I am here there is something (or many somethings) that strikes me as memorable or different from anything I have seen or experienced before. For example, there was the Dell delivery guy on his bike with the little flatbed piled high with box upon box of Dell boxes. Now, whether or not it was Dell or *wink, wink* Dell, I couldn’t tell you. And if that weren’t interesting enough on its own, there was another guy catching a ride ON TOP OF THE BOXES. He was easily 15 feet up in the air. And no one wears helmets!

Well, ok, that’s not true. The McDonald’s and KFC delivery guys do, but they are the only ones I have seen.

Beijing McDonald's Delivery Guy

Yes, you heard me correctly. McDonald’s and KFC deliver. Apparently they even have “select 1 for English” option when you call. We haven’t been desperate enough to do this. Well, not yet anyway.

People pile onto a single bicycle and ride down busy streets. Again, sans helmets. I know I must sound neurotic about safety, but if you saw the way the proverbial food chain works on the streets here, I doubt I would ever feel safe enough to ride a bike on them. Let alone without a helmet! The food chain looks like this:

  1. Buses are at the top of the chain, being the biggest
  2. Taxis
  3. Cars
  4. Electric bikes
  5. Bicycles
  6. Lastly us measly pedestrians (who have to watch out for all of the above)

Seriously you would never see me doing anything like this:

Family on bike

Also equally as memorable was the woman who bought the McDonald’s ice cream cone (which are very popular here) for her pug. I couldn’t stand the cuteness of it any longer, and I finally asked (via charades) if I could get a picture of him.

P4030011

P4030012

Greg has talked about the garbage men in a previous post. It is truly captivating to be walking down a busy street and see this:

P4050030

And then there are the interesting potato chip flavors:

_IGP6847 P4050024(We all know how much better those Mexican tomatoes are.)

Now, this next one is likely the same in large American cities, but the sheer busyness of the market where I get my groceries is astounding:

P4030025 

I think this picture finally captures what I have tried to explain in previous posts. And, umm,  I think it is safe to say it is easy to see in this picture why we stick out the way we do. Speaking of which, Greg and I have talked about how we both seem to want to gravitate toward other white folks when we see any. Well, those are my words. Greg said he wants to holler out, “Yo, CRACKER!”

This embarrasses me to no end. Granted, many of the white people we see wouldn’t understand what he is saying because they don’t speak English either. Nonetheless, this phrase of Greg’s has caused me to roll my eyes and hide in the closest noodle stand on more than one occasion. The worst part? Braedyn thinks it is funny to embarrass me and has therefore started hollering out, “Yo, cracker!”

Yeah, we’re not winning any parenting awards. OK, OK, Greg’s not.

4 comments:

  1. I know you tried the hot pot chips. How were they?

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  2. Ryan and I once saw a family of five on a scooter in Vietnam, and two of the kids were asleep. Amazing.

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  3. I'm going to start yelling "yo, cracker!" to my white friends at work now.

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  4. After spending some time in China (my son worked in Beijing and is going to be in Hong Kong starting in September) nothing makes me giggle more than the crazy, mixed up transliterations of traffic signs, western food brands and tourist signs. Very very funny. Enjoy the time abroad. And keep your batteries charged in your camera. Cheers to Chinglish! And you!

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