Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The new Paris

Another shameless picture of my niece....topless! She is trying to give me a dirty look.

Asia Adventure - Post 2 (Hong Kong)

Our friend Evan (former NYC resident) met us at the airport and introduced us to Hong Kong. As soon as we dropped our bags off, he whisked us off to the “ex-pat” area of town for some serious parting. He was taking us to the birthday party for some Indian girl who was a friend of a friend. We show up to this exclusive bottle service, velvet rope, club that originally baulked at my attire (tank top, nappy travel skirt, and flip flops) but eventually let me in because I had no other clothing choices (my luggage was lost somewhere on the northern hemisphere). The highlight of the evening was talking with Evan’s South African friend. She is a rather busty lady and after a few drinks she told us all about her recent adventure trying to find a bra that fit. Notably, the Asian women don’t have big boobs, so it would make sense that the stores would not offer anything larger than a C-cup. Well, like everything else in Asia, the actual size is much smaller than the listed size. Twin beds measure out to be a mere cot, women’s Medium fits like a child’s shirt, etc. Eventually she found a plus size store (the lone one in all of China) and got herself a size F bra. “F! Are you kidding me” she said to us.

Before the night was out, we toured the ex-pat area (also known as where the white people go) and stopped into some interesting bars. One was the Russian Ice bar, where you donned faux fur coats and sat on giant lumps of ice. Viewing the crowd from balconies above, looked more like New Orleans than China.

Our first breakfast in China was noodles from a street vender. Not terrible, but I quickly switched to the sweetened pastries for the remaining mornings. Acting as our tour guide, Evan took us downtown on the double-decker trolleys to ride on the world’s longest escalator. Cool in all, but after ten minutes we had our fill. We wandered around the Chinese medicine herb market and gawked at the weird dried plants and giant shark fins used for healing purposes. One thing we noticed was all of the people just hanging out on cardboard blankets in public places. Evidently the domestic servants (aka mostly Pilipino women slaves) get Sunday off. Since they don’t have any money for shopping or family to visit, they all hang out in the bus station lobby, park grounds, public square with other servants. Definitely a culture shock to turn the corner and see 500 women clustered together and just chatting.

After a quick lunch of soup and rice, we hoped on the “tram” to visit the Peak. The tram went up a 70deg angle mountain face where we were able to have great views of the city and the giant plummet down to the ground if the two 100 year old rails failed us. Up at the Peak, we were able to see all of Hong Kong and other nearby islands. On a good day, Evan says you can see mainland China. I frankly was surprised to see how mountainous the islands were.

Afterwards we decided to take the scariest ride ever on a double-decker bus. I swear every freaking form of public transportation was double-decker stacked. The bus twisted and turned up the side of mountains and careened around corners at breakneck speeds. Most of the time the edge of the road was met by a super steep cliff drop-off! Dana’s motion sickness and my fear of heights quickly made it the most embarrassing ride ever.
The bus ride ended on the other side of the Hong Kong island. Basically we went up and over the central mountains. Our destination was Stanley Pier, well that and the famed knock-off market. At the market, you could get fake purses, scarves, electronics, and even paintings. Yes, they had huge displays of copied Van Gough’s and Monet’s. I considered getting one since they came out to be about $10 US, but then I doubt any guest would believe that I had the real Starry Night in my living room.

Near the pier were two temples. The difficult one to find had an impressive 15m tall Buddha that was androgynous and completely baffled me. So, it is a guy….in a floral dress….with lipstick….okay.

I brought along a small notepad to write down funny or unusual things we said along the trip. Here are the select quotes from this leg of the journey:

Me (while walking around down town): What is that smell?
Gabby: Hong Kong!

Dana (at dinner): Seriously, you CAN’T whisper in Cantonese!
[editor’s note: so true, there is only two volumes for Cantonese, loud and louder]

Dana (to Evan after seeing some promo anime for the Olympics): Do you have any pandas running around here? I mean, do you ever see someone walk them around?

Olgawhispered to Gabby as we are trying to get a cab: Show some boobs!
Gabby: but what if the cab driver is an ass man?
All: DANA!

Dana (on our second morning in Hong Kong): I wonder what the weather is going to be like today?
[editor’s note: it was hot and humid EVERY day in Hong Kong]

Dana (loud and sarcastically to a guy in long sleeve shirt and pants): HEY, FYI it’s hot!

Evan (predicting what the second half of the horrible double-decker bus ride would be like): the ride will be nice and smooth.
Lindsay: yeah, but we will still be stuck with the puke.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Booze and Babies

Again, digressing from my Asia trip, I couldn't resist putting this jem in the blog. One of my favorite people, Tina, has given birth to a little girl. Well it was two weeks ago. Anyway, so the count is: Tina, another high school friend Jacque, a college friend Brandy, and my sister. They all had children within a two week period. I asked Tina if there was a sudden blizzard in the Midwest that could account for all these births and she said:
"I don't think it was a blizzard but rather Christmas parties in which encourage the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Amazingly enough, alcohol seems to cloud judgment and reduce inhibitions. So this may have been the cause. The moral of this story: With Christmas quickly approaching and Christmas parties in the works, remember ALL SEX AT A CHRISTMAS PARTIS LEADS TO BABIES. As you have verified through your stats."
Granted all of these lovely ladies are married, so getting drunk and having sex with their husband is not such an unusual occurance. Being unmarried, I like to get drunk and have sex with Cheetos.....and bacon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm an Aunt.....and a bad influence

