Come with us as we make our way from Good Ole' Texas to fabulous Hong Kong, China.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eastern Footprints on a Western Toilet.

They shoot the white girl first in Paradise.

Okay, this has been a psycho week for sure, but more emotionaly than culturaly. I have been a Bi-Polar Bear set on rapid cycle. Dare I blame the meds.?

But I did not fail to notice some extreme tid bits for you to chew on this week!

Let's start with the humongous recipe for failure that was Husky Energy's Lunar New Year party last Friday night. I am now convinced it was all a plot by Chinese women to make us Westerner's feel really, really, friggin' fat! (just incase we don't already!) Obviously they have no idea the insecurities that reside in every warm blooded American woman!

So Husky plans this So-Fab party last Friday night. Now in the states So-Fab parties are sooooo simple. Decent food, OPEN BAR, and Done! Right?

Not so in this always the opposite country! Here the childish imaginations of the Chinese are set free and it's not pretty folks. Chuck E. Cheese all they way and they love it! So, it was therefore decided that this party of course have an ulra-cheesy theme. They chose "Shanghai in the 20's". Wow, this screamed nightmare for us white ladies from the word GO! First we all had to buy traditional dresses. Now you would think that nothing would turn me on more than a company demand for me to spend Dan's money, but this was just too big and so ofcourse I put it off until I was down to the final week. Some helpful friends told me that they had "Ready Made" dresses in a shopping enormi called Louhou. So we all make a date a trek out there. Not an easy jog let me tell you. And yes, there were stores and stores of ready made dresses (MAYBE FOR BARBIE). Apparently the term "Western Sizes" does not include owning Child Bearing width Hips or shall I dare say it, BREASTS!!!!!! Yes folks, items of which Iadmit I have more than my fair share of both!
So by this point, an hour of china traffic, a huge, crappy mall I have never been to, and now I am stressing! I have exactly one week to find what I will never, ever find. A dress I can zip up!
Finally it is suggested that I just buy the fabric and have it custom made. So, in 4 days and at only DOUBLE the price I finally get to haul my BFA back out there to pick up my custom made, tailor fitted nightmare of a garment!  So the big party arrives. All of us show up at the Kempinsky hotel's ballroom. and my jaw drops! Only us westerners are wearing the suggested clothing. The Chinese are not! So, we all look like Wanna-Be Veitnamese Hookers while the Chinese girls are dressed elegantly in Modern Formal Wear! To this I scream, WTF! The Chinese can not stick to their own freakin' plan! They just don't have enough common sense. But otherwise, the food was nasty, the ass kissing exhausting, and we were finally allowed to go home!

Now for a little Asian Humor...........(if that even exists)

For those of you geography drop-outs like myself, Shenzhen is on the Southern most tip of China. We live along a coastline with no beach. So the city is long and thin rather than wide and open, because there is Water on one side and Mountains on the other and the city just winds along the coast. I'm telling you this because there is one major street called Nanhai Blvd. which is alot like Hwy. 6. Two Starbucks, all the restaurants and banks, and of course Wal-Mart. On the North of this main street is where most apartments are like ours and also Jingshan Villas which is the Chevron founded compound where oil industry families live and where the International School is. Now, one the south side of Nanhai is a place commonly referred to simply as "Chicken Street". I have no idea why! It is simply a back street that I never have any need to go on so I have not until recently paid it any attention. That was until I went to the S.O.S. Medical Clinic which is located on Chicken Street. But guess what else is on Chicken street. No, not one Chicken but about 10 whore houses and many more nasty clubs! All with very imaginative names like; Good Love, Rabbit Hole, Long Drinks, etc. Oh yes, it's a veritable feast for any gross, desperate, horny westerner to go find a good time and is fully stocked with poor, hoochie chinese girls who are hoping to find love and a Green Card! Still, what this has to do with Chickens, I haven't a clue. Just thought you'd like to know!

And Finally, this would be really humorous if it wasn't so nasty! As I've proven, most Chinese use and prefer Eastern toilets. Those crazy, porcelien holes in the floor instead of nice, sanitary western toilet bowls. Which is fine, to each his own right? The problem is, when they go into a fancier place or a place set up for us, such as Starbucks or hotels and they are faced with only a toilet bowl, they are still not comfortable using them so instead of sitting down on the toilet like we do, they get up on the seat with their shoes and squat over the hole. HILARIOUS, until you are a westerner who has had quite a bit of Club Soda, really need to pee, finally make it into a bathroom WITH a western toilet and you have to hop up and down trying not to wet yourself while you a friggin' hosing shoe prints of the seat. I mean, COME ON CHINA IT'S NOT THAT BAD!!!!!!

