This Is The End, My Only Friends… ribbit!

Alright, that sounds a bit morbid… but it’s fitting. Maggie and I just finished watching Friends. Not like an episode, but the whole damn series. All 10 seasons down. It took us the span of our entire relationship (until present, of course) – but we did it.

I originally thought that I’d buy Friends (man that sounds weird) as a way for Maggie to get some insight into Western culture. I know, I know – people playing characters 10 years their junior while seeming to operate completely unsustainable lives is not exactly “reality” – but there’s a lot in the show that plays on modern Western culture and it does provide some sort of education.

The thing that surprised me is even though I’ve seen the shows a hundred times (in syndication mostly), I still really enjoyed watching it. It was cool (in a strictly uncool way) being able to watch the shows episode by episode – seeing the characters develop and stories twist, etc.

Anyway, call me a wus, but I got just as choked up watching the finale this time as I did the first time I watched it. I mean, c’mon. The bit with the answering machine and the call from the airplane… anyway. I’m going to stop embarrassing myself.

Speaking of friends. I finally met a friend I’ve had for some time now. Alright, that sentence’ll make you go cross-eyed if you read it too closely. My buddy Hector, who hooked me up with the job here in Suzhou, and I have been net friends for a few months now – sharing a common interest in wasting hours online, whinging about work, China and anything else that suited us.

Now being located in the same city, Maggie and I met up with him and his wife Jessy on Saturday for some dinner in Suzhou’s massive pedestrianized shopping district. We went to a really popular restaurant, and despite thinking I had tried my share of random food, we had some interesting eats.

蟹黄/xie4huang2 (lit. crab yellow): Apparently it comes from the inside of the crab’s shell. This was mixed with eggs (chicken or duck, not sure which) and some other stuff.

牛蛙/niu2wa1 (lit. cow frog): Yep, missed it in Paris, but finally got a dish of frog. Chopped up into random bits and fried with a dash of seasoning. I (for some reason) was thinking it would taste of chicken, but it actually was a bit fishier than that. Sorta like a fish-chicken… and EXACTLY like a frog.

Well, I’ve mostly been hiding out in our cave of a hotel room. I say cave with all the affection I can muster as it is beginning to really resemble one. It’s cool (a good thing with the 90-degree weather – which the weather channel site claims feels like 102-degrees), it’s dark (we’ve no windows… makes for a lot of sleeping in) and it’s got bugs…

Only two more nights here and then we’re off to Shanghai to a brand new hotel to hide from the heat in. Honestly, I know I should be out exploring this area of China, but it’s feckin’ hot. It’s so hot my toenails sweat. Fortunately when I return I’ll be moving into my new apartment and will finally be able to unpack – and wash my clothes in something other than my hotel sink.

Still, the fresh towels and bed linen is nice. And have I mentioned the A/C?

8 Responses

  1. Well holy crap will you stop talking about your cave….it’s not like your in prison and can’t get out of the damn cell. LOL. And OMG i just found the “podcast of this post” That is so freakin neat all this time i was waising my time reading it when i could have been listening to it. Mind ya i had to turn your music off to hear it but damn it’s worth it. Now only if the TIME magazines that i read at work were like that too.

  2. Just looking through here and randomly hit your site. Was really surprised ‘cus I actually went to school with Hector and just got done seeing him in Suzhou. (he told us to check this site out) My name’s dave, and I’m living in Nanjing right now. Always interested in finding out more about how others are doing here in China.

  3. @Todd: Doh! Yeah… not entirely sure why that didn’t occure to me. I’m an idiot.
    @Hey (aka Dave): Dood, sign you name in the Name box 🙂 But cool that you know Hector. He’s a great guy. How’s Nanjing? Hoping to head there sometime in the not too distant future.

  4. Friends is so unfunny. But its always been a series that divided the people into hate it or love it. The latter being people with no style and taste – just kidding 😉

    I have been to Suzhou a month ago. We had a really great time there. We visited the brother of a friend who lives there since four years and owns his own company in Suzhou. We partied all night long in China. Great techno clubs.
    In Suzhou I would recommend this bar/restaurant:
    Pictures of the bar:
    Check out my photoblog for pictures of Suzhou:

  5. hello there, good to see another suzhou blog. i also read it in earlier incarnations in dalian and HK too. if you wish, i’ll add u to my “blogroll”, and perhaps we can exchange links and make the blogs kinda networked in some way, though mine is new and in need of some luvin’ (ie: traffic/readers, hehe). cheers~

    steven (

  6. You know, the story about “Friends” parallels my own relationship with my fiancee. We started watching Sex in the City when we first started dating. It was painful–like having your spleen removed with soup spoon painful. But over time, it gave us a great opportunity (and the vocabulary in two languages) to talk about a lot of things to do with relationships, etc. Over time, I actually enjoyed watching the show (hold on a second, I have to wave good bye to my testicles…) We’ve since moved on to “Family Guy” which presents its own unique translation problems. I still can’t get her to watch “The Sopranos” with me, but I’m working on it.

  7. Steven: Hey – saw you added me, cool stuff. I’ll return the favour. Always nice to see new blogs. I think the blog you might be thinking of (the HK incarnation) was, a friend of mine’s site. We both had Dalian blogs.

    @J.: Hehe, just bought the first three seasons of Family Guy yesterday. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *