Monday, May 31, 2010

Super Singapore

If I complained about toilets in China...well, my friend... Singapore made up for it.

Nary was a dirty toilet in sight. Every one of the toilets I entered was clean, had toilet paper, and all were equipped with automatic flushes!

I was in toilet heaven! (har har)

Anyone who plans to live in Asia, please choose Singapore. It has everything you may want. It is clean, orderly, and provides entertainment for everything you might think of doing. If you love arts, they have an arts festival every year. If you are into extreme sports, the have bike trails, bungee jumping, wake boarding,  ziplines, trekking, and other host of activites all within the radius of the city. *we also have some of these but are in different parts of the country. They also have a foodie fair every year too.

As usual, the weather was sweltering... 34C. I was drained from walking outdoors. The kids complained too so we had to cut short all activities and go back to the hotel. In short, we didn't do much.

I did enjoy the Fish Reflexology... which I will blog about another time.  My camera konked out on me too... (sigh).. have to get it fixed

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Once upon a time in China

It's been 14 years since I last set foot in China.
My motto for my trip was... expect the worst, hope for the best.

My previous experience in touring the sights was great. The problem was, the toilets were horrible. The time I was there, they had pay toilets but these had no doors! We had to use umbrellas to shield the door part. (although we are all women, we did have our modestly).  Some of the the toilets could not even be considered toilets as they were just HOLES on the ground. Peering over them, you could see the depths of the abyss and who knows what lying there. YUKK...

So, 14 years later.... I am back.

My flight was Manila-hk-hangzhou. My luck was with me when I got upgraded to business class on the first leg of the flight. I really love business class... the wider seats, the better food. (you get linens and real spoons and forks- not like plastic utensils in economy) Plus!!, they address you by name- "You need anything Ms. Acidera?"- That is what you call service!

 If only I could afford going business class every trip! We had breakfast on the plane and I loved the stone-like salt and pepper shakers that I was tempted to pocket them! (the white one is salt, the black one is pepper)

Alas, my HK to hangzhou was economy style. oh well.

We were met by our contacts at the airport. Hangzhou is considered rural not like Shanghai or Beijing so it was a pretty small city. It was a 30 minute drive to shaoshing. The industrial city were we are going to do most of out sourcing.

Things I noticed:

There are a lot of nice cars but they all looked liked they needed a good car wash.  Notice the RANGE ROVER and VOLVO.
I was thinking I could make money if I open a 24hr car wash in China... hahaha

The Chinese here drive like madmen. They don't even warn you when they are coming and you really have to be vigilant or you'll get run over. Even the people who walk or roll the carts don't shout a "excuse me". I had myself bumped a few times while walking.

They have tricycles that they use for public transport. It's pretty cheap and if you are tired from walking, a nice way to get back to your hotel. The only thing is, you get scared when they cross from the bike lane to the main road because it seems they don't look at the oncoming cars before they merge into traffic.
I kept on thinking "OH my Gosh! I need more insurance!!!!"

The hotel was nice enough by China standards. I don't know what kind of people check in there though as they have a vibra-condom stand in the bathroom. (I assume the condom vibrates) and when you look in the drawers, behind the laundry list is a pamphet with instructions on how to put on a condom and AIDS info (it was all in Chinese and I guessed thru the pictures).

One time, we had to ride a taxi and it had stainless steel bars between the passenger and driver.. What the????

I thought my friend said China was relatively safe like Singapore.... why the bars???
He said it was because sometimes, drunks get a little rowdy late at night.

My eyebrows were raised in doubt....

taxi bars!

Toilets. What can I say about toilets in China.... hmmmm...

You better go in the hotel before you do any walking because even though China has grown leaps and bounds, the quality of the toilet is very far from standard. I did not take any pictures because, well.. you might lose you appetite.

One advise, better take a VERY deep breath before entering because you might barf at the smell. You literally cannot breathe from the fumes.

They already put tiles on the toilet but it was not the "stand up" kind. You had to squat. Some had ceramic "bowls" but it was ground level. Some toilets had two rows of tiles with a indentation in the middle where the would put a flow of water, much like a men's urinal of old, but here, its in the ladies room and you do #1 and #2 in the same place... ENOUGH said.

The Chinese smoke like chimneys. Almost everywhere people are puffing away, even closed restaurants and indoors.  I even had the experience of walking into a store and instead of being offered water or tea, I was offered sticks of cigarettes. (go figure).

Glad I am home.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time and the pen

I really want to start writing.. but I don't have the time to devote my brain to write something really nice.

I am frustrated as hell.

Everyday, the time is like the wind... it goes by so fast and I didn't even get to do the things I wanted to do.

