Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Driving In China

Pulled this directly from the Dalian Expat Web site, not sure how accurate it is, but I found it quite interesting:

Some facts about driving in China courtesy of CCTV.

1. In 1995 there were more than 950,000 REGISTERED car accidents in China, most of which were caused by new drivers. Given the fact that most accidents in China are settled by handing over cash on the spot, this is a terrifying statistic.

2. In the first two years after having passed your test there is a 15% chance of having an accident.

3. The average experience of a Chinese driver in China is less than two years.

Just Another Day

For some reason, it is extremely difficult for me to tell Chinese mums, "aunties" (maids) and kids apart. For one thing, the kids go to Gymboree with different people all the time. Sometimes they are with their mums, other times with their grand mums, and still other times they are with their "aunties."

When Chase and I went to visit the Chinese woman in our complex, it was the first time I had seen her. I have been trying to call her ever since to arrange a time for her to come to our apartment.

Long story short, I invited this woman , or someone I thought was the same woman, to come over tomorrow. Turns out - it is not the same woman. So I now have this random woman with her little boy coming over tomorrow to play. Seriously.

But wait, there's more. Let's not forget about the Chinese swimmer play date, which I set up for Saturday because I thought he was busy during the week. Well, he hears me talking to this random woman, who I have just invited over, and he tells the Gymboree woman who is acting as my interpreter that he didn't know there was a play date tomorrow, he thought it was Saturday. So then I have to explain that I thought he was busy, and of course he is invited tomorrow.

And then my Gymboree interpreter tells me that this random woman I've just invited is a really good friend of the woman who lives in my complex, and should she invite her to come along - to which I said, "oh yes, please do!"

So I have now become a hostess to a little gathering where nobody speaks English - and I am embarrassed to say I can't even tell my guests apart.

Chinese Swimmer

Okay, so I admit it, I've been a little insecure about the whole Asian woman thing. They are all so little and skinny (something I'm not and never will be). Some are cute. Some are quite exotic.

I've been secretly worried that Hubs might just, well, find them attractive (Heaven forbid). And, I must say, it didn't help that there was one time when I thought he just might be starting to fancy them, so I made up this thing about how much I liked male Chinese swimmers - which is total crap and just something I could tease him about when I was feeling insecure.

Fast forward a couple months. I'm in Gymboree and I meet this guy (ah yes, can you see where this is going?), who I think might make a good friend for Hubs - and bonus, he speaks a little English and he has a boy who is 10 days younger than Chase.

Last week, Hubs came along to Gymboree and I introduced them. Seemed like a good enough start. So today I went ahead and arranged a play date with him. He gave me his card.

Can you guess? He is a Chinese swim instructor at Ballys.