This is the view from our side living room window of the Canton TV Tower, Asian games stadium, and part of the suspension bridge. Andrew told me that last week on the Nat Geo channel on the show Big, Bigger, Biggest there was an episode chronicling the construction of the TV Tower. We have a fantastic view of about 1/2 of it and it’s about 2 1/2 miles from our apartment. It’s a landmark in the city of GZ. I can always tell where I am if I can see it. The tower is spectacular and I’m trying to get a good photo of it at night with the lights but can’t yet without a tripod, as you can tell by the blurry photo at the left 😉 The light show begins at dusk and continues until 11:00. Both the tower and the antenna change color. It’s so easy for me to practice my Mandarin color words once dark descends on GZ. Don’t laugh, that’s how I do it. They are working on a ferris wheel like ride at the top. We can see the “bubbles” that serve as the cars and Anders and I are wondering if we’re brave enough. It’s not done yet so there is time to think about it. I’ve included a link to a very good website if you’re interested to learn more. Check out the observation deck and ferris wheel ride. http://gztvtower.info/index.htm
TV is not great here but we’re not huge watchers anyway. I’ll miss Modern Family, The Amazing Race (big surprise), and The Soup. We do get some American shows but not necessarily ones I would have watched. It will be interesting to see what shows they air once the new TV season starts in the States. There are quite a few cooking shows which I enjoy but it seems like half the time channels either don’t have a signal or the sound isn’t working. One great thing about TV is that the shows are not interrupted every 8 minutes with commercials. When I watch the old season of Amazing Race here you can tell where the commercial breaks were but they just keep running the show. It’s fantastic. For a 30 minute program there is usually only one break and sometimes not even that. We’ll survive without TV. DVDs are really cheap though so we’ll have quite a collection by the time we leave here I’m sure. The best thing about TV in China? Not a glimpse, hint or one bit of coverage of Kim Kardashian’s wedding !!!!!!!!!!I would not even know it happened if it wasn’t for AOL and I refuse to click on one site or look at one photo. Yeah, now there is a big advantage about being here with limited American TV coverage.
I feel safe. You just can’t be stupid. Like most places, the thing you have to be most wary of is pick-pocketing. I have a cross-body purse (bought at the leather market) that I wear when I’m at markets. Usually though, we’re being driven to wherever, dropped off, and picked up in the same place. We were told that Ben can be quite protective of his family. The previous wife told Anders that if street hawkers started crowding her he would get out of the car and shoo them away. I don’t worry one bit.
We can get meat and most ex-pats buy it through 2 hotels. It’s expensive but high quality and safe. I just haven’t had the need yet but I think I’ll do that one day this week. As far as the meat sections at grocery stores they are if nothing else entertaining. I can’t even begin to remember all of the different choices but there is shark fin, duck tongues, and of course chicken feet. They love chicken feet. How much meat is on a chicken foot anyway? It’s seems to me that it’s not worth the effort to prepare them. If chickens had lips they’d probably eat them too. But they don’t let anything go to waste and when you need food for 1.4 billion people you can’t afford to let anything be thrown away. I’m sure there are things that they would laugh at if they came through our stores. They’d probably be appalled at all the processed and high fat food we eat!
My bathroom looks like any American bathroom. The only thing is that the master bath is smaller than the guest bath. Someone goofed when they made the plans for the buildings. But still we’re learning that we don’t need a McMansion to be comfortable. Gotta say that I’m enjoying apartment living. I just need to get some herbs planted on my terrace and I’ll be OK. I have to look up the words for pots, soil, and herbs and have Ben take me to get what I need. I’ll post some photos of our apartment after our sea shipment arrives and it’s set up with our own stuff and I can guarantee that it will only be a matter of days because I hate boxes!!!!
McDonalds are EVERYWHERE! We were in a mall on Saturday that had 3 alone and we didn’t even make it through the whole mall. Sue, you would have no problem here. There is also an abundance of KFC, Starbucks, and 7-Eleven. The only one I can’t live without is Starbucks. I don’t need to go there for coffee everyday but I do like their beans to make my own coffee at home. It’s ridiculously expensive but we all make our own choices don’t we? I need good coffee to start my day and for me it’s got to be Starbucks. Anders has one in his office building. We drove by one the other day and he said it’s his favorite restaurant. Like I said, we like coffee.
Keep the questions and comments coming. I am so enjoying writing this, more than I thought possible. It also helps me feel connected to my family and friends in the States. Love you all.
1PM – 96 degrees I said to Anders last night that the heat/humidity doesn’t bother me anymore. My clothes are not perpetually damp and I rarely sweat. Didn’t take nearly as long as I thought but my 4 years in southern Georgia helped prepare me.