I have a list and I need to prioritize. So writing is WAAYYYYY down on the list and I never get around to doing it.


Yesterday was the first time our country had a computerized voting. The lines were long and we were in line for 3 hours. Voting itself was really fast and the counting that used to take MONTHS now took just a day. I think they will be announcing the winner by tonight. It is a historic vote. We NEED a new and reliable leader.

Hopefully, our country is looking toward a better future.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Twitter Goals

Or to say it differently, short term goals.

I have been telling myself that I need to get my butt going to the GYM.. yet, I am still here or rather, still stuck to my pillows and my bed.

May 6th and it's less than a month before school starts again. Outside, it is hot and humid with temperature ranging from 36C (a cool day-- snicker....) to 42C (the "let's fry an egg on the sidewalk" kind of day)

I have been getting some goals done-
1. doing YOGA
2. went to a few badminton games (hopefully I can play more)

I don't know if it's the weather.. but you kind of feel REALLY sticky when you go out at any time of day. I have been showering AT LEAST twice a day to keep myself cool. I think I can imagine the desert... the feeling of the heat slowly rising from the ground, baking you slowly like some kind of pie. The heat sucks the life force out of you. (I am actually dreaming of a nice cold dip in the river right now)

My mini goals for the rest of this month:
--- write a children's story to submit to a contest (25,000 prize money)-- if I win, will donate the cash to charity
--- finish writing my travel article to submit to an online travel mag
--- finalize the items for the house... (aargh!! decisions, decisions!)

Sometimes, I find it hard to concentrate when all the things I have to get done attack me all at once....LOL
Aside from the things I want to do, I still have the kids, my business, and the house.

Hope I can get everything done.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It was two nights ago, I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep.  This is surprising and unusual for me.

I am the type of person that can fall asleep  just like THAT. My husband once told me, I woke up and answered one of his questions and then not a second later, was snoring softly again. (I really love my beauty sleep)

So, couldn't fall back to sleep. I shifted my position from lying on my side to lying flat on my back. I could feel the cool sheets under me and tried to get comfortable. It wasn't working. I was feeling a pain creeping slowly up my back. I tried shifting to the right... and then to the left....

The pain just came.  It was like someone put a brick on my back and then stepped on it. I tried moving to another position but it wasn't helping me. I was panicky. The hum of the airconditioning, the darkness of the room - the things that used to be my "sleep aids" felt redundant. All that was in my head was pain...! The seconds were ticking by like hours and me... wishing to fall asleep.

I finally nudged my sleeping husband and he got me a pain reliever and got myself to sleep.

"You're getting old... admit it" was what my husband declared as we sipped coffee the next day. He, with his bad knee and whacked back, was smiling and nodding to me. I let out a big sigh. "yes, your right" was all I could say. My back FROZE on me. And this, after I start doing yoga. ????!!!!????

My husband is smug. He is relishing the fact that he can kid me about getting old.  I don't think I am. however.....

The mind is willing but the body is weak. (and crickety)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Come on, make my day!

Well... it isn't actually how Dirty Harry meant it but...

The Independent Writers Union is born. (Thanks Olivia!)

I really wasn't meaning to write this much today. I have a list of "to do" things (other than writing) but when you get the urge to write.. you just have to write.

I didn't think we would have the site up and running so soon. Kuddos to Olivia! So I just HAD to post something there. You can check out the articles

After the last blog post, I was feeling kindda dejected. But I got some words of encouragement from a colleague from the workshop and it got me out of my pool of self pity. LOL.

Thank you, thank you.

Secondly, as I said earlier, the Independent Writers Union site is up. Excited!!!! (Imagine me, jumping up and down)
I hope we get more submissions.

Ok you guys, are you ready? RELAX, take a deep breath.....
It will be fine... don't worry

Getting on with it

I'm scared.

Having done the writing workshop, I know I have to write some more to become a better writer and be "readable". I wish I could just sit and write and write some more and have it be the best anyone has ever read.

I'm scared that I may not be good enough.

I've read some works and wonder how they could just describe things so vividly (currently reading travel writing by Don George). I realized I wanted to focus on travel writing more than anything now because I LOVE to travel and I LOVE to write.

I'm scared to fail.

I know you learn from failure but my ego wants to back out and just keep writing for myself. But I don't want to be one of those people true writers scoff at and say, "She just thinks she's a writer..".... a writer "wanna be"

I have spent the week thinking of how to write my article... trying, stopping, writing, doubting myself. But...... I.    HAVE.    TO.     TRY.

I just feel scared and I feel no one wants to read what I have to say.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...