Thursday, April 29, 2004

Jet lag is over and finally something of note was on the agenda today. Early this morning I was met by Summer, a friend here who is so generous as to act as guide and translator. We hailed a cab (this alone can be interesting) and by cab I mean a sardine can with a motor.. no Lincoln town cars here.. The cab took us to the light rail station, about half an hour away (no one uses milage or other distance measurements, just travel time). This was a new experience for Summer as well as the light rail is only a few months old. The light rail took us across town ("town" being misleading for a city of 9 million) to an industrial area near the seaport where my father works. From there we took another taxi to BHA. Since we were early for our tour, we wandered through a makeshift market area, well it appeared make shift to me, but for all I know it has been there for decades.

Finally we made our way to BHA where we met with my father and were treated to a tour of the factory. The company makes composite items for aircraft using graphite, fiberglass, and chemicals well beyond my own understanding. Lunch was provided by the company, as it is for all of the employees, from the janitor to the CEO, they all have the same choices for lunch. One of the exectuive assitants said that lunch today was not very good, which explained her not eating much (she ate at least as much as I, though she is quite thin! No envy here, no..). If this was a poor lunch then I would be quite interested in having what she considered a good lunch, for the food was delicious as far as I was concerned. The seaweed (yeah I know that it was some specific kind that has its own name, but I have no idea what that name is..) was of special note. Needless to say the food is nothing like what we are used to in the states, but thus far I have no complaints at all. That said, the CEO has decided that I must be initiated, just as he was, with a fried scorpion. That is for tomorrow night's dinner...

After taking the train back to the center(ish) of town, we went to "walking street" an area where cars are not allowed, and there are hundreds if not thousands of little shops. Most of this seemed to be clothes for women. There were a few men's clothing shops, but those of you who have met me already know that it would be pointless for me to bother to look for clothes in these shops. THat said, there was one shirt that was nice enough to make me ask (through Summer) if they had it in my size. Everyone laughed.

Lots of other shops there as well, just about anything you can imagine. The alleys were the best for they were packed with barely enough room for two people to squeeze past one another, which if this was accomplished they were well acquainted. :)

It was strange seeing some of the western stores there, like JeansWest, 579, McDonalds, and KFC, but they are just as easy to avoid here as at home.

After miles of walking around there, we made our way back home via taxi (Taxis are inepensive here). A full day.

For those who have sent email, thank you. I am having some difficulty with sending email, so do not take offensive if I have not responded. All the best to everyone.

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