Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The rest of the trip...

After Christmas I spent a lot of time during the days just hanging around the resort in Phuket relaxing. I got to meet a lot of people from all over, and they were really nice! There were people from Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, England, the U.S., etc... from just about everywhere. There weren't any people from mainland China though. It turns out they are rather superstitious, and none of them would come after last years' tsunami. It kind of explains why I had so much trouble arranging a flight from China to Phuket. In the evenings there were plenty of shows and little parties, but I think everyone was gearing up for New Years. Here are some more pictures from my trip to Thailand...

Along the beach.

More of the beach.

In front of my room.

Part of the lobby that goes out to the pool.

Some sports in the pool.

A relaxing place to study my Chinese.

Lounging about at a party.

Part of the New Years Eve party.

Making wishes and sending them up in balloons on New Years day.

Beautiful sunset.

On Monday I headed to the airport in Phuket very early for my flight to Bangkok. Thai Airlines is pretty good. Much better than the Chinese airlines. The flight to Bangkok was on time and I flew to Beijing on Thai Air also, and that flight arrived on time. It was kind of funny that not many people on the flight to Beijing were Chinese, and the Chinese who were on the flight had trouble understanding why the plane was being boarded in an orderly fashion (1st class, then back of the plane to the front of the plane). Things like that are just not done in China...

I do not think I have talked about it much on the blog, but the Chinese can seem extremely rude sometimes. I do not think they know they appear that way, but they do not really seem to know the concept of personal space and most do not understand how to form an orderly line for anything. The younger Chinese are not so bad, but the older Chinese can really be bothersome. For example, when boarding a vehicle (i.e. plane, bus, train, etc...) there is no line. It's just a mob rush for the doors. Everyone just pushing and shoving to get on. In restaurants a waiter or waitress could be in the middle of taking your order and someone from another table will start yelling out their orders or whatever. I have had people just come up and push me aside to get to a bank teller, hotel clerk, or ticket agent while I am in the middle of conducting business. I still have not figured out why this is... maybe a combination of living in one of the most crowded places on Earth and/or living under communism where they think they are entitled to everything. I have no idea.

Anyways, after arriving in China things started to break down... My flight to Dalian was cancelled and I had to reschedule to a later flight. That flight was late taking off. I arrived in Dalian pretty late and missed dinner. Logged on to see how things were going at work and got dragged into an online meeting that lasted into the early morning. It's Tuesday afternoon and I still have not had a decent meal since I left Thailand, and the food I have in the apartment is stale. Hopefully I will get a chance to go out to eat before the restaurants close tonight. Needless to say, part of me wishes I was still back in Thailand.


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