National Holiday Begins!

National Holiday began today all over China.  Families are encouraged to travel home to visit their relatives.  Okay, “encouraged” may be too tame.  Actually, there was a full page Public Interest Ad in the China paper today which showed an Elderly Woman’s sad eyes and longing expression with the admonishment “Time to go home.  Don’t keep her waiting too long…”  I love it–guilt trip by the government….Gma could die if you don’t hit the road asap and, oh, spend some money while you’re at it.  These holidays are also a way to stimulate the economy.  If the packed malls today were any indication, the economy is still booming and Gma may still be waiting.  I saw McLaren, Maserati, Lamborgini, Rolls Royce, etc. dealerships today-someone has some bucks!  You wonder if the wealthy son is rolling up to see Gma in the local village in their sports car.  Hmmm….

They do take their “no work on holidays” mandate very seriously.  I tried running by the office this morning and even though I have a card to get in to the office itself, the elevator had been turned off-no access allowed.  The US would never do that since everyone works 24/7-instead of being frustrated, it was somewhat refreshing.  Of course, I did work from the hotel, starting with a 5 a.m. call from Redmond.  That 15 hour time change makes it hard to schedule meetings with everyone involved.  I predict many early morning wake up calls for me in the future.

As I wandered around today, I saw families shopping, eating and enjoying the outside.  I took some great pictures which I will share with you as soon as I can figure out how the hell to upload my photos to Skydrive using my China Unicom phone..to say technology can be frustrating at times here is an understatement.  I hated my $250 AT&T phone bill last month but loved the international plan because it worked and was easy.  Technology in China is not easy.  

Looking forward to Thom arriving tomorrow-it’s lonely here without him and we have so much fun walking around absorbing the culture wherever we are.  Fun stories to come as we travel to Beijing later this month and see the Great Wall up close and personal!

 

I finally got a hot meal at Element Fresh.  I had been living on PB&J and Special K from the International Grocery but I was starving.  I’m scared to death to have another “potted palm tree” incident but now I carry a bag with me at all times just in case.  I do love that many places serve fresh juices-I had a cran/pear/ginger juice tonight with my pasta.  You also avoid the whole tap water/ice issue when you get a pure juice drink which is much safer for my digestion.  Good news is that I’ll probably lose weight over here! 

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