Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Place and That's Not Chicken

Hello, Everyone! Sorry I've been away so long. I have moved (yes, again! Move #17 of my life!) and been busy planning for Hong Kong. Because why not move AND take a 2 week international trip right afterwards? That's not stressful at all.

I also had to order and set up my Wi Fire, this super cool gizmo that magnifies wifi signals. Since I moved right next door to one of the buildings associated with the school where I work, I needed something to help me pick up the wifi signal from next door. It was too weak to pick up with my built in wifi thingie on my laptop, so I did some research and found out about this Wi Fire thing. They sell it on Amazon for $50, and voila! Free internet, courtesy of the wifi network next door! Woo hoo!

So I have moved out of the townhouse I shared with the Ex-F. It was a big relief -- I had a lot of bad memories there, and the HOA was driving me nuts with their controlling ways. Did I tell you they wouldn't let me have a yard sale? Yeah. WTF. They said it would "inconvenience my neighbors". Whatever. I just sold everything on Craigslist. They can bite me. Since I was moving from a 3 bedroom, 1250 sq ft place into a one bedroom, 800 sq ft place, I had to do a LOT of downsizing! I ended up making almost $300. Sweet.

Now, I am back downtown, living in an old building, just like I wanted. It was built a little after the turn of the century, and I really like the details. I'm actually right across the street from work, which is pretty cool. I can take naps on my lunch break! My coworker Lunch Buddy (her nickname, since we eat lunch together every day) and I watch tv at my house while we eat our turkey sandwiches. It's pretty sweet.

I have to say, I am pretty stoked about my new place, even though I am not done unpacking or setting it up. I forgot how long it takes to cram all your stuff into a smaller place! Not only do I have a sweet location, but my building was redone very nicely, so the kitchen is great and the apartment is not grungy or weird. It even has a normal floor plan, and gorgeous hardwood floors. And lots of storage -- a rarity in downtown Savannah! And like I said, I now get free internet! I am never moving again, as long as I live in Savannah, anyway. The kitchen even has a garbage disposal and a dishwasher. I have a clawfoot tub in my bathroom which is original to the building, so it's about 80-90 years old. I even have a spot for my washer and dryer, so I have on-site laundry facilities -- another rare thing in downtown Savannah. And would you believe this place is almost $100 cheaper than my old place? So worth it. Several of my coworkers have confessed to apartment envy.

I forgot to mention one super cool thing -- according to my landlord, Shoeless Joe Jackson used to live in this building after he got out of the Major Leagues. She doesn't know which apartment, though. Cool, huh? Here are some pics.

This is the outside of my building. I'm on the bottom left. (Yay, no more stairs!)

A shot of my bedroom:

The super cool fireplace in my bedroom:

My kitchen (you can't see the fridge on the left or the sinks on the right, so just use your imagination.)

Another shot of the living room:

I have some other pics, too, but are you really interested in seeing my closets? Didn't think so. The Czarina wants me to send more pics when I am all set up, so I'll share those when I take them.

I leave for Hong Kong on Saturday for 2 weeks. I am sooooo not ready and have a to-do list that is making me panic a little. I do have the major things done -- new passport and all my shots (dude, I had to get like, 7 different shots! Whoa!) . But now I just have to do laundry, run a bunch of errands, pack....ugh. I am a little stressed. I have Friday off, which helps, and my flight doesn't leave until noon on Saturday, so that also gives me a little time.

I won't get excited until I get on the plane. Then I will be super pumped! Even though this is a work trip, I am excited to experience a different country on someone else's dime. I wish they had put me in business or first class, considering my flight from Detroit to Hong Kong is 16 hours, but whatever. I'll survive. I'm actually more worried about eating while I am there. You see, I can't use chop sticks. I love egg rolls, but they will get old after a while. I am packing plastic forks, just in case.

After wondering what Chinese people eat for breakfast, I got a DVD about Cantonese food from Netflix the other day. Excited to learn more about the world of dumplings and stir-fry, I sat on my couch to watch. The narrator started off with something along the lines of how bouts of war and famine in China throughout time forced the people to consume all their food daily because they had to remain on the move and couldn't afford to bring food along (hence the emphasis on fresh ingredients). They also had to cook their food quickly to save time (hence the invention of stir-fry) and they also had no money so they had to eat cheaply (hence all the rice).

Very nice. Making sense so far, I thought.

Next, the narrator explained that the Cantonese people sometimes had to just eat what was available to them, due to the constant upheavals which come along with war and famine. Then the narrator said something about how there's a saying about the Cantonese -- they will eat anything that flies, swims or crawls.

Oh, haha, like they would eat my dog, how stereotypical, I thought.

"Actually," the narrator continued, "In the Cantonese language, there is no word for 'inedible.'"

Um, what?

Then the narrator said, "Chapter One: Chicken."

Oh no....

And what followed after was a 20 minute expose of how they love chicken and eat every part (and I mean every part) of a chicken. WARNING: Do not eat while reading this next part.

So they eat the obvious chicken parts. But the thing that is weird is that they seem to always cook the chickens whole (well, minus the feathers, which seems to be the only part of the chicken they don't eat). So there were all these full bodied chickens being boiled in pots. Whatever, they probably buy them from farmers and chop the heads off later, right? Wrong. Sometimes, you are served a whole chicken on your plate. As in, it's looking at you. Other times, they cut the head off, but only because they are making another dish with the head parts. Like deep-fried chicken beaks, for example. Ew. I have heard of people in the South eating chicken feet, but chicken beaks?? Sounds...crunchy. I would also like to add that they make a "specialty" dish out of the chicken part which I will simply refer to as "sphincter". Yes. They deep fry those, too, and you dip them in sauce. Are you gagging yet? Because I was. It totally ruined the ice cream I was eating while watching the DVD.

So they get to the end of the chicken section, and I'm like, "WHEW! Glad that's over!" But then the narrator comes back on and says, "Chapter 2: Snake." Ooooohhh noooooooo.......

I won't even tell you what they do with snake. All I can say is thank the Lord they are shaped the way they are so I can spot them in any dishes offered to me.

I stopped the DVD after the snake chapter. Chapter 3 was "Sheep", I think. No, thanks. I'm already a picky eater, and not the world's biggest Asian food fan, so this DVD was not helping. Perhaps this trip will be a good way to kick off my diet? I probably won't have any access to Ben and Jerry's which will be a start. However, I do know that KFC is on like donkey kong over there, so I can have fried chicken (breasts! Not beaks!) if I get the hankering. One of my coworkers made me promise to try at least one weird thing while I'm over there. I agreed, but only after she said it didn't have to be snake.

Well, guys, I don't know if I will have time to blog again before I leave, but I will blog when I get back. I'm not bringing my laptop with me, because my hotel charges $15/day for internet access. Which may be worth it, but the dealbreaker was that I found out that you can't get internet on planes once you're about 100 miles away from the US coastline. Well, not on Delta flights, anyway. If I could hop online as I cross the Pacific, I would probably bring it, but that is too much hassle. Sorry, guys. I'll be bringing a little notebook with me so I can write down all the interesting/funny/weird things I experience while over there. I'll provide a full report when I get back! Until then..........joi gin (goodbye)!