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?

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