And there I will leave you. Until next week, enjoy your normalcy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

O bu ni mei you! Chinese for

Did you miss me? You know you did, you know my random, nonsense is your newest guilty pleasure. Who needs the real housewives when you can check in with the craziness that is Prissy's life! I am the Real House wife of Shenzhen!

So we are near the end of Lunar New Year's Festivities. THANK GOD, it's insane. Fireworks every night, the city lite up in red lanterns like some cheap hooker, and just the normal chaos that exists when people get time off. More drinking, more carousing, more ugliness. I don't think I could take this holiday every year! Beam me up Scottie, cuz these peeps are CRAZY when it's allowed.

We escaped into Dubai for some of it. Ladies, it is retail paradise. Every store, every item, every thing you could ever buy or dream of is right there in a pristine store window. We shopped and shopped and shopped until even I could not shop anymore. Everything is in a mall. The Dubai mall has the indoor ski area and a bowling alley. The Emirates Mall has the largest building in the world. Stores so big, Armani has a cafe inside so you can rest, because in that store alone there is too much. It is commerce heaven. I think I may have left some fingernail marks on the plane.

And speaking of plane. We flew Emirates Airlines, the Boeing 800 Airbus. That's right ladies, if you saw Sex and the City 2, it's the exact same 2 story plane they flew to Abu Dhabi, with the private rooms and everything. The largest plane in the air to date. In fact no movie was more spot on and accurate about the United Arab Emirates than that movie. It was EXACTLY as in the movie.

But enough about that, even thinking back on it exhausts me. Just wanted to fill you in as promised.

Meanwhile back in the People's Republic of China, things are running smooth. Making friends, little one back to school, big one back to bitching about work. All returned to it's normal sphere.

Which leads me back to the oddities and errs that is expat life.......

So yesterday morning I decide to make the not too often necessary trek to Wal-Mart. I hate this place, but sometimes it is the only place for those random but totally necessary items, like umbrellas, child safety locks *to keep someone out of the fridge*, etc. So I take a private car there, no problem, best way to travel, but am forced to take a taxi back.

Taxis here are not your best method. The cars are old and usually smell like 20 years of chain smoking, the drivers are rude and act like they are doing you a favor by offering to take you somewhere, and they are more expensive than the private cars. But standing outside Wally World laden down with bags, in a cold drizzle, I had no choice, so I hailed one of these offensive asses on wheels. Stuck in traffic, cuz hey every time you go anywhere you begin or end stuck in traffic and suddenly this HORRIFIC smell smacks me in the face. You guessed it, not only was my cab driver an asshole, he had the POOTS!!!! I don't think there is any worse gas than Chinese, local cuisine Gas. And I know that that's what it was, because anyone who eats here has caused this smell themselves at one time or another. There is no smell quite like it! I couldn't breathe. I couldn't vomit. I couldn't escape. He sits there acting like nothing happened while this green cloud fills up the entire car. Why in this country do I always seem to be gasping for air from one thing or another. Seriously folks, I need air! What was I supposed to do? If I rolled down the window and stuck my head out like Benji on holiday he would know why! These are the times when I need to be fluent in Mandarin, so I could have been helpful, you know, lean across the front seat, put my hand supportive like on his shoulder and say hey, if you need to eat yesterdays Dim Sum to say a few Yuan, I totally understand, but I don't think the discovery of a dead, American lady is going to look good on your next job performance review, so crack a window before I get Jackie Chan on your ass!

And lastly, my Where is the common sense in this moment highlight of the week......
I have been in and around the Oil and Gas industry all of my adult life. There is no industry quite like it. ISO numbers, Accident free work days, and Safety First mantras are their number one concern (for the public anyway.) Meetings are held, bonuses given, parties thrown all in the hopes of making safety their number one priority. Not so much here.

Yesterday afternoon, while, you guessed it, stuck in traffic, I look over to a CNOC gas station. CNOC being China National Oil Company. Now we are all familiar with gas stations. At the pumps there is an Emergency Shut Off Button, A fire Extinguisher, a 1-800 number to call in case of emergency. All to ensure safety of those at the pumps. Guess what they had at this station for emergencies. I kid you NOT, 2 shovels and a pile of sand in the corner of the lot. Yes indeed folks, if you start a gas fire, you better get your butt to shoveling!

That's should be enough to satisfy you closet Blog addicts. So I will end with a piece of sage advice my brother-in-law gave me one year....I can't help you unless your dead!

Til next week my loves!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What the hell is in my hair?

Hello everyone! And how was your week? Me? Well.........

