“I’ve got Internet, at long last…

…Soon, my nefarious plans for world conquest will be complete! Now, no one can stop me….BWAHAHAHAHAHA!” Sorry. I got a bit carried away there. It’s been almost a month since I’ve had an internet connection that was outside the office. I got my Passport back, Friday, from the aptly-named, Orwellian agency, the Public Security Bureau. That allowed me to, at long last, set up internet service, as having a Passport for most services in China is an absolute.

China Unicom is pretty efficient, too. Someone showed up the next day (15 minutes late; top that, Comcast!) and was done within 30 minutes and the cost for a very high-speed connection is $23 a month (and yes, Comcast CAN and does, easily top that!) As soon as I can find an ordinary, land-line phone (remember land-lines?) I hope to find out if Vonage is right, that by using their router which I dragged here from Marin, I can make/receive calls using my old 415 number for pennies a minute. We shall see but I have my doubts.

So, here I sit at my dining room table composing my first post from the comfort of my apartment. I do want to talk about my classes as I’m getting into the groove, so to speak. I’ve discovered some very interesting cultural differences that I want to share. But for now, as Marty DiBergi, Director, extraordinaire famously said (yet another, This is Spinal Tap reference) “But hey, enough of my yakking…” As promised, photos of the comestibles selection, for your delectation, direct from U-Center (where I work). Many of the eateries are in the basement where the supermarket is but there are plenty of restaurants spread throughout the six floors of the mall section of the building. Here’s but a small sampling. Bon appetit!


This is part of the meat department in the supermarket in the basement of U-Center. I shop here most days. Having said that, I haven’t screwed up the courage to buy chicken in this manner.


I’ll buy chicken if it’s shrink-wrapped on the “laugh-out-loud” assumption, it’s somehow safer than food sitting, unwrapped.


A partial selection of the famous, or infamous, depending on your view, of Baijiu, the national drink of China


The infamous Durian fruit. Some day, I will actually screw up the courage and try some. Perhaps, after enough baijou!


“I been workin’ here at the D.Q. for about, um… eight months? Seven? I don’t know, somethin’ like that, it’s fun. Just do the cones… make sundaes, make Blizzards, ‘n… put stuff on ’em, ‘n… see a lot of people come in, a lot of people come to the D.Q… burgers… ice cream… anything, you know? Cokes… just drive in and get a Coke, if you’re thirsty.” -Parker Posey, as Libby Mae Brown in “Waiting for Guffman.”


In the supermarket, frozen seafood is in bulk and sitting out and you take what you want and get it weighed. Again, I haven’t been too tempted to try this.


12 RMB is about $1.80


it’s “egg-city.” See the below pictures of the rest of the egg offerings. Then go to Walmart where it’s “egg-planet.” What is it about eggs in this country?


You are correct: donuts.

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