Sunday, July 22, 2007

Favorite Pastime

Today we decided that we would start investigating our surroundings. We found out that we are staying in the old downtown, which consists of very few expats and mostly Chinese so the buildings are older and more run down . There is still a lot of poverty even though you see construction everywhere here in Xiamen.

This afternoon Rocky took us shopping in another area, where they would like us to stay. The Sheraton which is a 5 star hotel also has apartments and thought that this may be a good choice for us. There is a lake called Yundang Waihu that runs through Xiamen and as nice as that sounds, we come to find out that the sewage runs through the lake starting where this 5 star hotel is located. No thanks, besides we actually like the area that we are staying currently.

Rocky takes us to the SM mall where apparently out of the 3 million residents, 2 million are shopping at the SM. This mall is so busy, that there are times, you are not allowed in until shoppers have finished and this is by no means a small mall, we're talking at least 5 floors and a block in size. The 2nd floor was designated as the electronic/phone shop. We need cell phones and thought this would be quick. Ah, nope...there were hundreds if not thousands of phones with many styles and companies not available back home so a decision was made to research before purchasing since the ones that we want were quite expensive. They have the ability to translate Chinese characters to English. A must have since we are not fluent in Mandarin just yet.

We later met a man who has been living in Xiamen from California for the past three years. He is staying at the Crown Plaza in one of the suites. Very informative and gave some advice. Here it is:
1. You will get sick.
2. If you really are ill go to Hong Kong.
3. You can work on a F visa.

Yup, this will be fun

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