Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On The Road Again

Got to Guangzhou Monday. Leaving tomorrow for 4 days in the back country, back to Guangzhou Sunday.

WED April 20, 2005


I can tell the difference between two deformed stumps and something hidden under his shirt. No, no, he has arms, hidden somewhere.

This argument lasted for about 5 minutes. As we were leaving the temple there was a horribly deformed man laying on the ground asking for alms. I dropped a 10 RMB note into his collection plate and kept walking.

Shortly thereafter I was chastised by Lily and Tse for being suckered by a scam. He is faking. He really has arms. They all do this, they go on the streets and to the temples and fake being cripples.

Of course I had clearly seen that the man was wearing a short sleeve shirt and had stumps where his arms once were. But no amount of arguing from me could convince them. They said I was kind hearted but should know better next time.

There are some arguments in China you cannot ever win. Food, health and politics being three. Many discussions here end in a foreigner wanting to pull out his hair or jump in a river screaming.


No matter how much time I spend in China I am constantly cracking up at the Chinglish that is everywhere. Chinglish is what you get when you see Chinese translated into English on signs, menus, hotel service guides, basically everywhere. Its pervasive because in the big cities most everything is in Chinese and Chinglish.

Some of my favorites from this trip so far:

On an escalator: When old mans child go up hand ladder temporary need the family to accompany.

At a restaurant: Homley food 2nd floor.

At a restaurant: Old timey food, rocks, atmosphere in picturesque disorder.

On a map of the park: Where you at now.

Wuhai Teashop: Be founded 1877


I had my first western meal in almost three weeks this evening. We ate at the Pizza Hut here in Guangzhou. I ordered the salad bar with my pizza.
You are only allowed one trip to the salad bar with your little bowl.

This just wouldn't cut it for me. The lure of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots overpowered me. I made two clandestine bowl hidden at my side trips to the salad bar after my first bowl.

On my third trip I understood why my companion wanted to watch me fill my bowl the first time (I shoed her away).

I saw all the locals doing the following.

-Fill their bowls with salad.
-Put on a layer of waterman wedges twice the diameter of the bowl -Put a layer of sliced fruits on top of the watermelon -Add another circle of watermelon -Add another layer of salad on top -Add another circle of watermelon -Top it all off with another layer of salad and fruit

They managed to create a bowl of salad 7 inches high and containing 3 times the amount of food I took in three trips.

This is SO typically Chinese. Adapt and overcome.

One strange note my companion added ketchup and tobasco sauce to her pizza.