Yin Yang of China

There is always a good and bad side of living in China.  I call it the Yin Yang factor.  Some days are good and some days are bad but some days can be both good and bad.  I’m talking the extreme good to the extreme bad all in just one day.  My day started great…rode the bus with the kids to their school to sign some forms in the office, pay for more lunch tickets ($3 ea.), and I even volunteered some time in their classroom before my ride came to pick me up for the traditional Friday foot massage.

A chinese foot massage is more than just a foot rub.  The places are open 24/7 and the place I went was more like a hotel.  We were shown to our room where there were 5 beds set up for us (there were 5 of us today) and a lady there to take your tea order.  I had lemon water with a sugar cube and then a team of masseurs complete with uniforms came in with tubs of hot gel water to soak our feet.  While our feet were soaking they rubbed our necks and shoulders.  I swear they worked on each foot for 20 minutes each and then the lady came back in with some fresh fruit.  I thought the whole thing was over then but they came back in and worked on our backs and did some stretches with our legs and arms.  I might have died and gone to heaven then but it still wasn’t over.  Someone brought us in some noodles and wantons for lunch and then the massage continued with some hot coals in a pillow rubbed on our backs.  Guess you can stay and sit in a sauna and some people stay overnight after their massages but after 2 hours of pampering including drinks and lunch it was 106 rmb.  That’s a whole $16

Now remember I warned you about the good and the bad…

well I had to rush home because the kids were getting home from school and someone was coming to fix the water fountain that seriously blew up when we turned it on the other day and my gardener was coming over and I was told I just needed to tell her what to do.  Easy if you speak chinese but I don’t yet so it’s more of a pantomime game for me.  I really just wanted the tree branches that rub against the house trimmed and the dead grapevine growing over the windows removed but what I got was a team of gardeners not more than 4 feet tall using these really large trimmers that wacked every branch on the tree off.  Now there is just a tree trunk where there was a beautiful tree before.  I’m not sure where I went wrong there…

It only gets worse when the repair man for the fountain in the pond decides it’s just too much work to fix the water fountain so he replaces the electrical outlet with a light switch that doesn’t include a switch for the fountain.  Ugghh!

My day got better though when I realized it was Friday night date night and I have a built-in babysitter (nice) so our driver took us exploring for a restaurant near our home.  We found a fun place to look around and even a nice valet style parking restaurant to eat at.  Our driver came in to order for us and told the waiter we didn’t like our meat with bones and skin and ordered 4 dishes for us to try and told us to enjoy our time and left.  Our meal was delicious and we had servers at our feet filling our wine glasses with Pepsi (of all things) every few minutes and they even brought us some fancy silverware on a silver platter.  (guess they were laughing at our chopstick skills)  The whole meal came to less than $20 and you don’t leave a tip in China.

I think that meal would have made up for the gardener/repair guy mishap if I didn’t come home from our date to a fridge that doesn’t work and all my meat is thawing out, a dishwasher leaking all over the floor, and a water pipe that burst somewhere in the neighborhood so we now don’t have water either.  No need to panic because I have a small fridge upstairs I can move the food to until we can get the fridge fixed and it’s Friday night movie night so let us just relax a little only now the TV is out too because the chinese government pulled the plug on the television programs due to a controversial political campaign here.  Gotta love China!

I can always look forward to Tuesday because it’s pilates day with a foot rub and lunch.  I can wait that long, right?

Here is some Chinese Humor for you….

My guess is the word “Hell” is suppose to read “Heaven?” and that’s Noe’s Ark instead of Noah’s Ark and yes that is a free battery with my snickers bar.  Yum!



One Comment on “Yin Yang of China”

  1. Jamie says:

    I have really enjoyed your blog! I was very excited to locate it! Our family is currently in the process of moving to Chengdu and your experiences and have given us very enlightening insight! I look forward to you next entry!

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