Wednesday September 28th Day 13
Finished blogs at 12:30am last night. Late call with Dad. Played guitar. Did some Sudoku. Got to sleep about 2:30am. Got up at 10:15am. Called Melissa. Read e-mails.
I’m becoming more proficient at using Microsoft Bing’s map web site. It’s all in Chinese, but I’ve figured out how to get the menu headers into English. Beyond that, I’m learning how Bing likes to get Chinese addresses: County, Province, City, District, Street, Number. Very logical, but not the way most folks give address around here. So I’m learning how to break an address up and rearrange it, hopefully without loosing the address meaning.
For example, there’s a movie club called Silver Keen. They show American movies every other week and are only a 1/2 walk from my apartment. Here’s the address as published on the web site:
Sometimes, I’m lucky, like this time, and Bing comes back with a full address that looks like this:
四川 省 成都 市 武侯区 芳华横街 14 号
Now, don’t get too worried. These two address are actually quite similar:
Web Site: 成都 玉林 芳华横街 14号
diff same diff same same
Bing: 四川 省 成都 市 武侯区 芳华横街 14 号
Using the Microsoft translator page, I discover what all these pieces seem to mean:
四川 = Sichuan (Aha! Car license plates start with the 川 character.)
省 = Province
成都 = Chengdu
市 = City
武侯区 = Wuhou District
芳华横 = Fang-Hua
街 = Street
14 = 14
号 = Number
Another example. The address of the manager of my apartment as written for the taxi cab driver by the Chinese woman renting me the apartment (and it did work, got me right here):
#60 Kehua Beilu SOHO, Fei Cheng building A, Apartment 1213/1201
My address as needed to find it on the map by Bing:
四川省 成都 武侯区 科华北路 60号
四川省 Sichuan Province
武侯区 Wuhou District
号 = Number
I much prefer learning Chinese driven by my needs. For example, how long until they teach me this in a college Chinese class:
共享此地图 = Share this map
On the voting front (yes, I’m voting, even though I’ll be in Chengdu), I tried to get my absentee ballot, but still need clarification about what mailing address to use since I don’t (yet) receive mail at my apartment. If I understand, I can actually be e-mailed the ballot, fill it out, and e-mail it back. I have to send a signed document stating that I understand e-mail makes my ballot public, but if that’s what it takes to get it there by e-mail, then that’s what I’ll do. If I have time (if I get the ballot early enough), I can also mail it back to the United States via the American Consulate diplomatic pouch. If I have the time, I will do that. For now, I can’t even get my absentee ballot because they want a mailing address and I don’t have one. I have contacted a web site (FVAP.GOV) for help.
Didn’t do much else today. Went out for a walk and shopping in the afternoon. Saw a street vendor grinding sugar cane into a drink.
I had a couple things I wanted to buy at the store, so I spent time translating vinegar and sugar (for sweet and sour sauce) on my tablet. Also saw somebody coming out of the market with a lotus root!
I looked for 10 minutes, finally found the lotus root! Also bought a bumpy-looking cucumber(?). Looked for bean sprouts and vegetarian steamed buns but no luck. So I bought mung beans to grow my own sprouts, just like in my hippy 1970’s! I almost bought flour to make my own steam buns, but without a recipe I decided I better hold off.
I found the vinegar bottles (there were over 30 kinds). I bought the cheapest, clear vinegar. I’m hoping it’s a mild vinegar. I looked long and hard for sugar, finally found something that looked like sugar rock-candy. Again, when I don’t know what all those labels say, it seems like there are lots and lots of choices. I found a bag that said in English “Granulated Sugar” and called it a day. Bought some more pre-packaged eggs, skipping what everybody else was doing – picking through a bin of eggs one by one. The eggs are sold unrefrigerated, so I keep them out of my tiny refrigerator. They’ll keep for up to a year, I am told, if they have never been refrigerated.
Dinner was good as usual. I’ve never eaten so many vegetables in my life! I have a bit of Jarlesberg cheese left over from the airplane, but not yet, not yet.
Before going to bed I started soaking my mung beans. I’ll keep you posted!