William Chow's Personal Web Page

The year is 2006.

China Round 2

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Today is going to be an errand day.

We had to book our Eastern China Airlines ticket today because if you book 30 days in advance the tickets are cheaper, so if I am doing a June 5 return, I need to book today or tomorrow.

So we got a good 9:30am-11:00am flight on a 90 passenger plane that morning for Shanghai. It will give me a lot of time to kill in Shanghai since my flight is at 4:30pm. Oh well, better early than late.

We went down to the travel office. It was down on Nanjing Jie which is pretty close to where the Obi was. Perfect, then we can buy the ballast too. The price was 1400 yuan for 2 tickets including airport taxes. That is down from 800 yuan + taxes ($115 Cdn) each. Well that sure beat the $500 Cdn that Travel Cuts was trying to charge me.

Northern book store to get a whole pile of DVDs/VCDs and CDs. Had a really good beef and rice & seafood and rice fast food combo dinner in the food court. Too much sauce in both but it was really good sauce.

Beef on rice. Very good. Seafood platter. As far is goes, it is pretty good

We went to the Obi, where they seemed to be bought out by another company called B&Q. Same building, heck even the same layout, same fixtures, and even some of the same colours. We found their lighting things but couldn't find a replacement for this ballast. I had a feeling I wasn't going to find it. So my back up plan was to get a regular light socket and replace it with a twist on A19 standard compact flourscent. Guess what, they don't even carry raw light sockets. Not for ceilings, covers, or even lamps. This sucks. I did find however, a recessed light kit for 22 yuan that I could cannibalize for the socket and the mount for it. I found a good 20 Watt CF bulb which will give about 100 Watts of light approximately for 18 yuan. It should be fine because the old ballast was using 40W so it should be safe enough for the wires. In retrospect, I could have bought a whole new light for about 79 yuan but it was the old ballast + FS type starter, which was something I wanted to avoid.

Well, I also found out this was really sad they don't sell marrettes here. Apparently barrier strips is the way to do it, and they don't even carry those either. Oh well, doesn't matter, for lights, it is so low power consumption I can stay with black electrical tape. Lesson learned here, a real DIY kind of handyman would have a hard time to do things here. You would have to know a lot of little stores and even then, it is not guaranteed that you would get new replacement parts as a lot of these stores carry cannabalized parts from wrecked buildings.

A quick stop into a really busy Wal-mart. It was so jammed that all the lockers were jammed up. People are waiting around for people to leave and as soon as they take their things out, people zoom to the lockers like vultures to grab it. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long for ours. I wanted to have one last look to see if Wal-mart had anything for electrical. Nope. But I did go and grab some of that really good fried chicken of theirs which is way better than the KFC stuff.

The Experimental Chinese Food Of The Day is:
Lemon Flavor Tea Jelly

Now, this stuff is in a little plastic cup with a pull off lid top. Problem is with this is that this thing is brimming full with liquid, so it is almost impossible to open these things without spilling a bit.

Anyway, the first sip is to pull the layer of fluid off. Very tasty, it is like a very sweet tea. The rest is a Jello like jelly with a few cubes of something suspended in it near the bottom. Yes, the jelly does taste like a weak Chinese tea. It is springy and firm like Jello.

Now the cubes are more solid than the jelly but they are rather tasteless. I was trying to figure out what flavour they were, but they don't taste like anything.

The only other funny thing about eating this stuff without a spoon is trying to suck or lick the jelly out of the cup. You make lots of kinky tongue and sucking noises trying to get it out of cup.

Otherwise, this could be rather cool and refreshing to snack on.