Monday morning I woke up and my hair was damp. Apparently some little one had snuck into our bed in the middle of the night, got turned to where she was parellel with the head board between our pillows, and then of course, she wet the bed. Alas, my hair was wet when I woke up.

Now of course, I am a woman with a past and this is not the first time I have found myself with an undesirable substance in my coif! There was that party Senior year where some random date told me that Everclear was just like water, therefore drinking a 32 oz. Big Gulp cup of Trash Can punch is harmless. Ugh! That was the first and last time I ever partyed without a good friend willing to hold my hair for me as I ralphed.

Then of course, we all have the experiance where not so lady-like statements are made, such as "Wait, my skirt is caught in the car door" and gee, whatever your name was, I hope I can get back into the club, because my ride was still on the floor dancing when we came out here"

I'm kidding!!! Gosh, your a judgmental audience, aren't ya! Glass houses, remember!


So Tuesday night was Bookclub. There were about 10 ladies, the usual nice but also over educated, elitist, Ex pat wives. So, i am standing in the kitchen talking to two other ladies who were well traveled. Now, granted these ladies I have only met a handful of times, but you know, it doesn't take a Doctorate in Neurology to be able to determine certain things about people when you first meet or chat with them. Do you agree?

So, we are in the kitchen, and I ask the older woman, "Have you been to Dubai, I've never been, but we are headed there for Chinese New Year next week". So she haughtily replies, "I don't care for it, it's all new and shiny, with nothing but shopping, like one big fancy shopping mall!" She says this like it's a bad thing, meanwhile my eyes have ofcourse glazed over and drool has begun to drip down my chin. I mean HELLO, does she have no idea who the hell she was talking to? She says all that with that negative tone and meanwhile I am picturing heaven on earth where anything designed in Italy or France is on sale!!!!! The other woman there just took one look at me and started laughing hysterically, because obviously I looked just like Garfield when Lasagna comes out of the oven!

Later in the week, I read on Yahoo home page, an article called "Men weigh in on Woman's Fashion". These jackholes start giving us tips on what they like and don't like. I couldn't believe it! Guess what fellas, unless our main career task everyday is hanging upside down on a pole while bad 70's rock blares, WE'RE NOT DRESSING FOR YOU!!!! Everyone with half a wit knows that women dress to impress other women. Am I right ladies? I could care less what the guy at the freakin Walgreen's counter thinks of my top or my make up that day. It's what the Mom's at John Wesley think that matters! Then these ego losers go on to bash Uggs! My favorite shoes in all the land! I mean, really! They made a comment like "Please ladies, give these Uggly things back to the Eskimos you stole them from", I thought I was going to pass out! How dare these 20 something Bachelor show wanna be's dis my furry, fuzzy, cuddly, luvvy boots! Down with MEN! Argh!

So that was my week. Thursday we are headed to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Thailand, and ofcourse that big Glittery Mall that is Dubai. I will check in with you from there.

Much love from the People's Republic!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Woes me and a Coffee Bun

"Oh woes me, my life is a misery, oh oh but can't you see, that I'm at the start of a pretty big downer!" - Song Quote from Rocky of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I don't know why that song popped into my head as I thought of the word woes.

This week has been normal and frankly I can't understand it. Could it be that nothing here surprises me anymore? Could it be the adventure has run out on the People's Republic of China? I think not! Maybe as Global teachers guide my child and the Ayi guides my housework, I have simply grown complacent in my Uggs! Thankfully a change of scene is just around the corner. Yep, two weeks until a new adventure in Dubai. Don't worry, you will be right there with me!

So, last night Dan brings me a flyer offering fresh bakery goods delivered right to your door. I was so excited I put in an order immediately! I ordered some Foccacia bread with Olives, Sourdough Bread, A homemade Chocolate Swiss Roll (which I am thinking should be just like the little Debbie version only fresh and not yucked down by preservatives!) and something called a Coffee Bun. I ordered three of those, cuz hey I drink coffee and might need a treat to go with it!

Delightedly I opened the door this morning to the delivery guy with all my ordered yummies. As a matter of fact, I timed it so that I would still be drinking coffee when my Coffee Buns arrived. I didn't know what to expect, but envisioned something sweet like a Cinnamon Roll or at the very least a Croissant. And I got this huge bun that did look like a Cinnamon roll. It was large, round, soft, and the top was dusted with a brown powder that I just naturally assumed was a shit load of Cinnamon. YUM! So, I pop that sucka in the micro for 10 seconds, grab my coffee, and my Ipad and settle in for some "Mommy Me Time" bliss.

