A little bit of home

I was shopping for Mexican food (I’m having a Day of the Dead party for our staff) and was looking through the cheese case when I saw this.  They had pepper jack, too.  I didn’t buy any this time, but hopefully it’s still there next time.

Trying to Communicate

I know that a lot of you only read Facebook, so I’m going to try something new.  I’ve got a plugin that will take my posts from here and put them onto Facebook automatically.  We’ll see if it works.

My Little Mule

20140907_131536_resizedOr… 我的少毛驴 (wo de shao mao lu).

Scooters here a  called “little mules”[1].  They’re about 50% of the vehicles on the road (if not more).  The vast majority of them are electric (as mine is), and the cost anywhere from a half a month’s salary to a full month’s salary (or more) for the average factory worker.

I’ve been here three years now, and finally decided that I had enough money saved up that I could afford to get the one I wanted.  And I’m glad I waited.  This “Vespa-style” design is something new, and has become quite popular.  Previously, most of them have been either e-bikes (a bicycle with an electric motor built onto it) or have had a more “pointy” style–like a skinny snowmobile.

This style has very smooth curves and a classic look to it.  It’s much more my style.  And… they had it in what I like to call “Dragonfly Red”–the deep, rich red that I like to use for my websites and other designs.

I have a bicycle, but I think I’ve ridden it 3 times in the past 4 months.  It’s just too hot and humid to be riding a bicycle–especially to work.  When I get there, I’d be soaked in sweat.   With the scooter, I have the freedom to get around without waiting for a bus (which stop running at 6:30pm!) or paying for a taxi.   Freedom!

And, of course, this being China, the very first thing everybody says is “How much?”


[1] On a funny side note:  I have  a Colombian teacher staying here for a couple days, and I said “I have a shao mao lu”… then wondered how to say that in Spanish.  After about 2 seconds, it came to me:   Burrito!

Lost in Suzhou

Today is part of a three-day weekend.  I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to explore new cities and visit friends.  Today I hopped a bus to Suzhou (苏州).  I did something I haven’t done in a while… intentionally get lost. Sometimes the best thing to do in a new city is to just pick a direction and start walking.  Then take whichever turns look iinteresting.  That’s what I did today.  I have no idea where I was, but it was definitely interesting.  I’ll post more pics when I get home.

Evening in the Mountains

This is the weekend of our company trip.  We’re in Anqi, which is basically Wisconsin Dells–if it were the size of Lodi. There’s a “river” (creek) running through the one-street town, and it’s surrounded by mountains covered in bamboo. The locals have managed to rurn those two things into a booming tourist trade. But, in a country where a city of 1.5 million people is considered a “small town”, you enjoy what’s available.   I hadn’t thought much about it until the ride here.  We were pulling into town when everyone started out the windows… “Look!  Cows!”


Communities in this area are very good about making the area look good.  This is a new residential development across from an industrial park. Sent from Samsung Mobile