In case you're checking for news about the house, there is no news yet.
No pictures today, either. I have several to share, just need more time. Thought I would begin telling about some of the things here that are odd to Americans. It will no doubt be a partial list which I will add to over time.
1. It is not normal to have a dishwasher. Instead, there are dish DRYERS. I don't see the point of that. If I've gone to the trouble of washing the dishes, what do I care about a machine to dry them? I did notice, however, that most of the apartments and houses we were shown do have dishwashers. I am sure the landlords are specifically catering to westerners and they know that is something we want. Additionally, every dishwasher that I observed was a Bosch! Not a cheap, junky GE.
2. Another appliance anomaly. Rather than a clothes washer and dryer, they have one machine that (supposedly) does both. In our apartment it is a tiny little machine that holds little and takes long. The other night I put 3 beach towels and 2 kids swimsuits in before going to bed. When I got up at 6:30 the next morning the machine was still on! When I checked an hour later it had finally turned off so I opened it up. The towels were not dry. Apparently I overloaded it! I have adapted my laundry habits accordingly. Anything that will need to be ironed I set the machine for wash only. Then I iron the clothes while they are wet which partially dries them and gets them very crisp looking. Sometimes I set the machine wrong and it dries but doesn't wash. However, when I TRiED to dry only, it washed. The settings are all in Chinese, so it is quite a guessing game!
3. Food. Where to even begin?! Picky Americans with western palettes, such as my family, do not eat well here! I'll give one example today and I suppose many more in the future. The other day in a restaurant we looked over the menu. We didn't want the pork innards (that's what it said!) or the squid and ink sauce. We found some chicken that sounded safe. It arrived in a pot that for some reason looked a little scary to us. As Eric began sifting through the chicken pieces looking for suitable pieces for the kids, he stirred up a large, crispy chicken foot. UGH! Believe me, none of us wanted anything to eat out of that pot after that, but the adults had to try to be brave and set a good example. We ate a bit but left pretty hungry.
That's all I have time for today, but I will definitely add to this list in the future.