Unfortunately the first huge bite of bun flew right out of my mouth and across the room, landing politely on the bookshelves. Oh yes friends, powder was NOT Cinnamon. Powder was COFFEE! Duh, I guess that's what makes it a Coffee Bun!!! It is a dinner roll covered in Coffee! OMG, I thought I was never going to get the grit out of my mouth. and guess what folks, trying to chase it down with half cold coffee did not help matters a bit! I swear, I almost lost dinner from last night. I gagged and gagged and finally swished up enough spit to wash the God Awful Oil Dust powder out of my mouth. So there I was, leaned back against the Piano, huffing and panting and half choking, and thinking "Good Lord, Priscilla, when are you going to freakin' learn?" I should have expected the unexpected! All in all though, the Bakery rocks, minus the Car Bomb worthy Coffee Buns!

How I would love to be home with a plain old Chocolate Croissant from Starbucks or as Kelly made me crave, a Vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic, oh or some Chic-minis from Chik-fil-a. Oh I could go on and on about what America has that the rest of the universe lacks. They can keep all their beloved McDonald's, just send me some Arby's! lol

Anyway, I'm sorry it was a boring, less than note worthy week, but I still wanted to touch base with all of you to let you know how much you are missed.

I promise to try and stir up more trouble for next week, so just bear with me!


So, how was your morning?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Santa vs. A Bunny Rabbit!

In this corner, wieghing in at a fat and jolly 250 pounds is.........SANTA CLAUS!

In this corner, standing in at 100 pounds dripping wet, including ears and tail is..........A BUNNY RABBIT!

Okay, now that I've got my introduction, allow me to explain. All through the festive holiday among the mall's Sleighs, Santa's, Elves, and Candy Canes we always saw a random Rabbit thrown in.

Dan and I joked and thought that maybe they just had their Christian holidays mixed up. Or hey maybe, they just like Rabbits.

It took the whole month before someone finally told us that the Rabbits were because it is almost Chinese New Year and this will be the year of the Rabbit!

That's okay, personally I'm used to feeling stupid so I just used it as an excuse to roll around on the floor, laughing my ass off, because Dan's and my theories were so far off and it wasn't the Chinese confusing everything. It was the usual "Stupid Americans".

So, anyway that lead me to feel like I should include you in our Chinese New Year's festivities with some history.

There will be no quiz at the end of this blog, so relax!

Chinese New Year:

It's always around the end of January, but like many holidays, not always on the same day. This year it is actually February 3rd.

As I'm sure you have all been to a Chinese Restaurant with those paper place mats showing all the animals and years they are associated with. These are based on the 12 animals that supposedly appeared before Buddha.

They are....A Pig, A Dog, A Rooster, A Monkey, A Goat, A Horse, A Snake, A Dragon, A Rabbit, A Tiger, An Ox, and A Rat.

There is an animal for every year and just like our zodiac signs, the animal for the year you are born supposedly says much about your personality.

I found this pretty entertaining and also eerily close to correct, especially Dan's. I will tell you ours and then give you the website so you can find your own.

Dan-1947 and Samantha-2007 are both born in the years of the PIG.

PIG: People born under this animal are extremely nice, good-mannered, and tasteful. Perfectionists who enjoy finer things, but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are also good companions until someone crosses them. they are intelligent and always learning.

(I don't know about you, but I think this sounds exactly like Dan.)

Hayden-1994 is year of the Dog.

DOG: Loyal, faithful, honest, dis-trustful and often guilty of telling white lies. Temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Excel in business, but has trouble finding mates.

(this is Hayden in a nut-shell)


TIGER: Authoritative, self-possessed with good leadership skills. Charming, ambitious, courageous, warm hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and ready to pounce at any time.

(Now I do see much of this in me, but if you do, good cause it is complementary. I mean I am MOODY, but usually more so once a month. lol)

So go to this website, see which animal you are and let me know. I am curious to see how well the animals match all my friends and loved ones.

Until next week, let your inner animal roar!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Macau and the Rich Chinese

So, if Facebook is reliable, all of our friends and loved ones had a fantastic Christmas. That's good! Now onto New Years? Whew! This time of year is always a wild ride and then BOOM, a whole new year. Our Christmas was small, quaint, but wonderful. My Santa always rocks and that's why I love him all year round!

Dan is on a month to month business visa which requires a trip to Hong Kong every month and the company pays for it. Harsh, huh? I love it when Corporations drop the ball and we get a monthly get-away!

So, with that in view, one of Dan's Christmas gifts was a trip to Macau, which is the Chinese version of Las Vegas. Guess what folks, it's better in so many ways.

The thing about Las Vegas, yes there's no place like it on earth (probably a good thing), but it is old. Macau is an old city, but Gaming wasn't allowed until quite recently so everything is huge, lush, and brand new!

