Monday, August 30, 2010

First Days

Three flights, four airports, and 914 minutes of flight time later, I made it to my new/second home.

The flight to Beijing was much better than the previous that I had taken. What first caught my eye was that they offered power outlets on the plane (a Boeing 777). This alone made the ride much smoother for my computer and its useless battery; however, there was more than just that. The entertainment system offered more than just a handful of movies. It had hundreds of movies, thousands of songs (although I didn’t care much for what they offered) and about 20 or so different games on it. You could even play poker against someone else on the plane. The last thing that was better on this flight was the meal offerings. I think they had an additional snack offering and a little more food for each meal. The meals also had *real* silverware packed with them.

Oh yeah, and the local flight in China? For only a one-hour trip they had a meal service (free) and two beverage services. The only bad thing was that the drinks were warm (Chinese don’t like cold drinks).

We arrived to our apartments in Kaifeng at around 8:00pm on Sunday. Fortunately, arriving a day early paid off since we got the first choice of which apartments we wanted to stay in. We were still relatively tired from all of the flying so we just stayed in for the night and made plans for the next day.

Today I showed Jon-Michael a little bit of the city. First, we went to the market by the south gate of campus to find some fresh fruits/vegetables for breakfast. I bought some grapes, and he some fried food (it had noodles and vegetables inside a deep fried “pocket”, not sure what it’s called yet). After getting breakfast, we headed back to campus to put things away and open our bank accounts. We then headed into the Gulou (鼓楼 – gǔlóu) area of Kaifeng to meet my friend Bernita for lunch. It was an interesting meal. JM had a dish consisting of mushrooms and Chinese cabbage, Bernita had spicy chicken over rice, and I had pork meatballs (狮子头 – shīzi tóu, literally “lion’s head”) with rice. We also shared a dish of Japanese tofu, although I wasn’t a big fan of it.

After that we went to a couple of supermarkets to buy some necessities. The first one we went to was called Sam’s Meimei (三毛美美 – sānmáo měimei) and then went over to Dashang supermarket (大商超市 – dà shāng chāoshì) to look around and buy cleaning supplies. Now we are back and cleaning up the place so we can start unpacking. We don’t quite have internet yet, so you won’t be able to read this message until a few days later.

Until then, 再见!

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