Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Trip to China: Part 6

Well I expect today's post to be rather short. Comparatively speaking, yesterday was rather unevenful. There were, however, a few points to discuss...

I don't believe I have highlighted this laundry service enough yet, or how it has affected my life in positive and glorious ways. Truly, if real life had a laundry service that was included in the price, it would improve my quality of life ten-fold. Included with the rooms in the Executive Club (hehe) are 140 RMB credits a day for laundry (that works out to about $18.62, don't get too excited). It's enough to get a shirt, a pair of pants, and a t-shirt cleaned without an extra charge. This is plenty though, because I had most of my shirts cleaned before the work week started anyways. While this might not seem exciting to you, laundry is something that plagues my life like a tumor that grows and grows in my room until it's too much to even clean all at once, and the walls around me start to cave in. So I'm a little melodramatic, but it's almost that bad. But oh, if laundry was cleaned for free. To be my own master, such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world! (credit: Aladdin Copyright (c) 1992 The Walt Disney Company) So I need to either get a wife, or a team immigrants. Or an immigrant wife. Preferably from Spain. They can cook and are hot. Wild generalizations I make, and offending? It's what tiggers do best. Why have I quoted Disney twice in one paragraph?

Breakfast Yesterday: Amazing. I'm not good at a lot of things, but apparently I have an innate ability to concoct delicious breakfasts out of foods that other people cooked. I know, I know, I'll teach you some day. We ate and were off to work again at 8 o'clock.

Work was draining yesterday. For most of the day, Bill and I hammered away at questions the girls threw at us. Many of them were very good questions that they had every right in being confused about. The biggest cause for confusion on my part of the product is that it was set up to be fabricated by our american shop, but because of schedule (and to be honest probably cost) it was moved to our Chinese shop. Well the Chinese do many things differently than americans. They eat duck feet, they say "s" when they mean "th" (sank you!), and they build throat panel assemblies differently. So the point is, they are trying to figure out how they will build this monstrosity based on drawings that are set up for a different process, written in english, and without all the information on it that they need. To make matters more frustrating, their engineering department has to deal with me, who pronounces Chinese names very well, but that's about the extent of my Chinese. So for the girl who is devoted to my product, who doesn't speak very good English, it is obviously a constant struggle.

We hammered away, trying to understand each other until about 4:30 when we all were getting mentally exhausted and needed a breather. We started rapping about music. One of the girls told me to sing an american song. "Yesterday Once More" I couldn't think of any popular songs by this title. All that kept popping in my head was "Makes Me Wonder" by Maroon 5. They had no clue who Maroon 5, or really any band that I liked was. I jumped on google and typed in Yesterday Once More. It's the freaking Carpenters. "Every Sha la la la, Every Woah-oo-woah-oh" Yeah. They still listen to the Carpenters. I'm all about oldies, and Karen Carpenter has one of the most freakishly soothing and beautiful voices to hit pop music, but really? You expected me to have that one in my back pocket? So I tried not to laugh too hard because this was the same girl that was already pretty frustrated over my drawings. Instead I told her that she could sing it at karaoke (which is not happening until tonight, btw) (in case you still want to come)

Last night Robby and Steve (Two of the American gentlemen from my company that Bill and I met up with out here) said their goodbyes to us because they are going home later today. That leaves Bill and I alone to fend for ourselves in Beijing for 2 days. We finally ate at the Texas Steakhouse last night. The food was pretty great, but everything else was a little disappointing. I expected more ridiculous mock-texas things to happen (like being greeted by "How-dy ye-all" or terrible line dancing) but all I got were funny uniforms and people that could barely speak english well enough to take my order. I ordered a tenderloin, and they bring it to your table raw to show it to you. That's fine I guess, but it's not like I'm going to say, "no, I want a different piece of flesh brought here first". Then they ask you if you want them to cook it now. Um, what are my options here? Seriously, do people say no to this question? When they brought it out, they dished a helping of this hot pepper sauce on it and it was really quite excellent. Overall, though, I kind of wish I hadn't gone to the Texas place, because my hopes of rampant ridiculousness were shattered into a million little buckaroos.

I must say that I really appreciate the feedback on these notes from you all. It makes waking up and typing it all out a lot of fun. Sorry if today's was light on the awesome, and hopefully karaoke tonight will inspire insanity to come into my life. Until then, zai jian!


Angela said...

Drat. I just realized that I desperately need to do some laundry. My apartment building is above a dry-cleaning place that will do laundry by the pound (at $1.10 a pound... I can't decide if it's worth it. A lot of money, but I HATE laundry with a white-hot passion). The problem, of course, is that it will take them three days to do it... and I'm fairly certain that they've closed for the night. I don't know if I have enough clean pants to make it through the rest of my work week. Gah! Does this mean I shall have to break down and actually wash things in the tiny drums in my building? I think I may cry.

Sorry. That wasn't a good response to your entry at all... Oh well. Carry on.

GBtG said...

I am physically excited to hear about karaoke. In my imagination, the lovable Chinese folk lift you up like they did Dorothy in Midget-Land (...Tiny-World? ...Small-ville? Where the hell did Dorothy land?) and carry you off to an awaiting record executive to begin your career singing awful Chinese pop songs that you learned phonetically.

Oh please, oh please, oh please, let it be so.