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May 16th, 2012:

Trashy in China, 4.0

Day one.

Well, that wasn’t so bad, really… yeah, it’s about 22 hours in travel mode door to door, but the flights were uneventful and I had a half-decent sleep last night. Melatonin rocks!

After checking in and dropping our stuff off at our rooms, we stuck to what has become the usual pattern for these trips: head off to one of the joints behind the hotel for what is intended to be a short bowl of soup but what invariably turns into a full-blown meal with numerous¬† mouth-watering dishes and beer (equally yummy) . It’s my fourth trip here and I am still astounded by the price of food here… worked out to about $9 each! Awesome food heaven!

There are always surprises that await when coming here. A building that wasn’t there before has “suddenly” sprung up in a matter of months. A handy and cheap store is replaced by a pizza joint.¬† And a super yummy Indian resto has vanished.¬† Still, the hotel breakfast buffet hasn’t changed much since my first trip here in 2007 and the rooms in the Jianguo Hotel are still top-notch.

This afternoon, it’s off to the Silk market to get some clothes for myself and look for some things for C and the kids. Each trip here, the first time through the Market is a bit (a lot) of a trial… the yelling and grabbing can get under your skin… but it’s worth it. I try to get as much of this out of the way early in the week so I can spend the rest of my free time here enjoying myself in a less frantic way.

Tomorrow – off to work!