Monday, September 19, 2005

FAQs About Our Life in China

Hey, thanks for all the emails. I really like hearing from all of you. Remember, I am not reading a blog about your life and I enjoy hearing about what you are up to. Since so many of you are asking so many of the same questions, I now present to you…

FAQS ABOUT OUR LIFE IN CHINA

Do you miss anything in particular?

Well, in the big picture I only miss people. (That would likely include you, if you’re reading this.)
Other things I miss include:
•Newspapers, especially outside my door. Anything printed in mainland China is subject to censorship, so nothing of note is. It is all shipped in from Hong King or elsewhere, so it’s sort of old news by the time we get it, given our online-ness. I still grab the Asian Journal and the Intl herald Tribune like a fat man grabbing a donut whenever I go to the Journal office.
•My coffee maker. I just can’t get a perfect pot of java brewed up, despite my four pounds of imported Peets.
•My internet connection, though I think I’ve finally straightened that out. I never ever thought I would miss Comcast.


Isn’t Becky ever going to write an entry up here?
Probably not. Yes, she has opinions and they are quite interesting. And yes, she can certainly write a sentence or two. But she is not so keen about posting her thoughts in a public forum given the sensitivities of where we are and her rather public position. But she would love to hear from you, so drop her a note: Rebecca.Blumenstein@wsj.com

Okay, okay. Well, how is the job going? Is she ever home?
She is doing well. They are still really understaffed. Three or four people have left. Two people have been hired and will be here in the next two months. Another job is still open. Plenty of candidates. It is going to take a while to sort out. In the meantime, it is a big job but she feels good and finds it interesting. She is home plenty. More than before, really. But the schedule thing is so weird here, with the time change. It’s a bit of a 24-hour day. So she is often working late and early. But she has always done a great job of separating work and home and still is.

Is the A Team really still on Chinese TV?
You better believe it, sucka!


Do they show any NFL games there?
only Sunday night (monday morning) and Monday night (Tuesday morning). But this year that gives me 5 or 6 Steelers game. Go Willie Parker, go!

Is the Chinese food really awesome in China?
Yes! Especially the Szechuan. And the dumplings you can buy frozen and throw in a pot of water are better than any dumplings you’re likely to get at a restaurant at home.


Can’t you just call it “food” now?

Not really. There is such a wide range of stuff here, it’s insane. There are a dozen or more widely available Chinese variations alone. We have not tried them all. Also lots of Thai, some Indian, Malaysian, some Vietnamese. Western food is usually a little off – except for Italian and Mrs. Shannen’s bagels. The pizza is surprisingly good. That really surprised me. There are several pretty good places, with fresh pies, probably because everything is made fresh around here. Not to mention Dominos, Papa Johns, etc, which we try to avoid, as we did at home, but they are fine – taste the same or better. The best thing about restaurants here is that many of them have children’s play areas. It really rocks. You order, the kids run off and play happily, you have a glass of wine, the food comes and they come back and eat (or not).

Is Chinese wine any good?
No. Not any that I’ve tried yet, but they have Italian and Australian and New Zealand stuff all over, pretty reasonably priced. Besides, the TsingTao is cheap, cold, delicious and omnipresent.

Could you please make the pictures up here bigger?
Nah. They take a long time to load and I use the “medium” setting. If you want to see something better, click on it.

Can you really not see this blog?
Really, I can’t.

Okay, that’s it for now. I will do a Part Two one of these days, but more pictures are my next priority, along with a little tale about the Chinese moon festival and how we took the kids out on a boat right in the middle of Beijing Saturday night and lit and launched all these little floating candles.