Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Roll

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Hey...Happy First Day Of Spring! Today was also national MR. ROGERS' WON'T YOU WEAR A SWEATER DAY. We hope you remembered to wear a cardigan sweater in honor of Mr. Rogers...

Today at work, me and Missy got a list of all the hotels we are going to be staying at while we are working in China. I guess there are still parts of the world where the US dollar still goes pretty far. All the hotels we're going to be staying at are pretty dang swank...all I can say is WOW. Needless to say, we are sooooo looking forward to that part of the trip. Here's a list of the links work gave us:






In a way, I think it's Karma rewarding me for the terrible room I got the last time work put us up in a hotel...not only was the view spectacularly awful, but I also had to sleep on a cot because the hotel was overbooked:

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(the view from my hotel room at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis back in January)

So, we're leaving for China in a couple of weeks. We'll be spending 4 nights in Shanghai, 1 night in Huangyang, 2 nights in Xiamen, 1 night in Quanzhou, 1 night in Zhuhai, and then finally, 4 nights in Hong Kong. If anyone out there in internetland has any travel tips for China and any of the cities I just mentioned, please send us a would be greatly appreciated! We've been reading up on travelling to China as much as we can, but we'd love to hear about anyone's personal experiences...good or bad.

Even though we're going to be staying in fancy hotels, we'll still have to keep in mind the pamphlet that the travel clinic gave to me and Missy last week. Below is an excerpt from a handout called "TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA"...this is not a joke. It's funny as hell, but it's not something I made up for shits and giggles (no pun intended!)....this is what's on the "TD" handout, word for word:

"Imagine a fancy hotel in Kathmandu. The high wall just behind the hotel makes a convenient shield for local people who don't have toilets in their homes to sneak out for their daily evacuation. If they have diarrhea, as is frequently the case, their trips may be more numerous. The wall forms one side of a narrow path that some of the hotel kitchen employees use on their way to work. The odor from the "outdoor toilet" attracts many flies that lay eggs in the stool. Then, hungry, the flies are attracted to the odors emanating from the hotel. Their feet covered in stool, like those of the hotel employees who walked down the path, the flies also head for the kitchen."

( gets better/worse)

"In the kitchen, flies move about freely. The work surfaces are soon strewn with raw meat, most of which is covered with bacteria present in the animals when they died. When the kitchen workers are finished cutting up the meat, they move on to the vegetables, often on the same surface, not recognizing the danger of bacterial contamination. One of the employees has diarrhea and has to make frequent trips to the toilet, where he cleans himself without toilet paper."

"By now, the workers' hands are covered with organisms from the raw meat, from themselves and from their shoes. They finish cooking the lasagnas and quiches for the day, testing their cooling temperatures with an expert (but unfortunately heavily contaminated) finger, inoculating a few thousand bacteria onto the surface, which is now around body temperature (optimum growing temperature for the bacteria)."

"The bacteria grow the rest of the morning and on into the afternoon, dividing regularly and doubling every 20 minutes. By dinnertime, the area of inoculation is still completely microscopic in size, but contains more than a billion bacteria. The lasagna is sliced, and heated slightly, but not enough to kill the bacteria. Like a game of Russian Roulette, one of the diners will get the infected piece."

"The traveler who orders the lasagna takes care to not drink the water that is served along with his meal. He doesn't take ice in his drink, and he refrains from eating the green salad served with the meal. He goes to sleep feeling comfortably satiated and confident, only to be awakened at 1:30am with the urge to vomit, followed by rapidly profound diarrhea. The rest of the night passes in a repetitive haze of cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. And all the time the traveller thinks, 'but I followed all the rules!'"

Oh, holy jeezus, I hope hope hope this doesn't happen to me...

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