Now the Chinese only get 2 holidays a year. A week in February for Chinese New Year and a week in October. For the average Chinese person, this always means going to the town you are from and spending it with family. The reason I point this out is..... this means that the Chinese and other tourists who can just take off and go to Macau are only the extremely wealthy and so this place and any other hot spot is all about Luxury and VIP treatment. And as a Westerner, they don't realize you may only be a normal Engineer living in Mainland China, they assume you are seriously wealthy and expect only the best like they do. So for two days we have fallen into this catagory without even trying to.

Example, since we are leaving for Hong Kong first thing in the morning, Dan asked the Conceirge if he could go ahead and buy Ferry Tickets here from them. They quickly ushered us into the V.I.P. only part of the hotel (a completely seperate section with it's own conceirge, shops, and restaurants not accessable to regular hotel guests). Sat us down, offered us tea or anything else, and let us relax while he got us tickets on a Hydroflight craft (it looks like a yacht and goes much faster than the regular ferries). Just because we were American, they assumed this was the treatment we required. Of course we would have been idiots to argue, so there you go.

The guests in the hotel, I could watch all day. Soooo fabulous and soooo obviously wealthy. It's a good thing I brought my Birkin so I could easily blend with the ladies who were all carrying theirs. We even saw one couple arriving in a stretch Mercedes Limo. I knew Mercedes had one, but had never seen it parked right beside me. As usual with this set, the stores were extremely high end and full of shoppers.

Another Example, I wanted a pair of dress shoes for Sam. She needs some grey ones. I pick up a cute pair of Silver dressy Combat Boot types to check the size and the price. $2,000.00 (they ended up being Dolce and Gabbana Jr.) So, ofcourse I put them down! After all, I'm not freakin' CRAZY!!!!!!

So, as soon as I put them back on the shelf, an absolutley gorgeous Chinese woman asks me if I don't want them. I've been in this setting awhile, so I just flip my hair casually and tell her no, they are not the right size. (Snicker, Snicker). She asks me if I am sure and I say, yes I am sure, they will not work for me. So she grabs them and heads straight to the cashier and buys the damn things. $2,000.00 shoes to fit a toddler. And not even everyday shoes!!!! Dressy shoes. I thought I was going to faint. lol.

So, to re-iterate. I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!

Until Next Time, Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Starving Children in China

Where oh where has my motivation gone? Seriously, is everyone but me ahead of the game this Christmas? We do have a barren little Christmas tree (thank you IKEA), but the only presents under it are from Sam's school. I have money in my pocket, but the desire to get out there and spend it eludes me! I can't believe it, me, not shopping? Am I ill?

For one thing, Sam is home from school and makes everything 20 times more difficult. For another, a cold front has blown through and it just seems easier to stay snuggled up inside watching black market DVD's of Gossip Girl.

Today though, I am going to force my Big Fat Ass (which is slimming down thanks to all the walking we do) off the couch and into the mall which supposedly has a Toy's R Us! So wish me luck there, would ya?

So, on with the extremes.....

Here is a bit of realization that made me want to slap my mother for telling me such bullshit! If your kids are ever not cleaning their plates as much as you would like Don't guilt them into eating by telling them there are starving kids in China! There AREN"T! The kids we see in China are staying snug in their mommie's Audi SUV's while their nannies run into school to see if class is ready to begin! Also, they are not starving, they are happily eating hand made noodles in the back seats of their Daddy's Bentley. You heard me BENTLEYS! So there!

Our antecdote for the week?

Well on a night I didn't want to cook (yes I know this is every night, but this time Dan felt bad for me), we walked down to the local Pizza Hut. We ordered a Supreme Pizza and if you know Dan, you know he is a SALT-a-holic. So he asked the waiter for salt. The waiter said okay and brought back some Parmesan cheese. Dan says, no salt please. Waiter says okay and brings Tabasco sauce. Dan says thanks, but could I also get some salt. The waiter says ofcourse and brings red pepper. Dan says, this is not salt, this is pepper. Can I have some salt? Waiter says, oh sorry and brings the black pepper. How Dan kept his patience here, I will never know, especially with me laughing hysterically! The waiter comes back with another thing of parmesan cheese. Dan says, we already have cheese, what I want is SALT!!!!!!! Finally with nothing left on the shelf to bring, the waiter brings a tiny shaker of salt. Dan looks over the table and says, so there you have it, Salt, Pepper, and Graitude! I was laughing so hard the other diners were wondering what the hell was so damn funny! Gotta love China!

Hope your all having winter wonderland fun! We will be vacationing the next time I post so more Asian Excitement to come.

We love you All!!!!!!