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June 7th, 2014:

Drainage problems

It stopped raining over 12 hours ago, and a big puddle still remains on the street.

It appears that the city planners did not spend too much time worrying about drainage of rainwater here in Shenyang. After just a brief rainfall, water accumulates on the sidewalks and streets, and takes hours, if not days, to drain off.

Maybe they just don’t get enough rain here to make it worthwhile to worry about drainage. I guess my view of this is colored by my years in Taiwan, with the monsoon and typhoon rains. If they didn’t have good drainage in Taipei, one good rainfall, and the whole city would drown. Maybe that isn’t such a big problem here in the northeast of China.

Or maybe this is just symptomatic of a developing country that still is moving towards modernization.

I went to Fresh Region today

AKA, the part of the grocery store where they sell fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meat.

I love traditional characters

Of course, they moved to simplified characters here decades ago. However, at some level I think that they recognize that traditional characters project a sense of class.

Whenever I see traditional characters, my soul smiles.

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The mystery of the Sour Water

The other day, I got some water from the water cooler in the office. I hadn’t had any problem with this water before, but this time, the water tasted funny. Sort of sour, strange. A little chemically.

I asked a coworker about it, and he was puzzled as well. We decided to report it to the office manager, to see if she could shed any light on the mystery.

The scene of the crime

The scene of the crime

Well, we found out that the water was, in fact, vinegary, and we found out why. One of the office cleaning ladies, in an effort to “sanitize” the water, and prevent the spread of local cold virus, “sterilized” the water faucet with vinegar. She thought that vinegar was a disinfectant, and didn’t think that washing the water dispenser would affect the taste of the water.

In case it ever comes up in a conversation, now you know that washing the water faucet of a water cooler with vinegar does, in fact, affect the taste of the water.

Taiwan is a brand here

“From Taiwanese dessert experts”
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I may have to get rid of this hat

A Chinese person said that I look like Lenin.

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Subway

The subway here is pretty good, but there are so few lines that it isn’t a very good substitute for personal transportation.

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Stations are clean and well-lit

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Local wildlife

Engrish of the day

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