Monday, March 8, 2010

Hao Jiu Bu Jian

Finally have's late I'll post plenty of updates later. To say it has been an eventful week would probably be an understatement...

Sang Karaoke with some young guys from the Chinese Navy and the headmaster of one of my schools (that was a weird night...rice wine might or might not have been involved)...ate pig's blood (meat flavored the closest thing I can describe it as)...went to an Irish pub ran by a woman from Canada (???)...

Eh, you'll get it all later today...I'll try to break it up by topics and dates as needed...otherwise it's just gonna be a huge post...

More general observations:

- I think I can believe the figures from the Chinese government regarding the average Chinese salary. Why? They use averages. Something you learn in statistics is that there are times when you should use averages and there are times when you should use medians...this is a time when they need to use medians and not averages.
- To elaborate on this, I am noticing a trend in this city: there is an obvious discrepancy between incomes. I don't mean expensive things and cheap things. I mean incredibly expensive things and incredibly cheap things. This is due to the combination of people with western salaries living among eastern salaries...this is an interesting thing to see (e.g. movie ticket prices seem to be 80-120 yuan, yet you can get a good lunch at a local place for 10 yuan. Or another example is coffee at nice places, including a Starbucks: usually 25+ yuan for a cup. Compare this to 3 yuan for a bottle of water or Coca Cola at the local 7-11). Some of these prices are possibly due to the high cost of supplies, so I'll try to find some really good, concrete examples in the future.
- Traffic lights are more of a guideline than a rule...
- People stare at tall white guys walking down the street. I mean like, they sometimes flat-out stop walking and stare. It's almost like they can somehow instantly tell that I am not from around here *cough*.
- Guangzhou is trying to pull a Beijing before the Olympics in 2008, only this is before the Asian Games in October, 2010. There are tons of PSAs on TV trying to get people to change their behavior, driving styles, etc. It's hilarious. This is hilarious because it's just not going to happen.
- Traffic engineers here must have degrees in philosophy or communication or something equally useless, assuming they have any education at all.


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