China Is Amazing

I’ve only been in China now for just over a day and I already know I love it. The flight here was extremely long and taxing, made worse by my cold, but now that I’m here I’m glad I’m staying awhile before having to go back.

The first thing that caught my attention was the cars. There was a pink Bentley at the airport and it was beautiful and amazing. All of the other cars are really nice too – the man that picked me up from the airport, Victor, was driving a pretty nice BMW. Within the first 10 miles I also spotted a Maserati and the rest are really modern too. Up until this point my experience in other countries, Egypt, Costa Rica, Mexico, even Italy, has been that their cars are pretty old and not as nice. I asked Victor about it and it turns out that they have to pay 100% import tax on cars too. So, they are hella expensive.

This doesn’t make it any less scary when they are whizzing at you on the highway though. The traffic laws seem to be lacking, or, potentially the only one they enforce is no running red lights. Otherwise people don’t stick to their lanes or use turn signals either. That part feels pretty standard for outside the US.

I’m also treated like a princess here. We went to the zoo and I got all dressed up in fancy Chinese dress, and they lightened up my face more because light is beautiful, they say.

chinadress

But on top of that, I feel very comfortable here. Everyone wears colorful outfits and has bright pink luggage too. I’m seriously in love with their style here, I feel like I fit in. AND! They wear fanny packs. It is beautiful. The only reason I didn’t bring mine was that I didn’t want to look weird… now I’ll know for next time :)

I’ve had trouble eating with the chop-sticks, maybe I should have practiced first. I’m not going hungry though, and even if I do a little that’s okay because I was still carrying around Christmas weight. Anyway, I now know to ask for a fork if I think I need one. Last night we went out to dinner and I tried pig skin, bamboo, tofu, and some really spicy soups. The pig skin was a little tough for my taste, and some of the soup really spicy, but I’m happy to be eating authentic food rather than just McDonalds (which I can get literally everywhere).

Another potential reason I’m not going hungry is that I’ve discovered Oreos. And not just any Oreos, Chinese Oreos, which surprisingly are different from American Oreos. There are just a lot more flavors. So last night Victor took me to a store and we bought every flavor they had. Strawberry, Green Tea, Blueberry/Raspberry, Mandarin Orange, Grape/Peach, and Vanilla Ice Cream. I also got these amazing chocolate covered Oreo wafers, which were better than they have any right to be.

chinaoreos

Re: Water. They have to boil water to drink it from the tap here, and so with dinner, they served hot lemon water. I then asked if I could get a bottle of water too because the food was so spicy, and they apologized that it was cold but I said that’s how I like it. Even the beer I had was room temperature, it is interesting that they don’t drink cold things much, especially when it is so hot here! In Kunming, it has been and will continue to be a consistent 80 degrees every day. Which could be another reason why I love it so much.

Editor’s note: Kate is in China and unable to post herself, so I’ll be uploading her submissions as they make their way to me.

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Los Angeles? Yes please.

I flew out to LA yesterday for a week long career trek with my classmates. It will be an opportunity to learn about, and meet, some really great entertainment companies. I’m extremely excited.

I’m even more excited now though, after spending just one day in LA. I fricken love it here. First, the weather is beautiful and perfect and 75 and sunny and who could even hate that ever? Also, I get to drive! Granted, I’m shlepping around my crew in a minivan, but I don’t think I’ve driven since school started and I’ve missed it. I got cut off by a Bentley and while my first instinct was to curse at him, I was just kind of like “awww, that’s going to be me one day!!), you know, just in a Maserati.

Last night we went out to a cool brewery that had VEGAN mozzarella sticks. Vegan! So I could eat them and not die! They were amazing. So, yes, I pretty much want to live here next.

Mad Skillz

I’m a really good driver. Ask anyone who ever road with me back in my Camry. I was a great reverser and liked going fast down long, curvy roads. Granted, I was a teenager, but still, I pretty much ruled the road/world.

Then downtown life hit. I sold my car and haven’t really looked back since. Till Joe and I moved in together, that is. With Joe, came a car. Life should become easier, no? No. Not only do I get incredibly anxious when anyone else drives, I can’t drive his huge ass vehicle (full disclosure: it is a Ford Fusion). I mean, I can, he let’s me and all, but take today as an example. I was to be at a Networking event for Women in Technology, which I was sort of looking forward to. I went out to the parking garage and got in the car. I put it in reverse, backed up, and realized there was no way in hell I could get myself out of that situation. I know that I am being laughed at as I type this, so I will draw a picture.

I’m the pink car, because pink is my favorite color. I pulled in along the pink line, but as you’ll notice, the light blue car came in afterwards, and I could no longer get myself out. I pulled out and back in a few times, to no avail. I dropped my head, turned off the car, and went back inside. It sure didn’t help that it was prime rush hour time leaving a downtown Minneapolis lot… people were staring. I called Joe, embarrassed. He told me to just keep wiggling and getting out to check, even if I had to do so every ten seconds. I was defeated though… and really just wanted him to listen and not problem solve for me. He did send me a kind text though…

I’m being sarcastic if you couldn’t tell.

I went back into the apartment, cracked a beer, and watched Damages. It felt good.

Then I pulled myself together, because, wtf, it’s just a car and just a parking spot you little pussy (I said to myself).

This time it worked, on the first try nonetheless. Granted, I needed to see-saw about 4 times, I did not even bump anyone else. Had it been my car, my nice, small, normal-person sized car, I wouldn’t have been as worried about it. But, I think the fact that Joe still has car payments makes me that much more nervous. Plus, it is fricken huge.

And, now as I’m typing this, I just remembered I forgot to fill up on gas and it was already on empty before my journey to Saint Paul. Sooorrrrry Joe…