Tuesday, April 27, 2010


while in chicago i was able to have a cup of starbucks coffee brewed from their newly procured clover machines. previously these machines were only found in intelligentsia coffee shops (really great coffee) but i guess starbucks bought clover out. way to go for big corporate. ;\

i'm no coffee aficionado but clover machines are supposed to produce possibly the best tasting coffee, one cup at a time. mark and i each got a cup and i for one was a little disappointed. starbucks coffee in general has a burned taste and it really showed through with the clover machine. at first taste it was bitter, strong, and not agreeable. very oddly, the coffee peaked in flavor about 10 min after it was brewed whereas for most normal cups of coffee it would be begin to break down and become bitter at that time. it was a strange thing.

my personal conclusion is if a clover machine is at the starbucks i'm at i'll probably order a cup. if not, i won't go looking for it. i'd rather have a cup from intelligentsia anyway. unfortunately the closest west coast locations are all in the bay area in SF. but my guess is that LA will be close behind.

Monday, April 26, 2010

five four three

i traveled on five planes in four days and three time zones (actually four if you count mountain time in denver). i think i confused the jet lag out of my system. after being given two "get out of jail free" days from work i booked a ticket to chicago the day i got back from china. spending less than 24 hours in california i jet set my way through denver to get to chicago and spend a much needed weekend with my honey.

during the trip mark and i went to the chicago botanic garden. it was so beautiful! some of the flowers were just beginning to peek through the ground for spring but it still absolutely wonderful. visions of hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, pansies, ferns, anemones, magnolias, hostas, and cherry blossoms. stunning. i was sad to see that the peonies weren't in bloom yet but i was pleased as punch just the same. being surrounded by such beauty reminded me that it's our responsibility to be good stewards of the earth.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

day thirteen, hello goodbye

i'm leaving for home tomorrow. it's my last night in china. it's almost been two weeks and i feel like it's been closer to a month. my trip has been a lot work and a lot of fun, which is a good balance i think.

today for our last night in china we drove 45 min. to the hyatt in dongguang. probably one of the most beautiful hotels i've seen. we went for a steak dinner and the ribeye did not disappoint. a wonderful steak served with watercress for a wonderful fresh crunch with the flavorful beef. the fresh bread that was served as an appetizer was probably one of the best tasting breads i've had. a really good crust with an absolutely tender center. delicious. i could've eaten another loaf for dinner.

china has been such an adventure and our contact here in china has been such an exceptional hostess. i'm so grateful for the past two weeks and for all the experiences i've had. now that it's time to come home i'm very ready to see the good ol' U S of A.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

day ten, noodles and neon

today we went to a famous noodle restaurant that charles suggested. it's handmade by a master noodle maker that uses a bamboo pole to make the noodles. it's been said that in 10 years no one will be making noodles in this way. it was an adventure just to find the place but we finally found it after asking two different people for help. the noodles are hair thin but so chewy, in korean "cholgee cholgee." it's pretty amazing that noodles that thin could have so much texture.

later in the evening we went to a place called "the peak" that is a top of a high mountain that over looks the hong kong harbor. very cool view and also very windy!

on the way back to the hotel we made it in time to see the harbor laser show. the bigger buildings in the harbor have neon signs or lasers that flash in the world's biggest laser show.

sometimes futuristic technology frightens people. it reminds them that life is changing so fast and the future is unknown and scary. to those people i say, don't worry because GOD is now open at the peak galleria.

Friday, April 16, 2010

day nine, double B

this is actually day two in hong kong. it's my first time in hong kong but it reminds me of many different american big cities except with A LOT of chinese people. malls are on every corner and neon signs fill the streets.

today was a foggy start but my co-worker and i were determined to go see "double B" or the big buddha. but to go see double B you have to take a cable car all the way up to his pad.

the one we took had a glass bottom and we could see all kinds of things on the way; like this fisherman.
once you get off the cable car ride you still have to climb a series of stairs to go see double B.

surrounding double B are 6 minor statues offering various gifts. this one appears to be offering a plate of dumplings. that's pretty cool because i happen to love dumplings. too bad they're made out of metal.

