Thursday, August 24, 2006

Email from Betsy from China

Tian'amen Square

"The rapture continues..." my sister Betsy on visiting China

My nephew Ken graduated from Brandies this year, already accepted into the graduate program for an MBA in International Business. He's spending the first semester in China at the University of Beijing.

Ken and his mom (my sister Betsy) headed to China last week to get him settled. Dad/husband Bill joins them a week later. If you've never been to China (I haven't), according to their emails, it's another world in more ways than one.

And it occurred to me some of our family's experiences in Southeast Asia were well worth sharing, from all points of view.

Here's an email from Betsy after she and Kenny arrived.
K and I had quite an adventure meeting Bill at the airport. We had the hotel write "airport" in Chinese characters for the cabdriver, but not the terminal, airline, arrival or departure. Fortunately, Beijing airport is manageable, so all's well.

Yesterday we took Bill back to the Forbidden City and Tian'amen Square. We then had lunch in the most up-scale restaurant we've been in so far, and boy did we pay for it: lunch for three was a little over $12. More walking around, back to the silk market - "For everyone, $100, but just for you - business is slow today and I rike you - $30." If we leave paying $6, we overpaid.

Very fun. Intellectual property be damned. We have Izod, Tommy H and Polo shirts for $5, and I think we overpaid. Before dinner last night I had a pedicure at the hotel, so certainly I overpaid by double, and it was $12.50. The best part was at the end when she fanned my toes to dry them. I thought her arm would drop off and they don't even understand tipping here.

Then we met K's three friends for dinner that was a feast I cannot even begin to describe, from which my mouth is still on fire, but that's a detail, $30. It was a pleasure to graciously treat! We're getting a late start today to give Bill a little time to adjust, and Kenny wants to know why old people have so much trouble with their physiological housekeeping when traveling (I would call him a little sh*t at this point, but that would be overkill).

When we do get moving we're taking a barge up a park lake to the Summer Palace. Then probably back to the silk market - Bill loves his polo shirt - then we are having a Fusion dinner tonight. Ordinarily I would skip lunch in preparation, but hahahahahahahaha...I don't think so.

Tomorrow we're off to Xi'an for an overnight then Shanghai for three nights then back here for two days then.....real coffee. BTW, Kenny is beside himself with joy. Of the options for school, he chose 15 hours/wk of Chinese - the requirement is 3 - and he's told us he'll come home in the spring to finish school, but then he's back here for an undetermined amount of time. So there. More later. xoxoxoxoxox

Rapture ruptured PS...
"...Shanghai is about 1000 times more expensive than any other place in China. Just so you know."



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