Monday, May 14, 2007

“Dyed dogs are cute, but often depressed.”

Or so claims an article in the human interest section of the Shanghai Daily.

“A dog with highlights will not adapt to its brand-new looks and feeling immediately after neomg dyed. Though dogs are color-blind, they can feel the change. Typically, dogs will suffer from loss of appetite and depression.”

“The the owner should encourage his or her god to rebuild confidence. Several days later the owner’s constant praise should restore the dog’s good spirits.”

The horror! This fad seems to be sweeping prosperous China where little white poodles are now being subjected to this demeaning practice. Next time you’re over, you can check out the poodle supply at Shanghai Naughty Family Pet Co. LTD on Hongqiao Road. (No, I am not kidding.)












I must have done something to anger the night maid because last night I didn’t receive the regular turn down service. It doesn’t matter all that much aside from my dwindling water supply. Managing your water in a 4 star hotel is a lot like rationing it for a trek across the Australian Outback – you have to make sure you cache what comes in because sometimes it’s a long stretch between springs.

When you check in there are usually three bottles – one by the bed and two in the bathroom. I always take one of them and stick it in the minibar alongside the ones they charge $3 for. One bottle is then dedicated to brushing your teeth and one stays by the bed for night time drinking. The next morning the bedside bottle goes in my bag for work use and the bathroom bottle is extinguished. The maid returns and the restocking begins. But she isn’t always consistent, sometimes you get three, sometimes two, sometimes one. So you have to carefully manage the delicate balance of what goes where. Too many and the minibar gets stuffed.

The night maid though is the key – she’s as unpredictable as a Sonoran Monsoon and the bottles she may or may not leave at night can tip the critical balance between plenty and dehydration. Her largesse (or lack thereof) can actually send you down the spiral to where you’re going to end up having to break down and buy one.

Right now though I am still showing an inventory in the minibar of three in addition to what I have left for teeth brushing and the one for my backpack. As long as the day maid likes me, I’m fine.
Thought I would treat all of you to something different today by extending my addiction to all things Google to utilizing Youtube in my blog. The link below will bring up a video example of what it takes here to cross the street here during morning rush hour. This particular intersection is in between the hotel and Shanghai Mart, the building we work in during our visits. It's moderately mild by comparison - it's a tee into a one-way street and there is no construction going on - but it still shows the almost fluid dynamic of cars, people and scooters. Some people charge ahead, others hesitate. Some cars stop, others don't. Scooters tear off the sidewalk and weave in and out. Every crossing will force you to spend at least 10 seconds marooned in the middle of the street. Yet it works every morning because somehow all these competing masses manage to avoid occupying the same space at the same time. Which of course would be disasterous for all parties except the cars.

Click here and it should start playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAnOQfYOQCI
Enjoy, and please don't try this at home. All these stunts were performed by professionals on a closed course.
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