this one is offering a blossom. i don't know about double B but i'd be pretty pissed if someone tried to offer me a blossom when i was just offered a plate full of dumplings. i'd be like, "PSSHAW!"

these two seem to be offering a tiny kettle of soup and a box. by this point i'd be off my rocker. i'd be like, "that tiny kettle of soup is just insulting and what's up with the box?! did you and kettle girl shop at the same sucky store?"

maybe that's why double B was like, "yo, you know what girls, forget it, i don't want your sorry gifts. double B out."
double B was pretty moody. maybe it's because his earlobes were overly dangly today or maybe it's because his jerry curls were too tight. eh, i guess when you're double B you can do whatever you want. way to go, double B, way to go.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

day eight

there are a lot of billboards on the way to the factory. i think you can learn a lot about a place by the advertisements. shall we observe?

chinese girls like to eat strawberries in bed. it makes them smile and happy.

more than anything chinese people like giving the thumbs up. OK! THUMBS UP!

hot chilies are good for eating but a lesser known fact is that chilies are good for mustaches.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

day four, korean meets taiwanese meets chinese

today was sunday and it's our only day off. unfortunately no church but we did have korean bbq today! so funny, it was a korean restaurant run by taiwanese people in china. they even had kimchee jigeh! it was actually not bad.

so i've been trying to take pictures of food and buildings. sometimes it's really difficult to know what settings to do everything because i'm still getting used to my camera. i'm finding shooting people is even harder for some reason. it always comes out blurry. sigh. i guess it's a learning experience. i unfortunately have some spots on my glass too because of the rainy/humid weather. poopers.

tomorrow is monday and another day at the office.

Friday, April 9, 2010

day two, evening....wayy in the evening

lunch was at the blue bird where we had chinese version of japanese teppanyaki. it was good. another wonderful meal.

i'm getting lots of practice with my new camera while i'm here. i wish i had brought the camera book that mark bought me. sometimes the lighting is a challenge with the indoor/outdoor/cloudy situations.

here are some shots of the factory:

this is the controller board for the 5 color off-set printing press that some of our stuff is on.

this is a room full of some of the women who put the detailed pieces together by hand.

this is the screen printing machine that puts on the glitter to the stickers.

this is another screen printing machine that is doing one color passes on a foam material.

for dinner we had a very chinese dinner as well. if i translate it in english it's roughly translated to "meek-doan-ahld-suh."

observe this foreign dinner. the red box means good luck. it was salty.

this is a red bean pie! like our apple pie but with red bean. wooow. it was ok.

this is a taro pie!! TARO!! crazy crazy. it was goood. much better than the red bean. AND the pie crust is fried like the good ol' days.

by the time we left the factory it was 10pm. i love 13 hour days of work. **sidenote: it was the "meek-doan-ahld-suh" that rocked my stomach last night. the lucky red box wasn't that lucky.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

day two, morning

good morning, the room is still freezing. hahaha but not to worry the comforters were most amazing. i might steal it. it's another cloudy grey day but we hear there is hardly a clear day in the area due to the high concentration of factories in the area. even though stricter environmental regulations have been made it doesn't matter because of the high quantity of factories in a small area. but the view from the window is really cool. we have a public park across the street.

breakfast is served and we've learned a few things:
- poached egg means hard boiled egg
- sausage means hot dog
- wheat toast means white toast
-coca-cola night means coca-cola light means diet coke. (my co-worker drinks a lot of diet coke)

almost time to go to work for another 12.5 hour work day. just another day as a chinese worker.

first day.

super tired. food is ok. i feel like california has just as good as what i've tasted so far. i worked from the time i landed in the morning until 8:30pm. damn you chinese work ethic. weatherchannel.com lied. it is not 77 degrees here. i did not pack appropriately. freezing. heater doesn't want to produce warm air. freezing in shorts and a t-shirt.

but other than that i'm having a great time! :D it's actually pretty cool for reals. the hotel is baller. i ordered room service for the first time. i feel like luxury.
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