Living in Zhuhai
31.10.2008 - 31.10.2008
I woke up again to the song "Scarborough Fair" coming from the street cleaning truck. Very peaceful morning with an unbelievable sunrise.
We've settled into our apartment in Zhuhai, across the boarder from Macao and across the bay from Hong Kong. I have to say it's a lovely coastal city. The view from our apartment is spectacular. One side is the ocean and the other side is the mountain. If you look out the kitchen you can see a local massage place, with all it's neon lights. Yes, massage and shopping are big here. Everywhere you go someone is trying to sell you something, including a "massagie". That's the way it sounds when they say it. We can walk everywhere, shop locally and even walk to Macao for some gambling, not that we have but we could.
We've met some very nice people who've helped us get acclimated. We joined the gym, started our chinese classes and Tai Chi.
I got my first haircut here and let me tell you it was right out of the movies. The first movie that came to my head was "Being John Malkovich" because as I ascended the stairs to the shampoo bowl I had to duck because the ceiling was so low. I was hunched over the entire time I went down the hall until I entered a room with two beds that where table height, each had a sink at the end. It was very private, almost to private. There was two girls standing over a guy who was laying down on this bed/ table with his head suspended over a black sink. The girls where tapping his forehead and pinching his skin. The guy was making some odd sounds. The young lady who brought me into the room gave me a little shove and pointed to the other bed next to them. I wasn't sure I was in the right place. I laid down for all of two seconds when one of the girls starts talking really, really fast in chinese. She was trying to get me to sit up and was helping me take my shirt off. I jumped up and and forgot the ceiling was half the size and smacked my head. Everyone laughed and pointed at me. That seemed to have broken the ice, let alone my head.
Everyone was a bit nervous because I was there, little did they know, so was I. I was envious of the guy next to me not just because he had a great head of hair but that he was chatting away with these two girls. Every once and a while I would open my eyes and look over to see why they had stopped talking only to see three other girls in the doorway staring at me, then they would run off giggling. I must have been quite amusing to them. She stuck my head in the bowl and away we went. First shampoo then massage, then conditioner and then more massage, then came the tapping on the forehead, chinese torture, the the skin pinching around the eyes and temple. Don't get me wrong I love giving and getting massages but this was more like a facial treatment. I kept thinking of the time I went t for my first and last facial. PAINFUL.
Then came the resting part. She covered my head with a towel and then massaged my arms, hands and legs, it felt so good. She flipped me over and started working on my back and neck. She was still talking a mile a minute to the other girl. The guy on the table next to me fell asleep and was softly snoring. They started to laugh I knew they were laughing at him snoring, right? Or where they still laughing at me hitting my head? I didn't know so I decided to try out my trusty Lonely Planet application on my iphone. MANDARIN! I pushed a couple of buttons to start it up and the next thing I know everything stopped. I wasn't getting massaged anymore and the the other girl stopped massaging her client. They circled around my table and they were fascinated with my toy. No not THAT toy.
I pushed the pad that said thank you and out of my little phone came a chinese voice that said Xiexie, thank you in chinese, the girls just giggled with joy. Then I accidently pushed "are you married", and both said no and blushed a shade of red I've never seen before. I kept pushing more buttons and they kept laughing, until finally the guy on the other table woke up and realized what was up and the next thing you know we were all communicating. By the time I left I had made three new friends and a haircut.