October 7, 2008

Random Observations

Things I've noticed this week but probably can't write a whole lot about:

  • The elevators here seem incredibly slow. Soul-suckingly slow. And the buildings are tall. It takes forever to get to the 27th floor. This seems slightly less true in the newest buildings.
  • Chinese are, apparently, lactose intolerant. This means there's not a lot of cheese in the grocery stores, which is bad for me. There is milk, but more soy milk. There is yogurt, thankfully. But this is the really interesting thing: other products, like crackers, have extra calcium added, and advertised on the label. At first, I was thinking "Who wants to buy high-cal(orie) crackers?" My yogurt has "50% more calcium than ordinary yogurt." I guess to make up for the lack of dairy in the diet.
  • There are plenty of hairdressers here, but a surprising number of people have bad hair. Women and men alike have bad dye jobs with skunk stripes of gray on lots of people's heads. It's incredible. At first I thought perhaps since I'm in a non-Western neighborhood, that it's only my sense of vanity. Then I realized for the gray to show, someone had to dye the rest of it first ...
  • The yogurt comes with tiny fold-up spoons in the lid. This is very cool.

  • The MTR system is awesome. The trains are frequent and wide and air conditioned. So are the stations. So far, it takes me where I want to go; I don't know if this is true for most residents.

  • People in the neighborhood where I'm staying are in no hurry, no hurry at all. They mosey. Again, perhaps this is different in, say, Central, which is the hopping bank district. But boy, you walk down the street and not only are the people in front of you moseying, they're meandering. You can't pass them. An expat Brit we talked to the first night had a bizarre theory for this, suggesting people look down when they walk so they don't have to greet people they might know. Um, yeah.
  • There is no shortage of places to eat. This is a very good thing. Groceries seem quite expensive here, and eating out much less so.
Now these are just random, ill-informed, first-impression, been-here-all-of-a-week observations. Isn't it fascinating???

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