So today is not Day 1--it's Day 13. But, I took copius notes, so I'm pretending it is Day 1. You can pretend with me. Here goes:
There is this silly model show I've seen on MTV just a few times called "Ocean View" or "Ocean Drive" or "Ocean you fill in the blank" or something. Regardless, it's about these models that have to live together in a lavish apartment and compete for jobs. They are all tall, skinny, tan, etc. And most of them are 15 or something. Right, so they belong on MTV. Not in Hong Kong. Or so I thought. Here I am in the midst of my first day in China--bright-eyed and ready to face the world (after a restful night sharing a twin bed with my tall and extra-long, monkey-armed husband)--and I stumble jet-lagged down into the subway. I expected to see Asians. I was surprised to find myself behind 6-7 tall, modelish girls--all scanitly clad and some wearing the new fad of tall socks with highheels. Not so sure about that trend yet. Then, when I got on the subway, a few more joined the bunch. I wasn't sure what the deal was until I saw they were all carrying binders filled with headshots. Aha! They must be models, I thought. How strange. Honestly, I didn't think much of it. It was simply a bit surreal, and I felt short, not-tan, and poorly dressed. Oh, and old.
Next, my notes say something about walking in circles on purpose. I don't remember what that means. I think I was just lost alot and didn't know how to cross the street (big city, and all), so I must have walked the same streets over and over again trying to get my bearings.
At one point during the day I found myself in a mall (this is easy enough for me in the US, but in China everything is one big mall--often I'm surprised to find that I'm not in a mall!). I wandered in a store and heard Britney Spears' "Stronger" playing. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Someone was speaking my language (literally) --and telling me to be a stronger person at the same time! It did me some good.
On our way back to the apartment in the evening, Matt and I noticed fires burning all up and down the sidewalks in the district where we live. It was a bit bizarre, but it being our first day there we thought maybe that was normal. It was a little eerie. And that was Day 1.