Random Musings, Nanchang style

There is such a thing as "Nanchang Style" - and that is "spicy - hot" or "La!" in mandarin. But while my comments aren't really spicy (trying to keep it clean here), they certainly are about Nanchang.

When it rains, it is impossible to get a taxi. And it does rain quite a bit in Nanchang.

People are offended if you don't eat a lot. I spent the first week here, barely eating. It was due to jet lag, because now, I am eating pretty normally and usually am starved by the time it is meal time. But apparently, I offended some people last week when I ate very little.

Cash is king. I have yet to use a credit card since arriving. I was ill-prepared on the AMT card front, and my card doesn't work. And don't believe your credit card company when they tell you "you can get a cash advance at any bank in China" - I spent an hour going from bank to bank on Friday before giving up.

Forget about personal space and orderly queues - courtesy is optional and really, ignored. Everyone crams in and pushes their way to the front of the line. Just like the good old days in Boston, trying to get into the Sumner tunnel, except using your body instead of a car.

Cab rides are scary. Today, we got into a cab - we were on the right side of the road, but needed to go the other direction. No problem, the cab just turned directly into ongoing traffic. Close your eyes, Shirley, I say to myself, and pray.

There are two speeds when it comes to driving - full throttle and stopped. No gently slowing down. Just go really fast or break really hard.

Crossing the street in Nanchang during rush hour is like placing your life into God's hands - you have to have faith that that huge bus barreling down the street (full throttle) isn't going to hit you. I have been positioning myself downstream of another person (generally a male), so that they would get hit before me and take some of the potential energy out of the vehicle.

Caucasian people are a rarity here and get noticed. Just ask Anthony - his picture is captured on many a cell phone camera, taken by awed Chinese.

And my last observation, a personal one - I had to come to China to remember a description (and to some, a culturally insensitive one) from my college years. I have come to the conclusion that I am certainly a "Banana". That is, Yellow on the outside, and white on the inside. Yep, that's who I am and proud of it.

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