From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Only in China - Fun Read

This afternoon, I went to the local tennis courts with a co-worker to play. They charge a court fee about about 90 RMB/hour after 6:00, which is about $14 US. I think this is too steep, considering I only spent $30 for my racket I purchased at Wal-mart yesterday. Decent courts and great lights. I haven't played in over 2 years, so I was insanely rusty. Hit some decent shots that always want you to go back and play again.

As we were walking off the courts, a Chinese man stopped us. He said "you play 1 tiebreak (pointing at my friend), and you play 2 tiebreak with me." We had no idea what he was talking about, but decided to go along because we were interested. It ended up that he wanted each of us to play him a tie break apiece. He was a very good player and the first tie break was over pretty quickly. I was lucky that he double faulted, and my score with him was tied 4-4 just as the lights went out of us. I wanted to just stop there figuring that would be as close as I could get with the guy, but he wanted to gamble (typical Chinese stuff). Basically, we'd play the rest of the tiebreak and if he won, I had to pay for 30 minutes of light time, and if I won, he would pay. Let me remind you that he was the one stealing our light time to begin with. We politely declined even after he wanted to feed my friend some balls for him to practice. He gave us his business card and it turns out he is a tennis coach basically looking for some extra work and side money. We declined again. Only in China.

I decided to walk home and saw some other co-workers of mine outside their weekly darts game restaurant/bar. I stopped to chat with them for a little while and as we were waiting outside on the side walk, 3 armored Chinese SWAT team trucks pulled up along side of us. Suddenly, about 12 officers complete with shields and batons filed out of the trucks and surrounded one of the sidewalk tables of the restaurant next to us. A group of about 10 people had been eating on the sidewalk tables and they were now surrounded by these SWAT team officers. I was excited... I just knew something cool was going to go down and I would get to see it.

As it turns out, they SWAT team methodically began loading up the plastic chairs and stools of the people eating into the trucks. One of the tables was also removed. Nothing physical, just 12 SWAT guys with shields and batons ready for battle loading chairs into a truck. The people eating got up peacefully, gathered around the other table of food, and kept on eating. It was all over in a matter of 2 minutes. The SWAT guys all loaded back up on the trucks and drove down the street. After the trucks drove away, the restaurant brought out more chairs for the people. Obviously, we have no clue why any of this occurred.

That's what I call job security! Only in China...

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