Chronologically speaking, this bit of news would fall between Hong Kong and Thailand, but I figured posting it now before I got knee deep in crazy Asia stories would be fine. My baby sister and husband of four years (or is it five) delivered a pointed headed little girl after 14 hours of labor. My mother has been begging for a grandchild(and although I offered to get knocked up out of wedlock to appease her) so I think this little girl has satisfied her. I can't wait to be "that Aunt" who gets her rock band concert t-shirts and teaches her bad words to repeat on the playground. It would make me so proud for her to walk up to her daddy (my brother-in-law) and ask "Daddy, what is a lesbian....Aunt Lindsay says they eat carpet, they won't eat me right" Well maybe when you are a little older sweetie.

Anyway, here are pictures of the tyke, pointy head and all.

Asia Adventure - Post 1 (a new hope)

Since I spent two weeks in Asia with some very awesome fun people, I have a mad amount of stories to share. I'll have to break it up by day I think to do it justice.

Our flight was from New York straight to Hong Kong. 15 hours! 15 long long long hours. Actually, I had to fly to New York from Chicago, so I spent about 18 hours on a plane. I didn't sleep one bit and the sucky movie choices just added to the fustration. You know it is bad when they are only showing four movies (in a constant rotation) and the least lame one is Mrs. Petigre lives for a day. In all, I probably was awake for a solid 28 hours.

While standing in line to check in, Dana met "Jersey Mark". He happens to be on our flight to Hong Kong. During the flight, a group of guys amass at the rear of the plane and drink like it is going out of style. Basically it was one mile-high sausage fest. They were trying to get some female companions because one remarked to Olga as she passed by, "hey, do you want to party with us". She noticed that the seat back pocket was jammed full of wine bottles. Eventually the captain came over the speaker and told everyone to take their seats because turbulance was ahead. Well there was zero turbulance, and we all think they were looking for a way to kindly break up the party.

When we laded in Hong Kong, it looked like we were landing on water. Scary, but cool nontheless. Sadly, my luggage didn't follow me. I guess the THREE HOUR layover between Chicago and New York was not enough time for them to take one bag off the plane and put it on another. ONE BAG! Luckily I had one change of clothes and three pair of underwear to sustain me until it arrived. At first they said it would take three days to get here as if it was on a slow boat from China....wait to China....whatever.

The highlight of my travel was flying over the North Pole. Our route took us up over Canada and a part of Greenland, over the North Pole, down through Siberia and mainland China. Since I was WIDE AWAKE the entire trip, I was able to see the massive iceburgs around Greenland and the calm ice environment of the artic. Here are the pictures of the North Pole (well according to our flight tracker, we were approximately over it at the time).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On the road again...

Three weeks ago, I packed up my belongings and headed out west to Chicago. My Nebraska roots were itching for a covered wagon, but I settled for a huge ass 16’ Budget rent-a-truck. This thing had its own zip code. I reserved the modest 10’ truck (or full size family van), but they were all in various states of repair. Luckily, I had M-Man around to be macho and drive that beast around. I don’t know what it is with men and driving, but I find that a lot of men, regardless if they know the terrain, like to be in the driver’s seat. No complaints here since no amount of money could convince me to drive in Manhattan traffic. I rewarded him with lunch at Olive Garden and a blow job at a truck stop (just kidding). We did stop at Olive Garden though because it is my hot garlic buttery lover and I would only eat breadsticks for the rest of eternity if by choice. We also stopped at every other McDonalds because their dollar menu Sundays are the shiz-nit. Our frequent pit stop/food stops probably tacked on an extra hour or two to our 16 hour drive (groan).

The drive through Pennsylvania was super scenic but long. I guess I was under the impression that the state could be conquered and driven through, but the damn bitch would not end. We were in the twilight hours near the border between Pennsylvania and Ohio in search of a hotel room. I swear we stopped at three different exits and visited a total five hotels that were completely booked. Okay, we are in BFE Pennsylvania and you are sold out? Lucky number six (a super 8 with free continental breakfast) had a few rooms open. I told our sad story about trying to find a hotel room for the past 90 minutes when she informed me, “well, it is a Saturday night, so everyone is probably come’in or go’in to the outlet mall”. What, and outlet fucking mall? I guess it is the sight to beheld in these parts and equivalent to visiting Disneyland for the locals (if Disneyland was full of cheap slightly imperfect crap).

We left earlier the next morning to have some extra time to explore South Bend, IN, aka the home of Notre Dame. Now neither M-Man are catholic, but for some reason we were both completely curious of the campus (and all the houpla that surrounds it). Well we happened to show up on orientation day, so the campus was flooded with new freshman and extra eager house leaders. To its credit, the campus is beautiful and we both got pictures with Touchdown Jesus!

I’m now just getting settled in Chicago. I have unpacked a total of three boxes. Yeah you could claim that I’m super busy with work, just plain lazy, or enjoy the adolescence thrill of living in a fort.