What a pain..

17 10 2011

One internet back from Norway, one internet of complete blackout from wordpress.

Cannot open my blog and any wordpress link.

The effect on my mood has been much stronger than usual: I always knew the limitation of the Great Firewall of China and faced several times before occasional blocks on the blog, but this time, since it arrived right after 1 full week of complete net freedom in Norway, I am suffering!

Last week the re-acclimatization to China went, apart from internet limitations, quite well. A few of the highlights:

  • I did miss Chinese food. I even miss in some way the work lunch box. Maybe not the taste off all ingredients, but the diversification, the combination of vegetables, meat and seafood.
  • After buying some cigarette for my friend of Perfetto, I had a wonderful dinner there. I miss that food more than the lunch box one, yes.. easy to guess!
  • Since I have been unlucky with the timing for my visit to Norway, and then I could not enjoy any sauna with my friends (5 minutes with Sverre were ok, but the sauna was still quite cold!), I dedicated a night to the long missed visit to my favorite bath place and take a couple of long great saunas during the same night. No one else around, so I could push the temperature: the oven in that sauna is quite nice, with the proper stones. After the sauna I also offered myself a good scrubbing massage (for the price of 30 yuan extra – 50 minutes of hard scrubbing). Perfect combination after sauna!
  • Tested again 1912: Lavazza Italian restaurant/cafe’. We got there a bit too late and almost all food/dessert were sold out (it must have a quite limited kitchen, but it is also common that in China after 10pm it is difficult to eat in "real" restaurants, no street food). Very good espresso and also delicious panna cotta (! yes, real one!) but a little expensive (and tiny portions!!). I took then a cuba libre (very limited coktail choice) and it had a lot of "libre" (coke and lemon and ice), but extremely little Cuban (rum) taste!!!
  • First time in 1912 I noticed with surprise that there were not street food stands and we had some troubles to find a taxi to get back home. It was around the grand opening of the area. Last week I noticed with pleasure that there are at least 2 areas with street bbq and a long queue of empty taxis!
  • Back at work, I was involved in a job interview of a laowai, probably future colleague, that could also speak Chinese. The interview was mainly in English but he was also tested in his reading/speaking skills. Quite cool guy, better at reading than several other foreigners I know here in China!
  • Interesting also seeing how a Chinese job interview is basically focused on the personal presentation (ppt) of the interviewer. That makes me thinking I have to prepare one for me, about my work experience, education, etc.
  • Went to 2 sessions of massage/acupuncture: massage good and enough painful, as usual, especially on my legs. This time instead of acupuncture, the guy there decided that since I had not much pain in the knees but I have experienced only some swelling in the feet, the best treatment was.. cooking my feet with heating plate!! He directed 2 heating plates, 10-15 cm from my feet, set at high temperature and left there for about 30 minutes. It was painful! But the swelling went down and no pain afterwards. Also the foot with worse swelling absorbs more heat, reacts more, it’s more painful during the session, but completely ok afterwards!
  • Started consuming the Norwegian foods, and also 潘蕾, as expected, appreciated! Like me, she really likes "hakket makrell i tomat saus" (chopped mackerel in tomato sauce) on a bread slice with mayonnaise and pepper on top. But of course she also enjoyed Norwegian smoked salmon, reindeer salami, marzipan and Belgium chocolates.. exactly like me!
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