Wo zai/Estoy en/Sum in/I’m in Hai Nan! (San Ya) Hai Nan means “Sea South,” quite literally. The largest (?) island in China, it’s also the equivalent of Florida and Hawaii because of its warm climate and sandy beaches. It resembles Hawaii so much that the speakers in the hallways quietly hum Hawaiian music, and that the dinner serenaders sound vaguely like the Beach Boys. (god, America. keep your tendrils tucked in.)
The hotel that I’m at is quite nice. (understatement.) More like: “Si estuviera en USA y tuvieramos que pagar en dolares americanos, nunca, jamas, nunca lo pagaria.” More like: The price for one night for the 3 rooms that my aunt, maternal grandparents, mother, and I are staying in, would be enough to keep a modest family of 4 going for a week, at least. More like: “Oh, we don’t even need to pack toiletries because the complimentary stuff they give is going to be decent.”
The fees keep a small army of laborers laboring. They’re everywhere, weeding, hoeing, digging, skimming..It feels weird, a bit, the juxtaposition of haves and have-nots. Maybe being a gardener at a resort is a relatively good job, compared to wading around in ricey things?
It’s also like the prices of food: at restaurants, food’s like 40-200++ RMB/yuan a plate, depending on how weird it is. But if you go to the morning market, vegetables of the utmost freshness are usually 1 or 2 yuan/kuai qian/RMB a pound. Personally, if you stew up some veggies for me, I’m happy. Eating weird fungi/seafoodies doesn’t feel like eating; it feels like a biology lesson. Maybe the exorbitant cost of restaurant food is to employ another brigade of waitress-people.
But they’ve got cool water slides! In my familiar-with-water-park’d opinion. At my suggestion, my aunt and 4 year old cousin Doofy slid down one; they emerged with Doofy missing her swim cap and goggles and both thoroughly vowing never to go down one’o those again. Apparently, Doofy slipped out of her mother’s grasp and slid down headfirst.
Hehe-and I still remember how to swim. Unfortunately, using my arms doesn’t seem to make me go much faster than just kicking my feet, so my modus nadanti is to float on my tummy, kick, then flip over to breathe, kick, then turn over again. Not that you actually need to swim; the water’s only 1.5 m deep at the deepest point, except at the diving pool, where it’s 4 m.
The flight to Hainan was awful. Tiny plane, nearly falling apart (one lady’s armrest actually fell off), heavy turbulence (there’s a tornado swirling around), seats designed for a person way taller than me. Food was intriguing; non-fried apple chips and some sort of meat-injected fried tofu. On the way back, I’m taking Dramamine.
Oo-the morning before the flight, I decided to take a stroll around the clump of buildings where we live. It’s really nice–there’s little clumps of grass with signs saying “Please spare me, I’m only a bit of newly-grown grass,” and the location is convenient. It seems like a bunch of taxi drivers live there, so there’s usually a taxi waiting. [I haven’t tried to bike yet XD.]
But the highlight of the clump of buildings is their outdoor fitness center. It’s bright shiny colors like a jungle gym, but the things there are much more usable. There’s a shoulder press, nordic track, some sort of ab-thing, as well as the usual communist array of gymnastics equipment, like double bars and stuff.
So I ambled in and was all, “Monkey bars! Woah, due to my
nascent ripped biceps and lats, I can actually attempt to do those!” I jumped up for the first bar (see, since they’re communist, there’s no bar to step on so you can reach the bar), missed, and, with American spirit, jumped again. But once I got up there, I realized that my hands were really sweaty. However, I advanced a bar, not wanting to waste the opportunity. Then, I realized that my hands were much too sweaty for safety, jumped off, and strolled away.
When I was a while away, I heard a guy say, “Na ge gu niang hai you dian(r) jin(r)/That girl does have some strength.” Heh. It made me feel like I had a positive impact on society, you know, being remarked for my attempt at the monkey bars.
I haven’t boughten a single
questionably legal CD/DVD/electronic device yet, so if there’s anything you want, comment!