Woke up at 4:30 am. First thought was hunger and where to get food. Judy is taking stock of the apartment and how we’re going to organize our stuff. After showering and getting my bearings in the apartment, I headed out to find breakfast. I walked out of the apartment building and out the gate of the complex (two guards on duty at all times). Walked several block with no sign of food, then found a street vendor deep-frying dough. It had some kind of vegetables in it. My interpretation – a vegetable doughnut (sans sugar). I bought two for around $1.50, and headed back toward the apartment. Walked past the gate and continued passed some closed up shops (5:30 am). Found another street cook with a little different shape, but the same product. Bought two and wandered into a small shop with essentials for sale. Bought some large water bottles and even found some diet coke. Headed back to the apartment. Judy was up and full-scale unpacking is taking place. We enjoyed our sugarless doughnuts and water.
Unpacking our luggage is an arduous task. Judy knows where she wants it, so I try to help, but mostly get in the way. I try to figure out how to set up our computers and all our electronics. Contacted our housing agent, Lisa, and scheduled internet installation for later in the day (yes, the same day, not sometime next week).
Around 11:00 am we get hungry again, so I went out on another walk. Found a McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Starbucks, and a Pizza Hut. They were part of a huge mall (Capitol Mall), 5 floors up and 2 basement floors below. Grabbed some McDonalds and headed back home. I guess it’s about a 10 minute walk, maybe ½ mile? Enjoyed the chance to relax a little and eat.
Internet guys (looked like teenagers) arrived around 2:15. Don’t understand English, and we had fun trying to communicate. It took forever for them to understand that the Apple Wireless Extreme wasn’t a router. Finally, after much gesturing and phone calls, another guy walks in with a router, and we finally get hooked up. Cost is 1080y (yuan) for internet for a year, and the router was 300y. Exchange rate is $1 = 6y, so I divide everything by 6 to get a dollar equivalent. Translation – internet was $180 for a year, and the router was $50. Felt kinda weird paying four teenagers 1380y cash, but it all seems ok, according to our agent. Internet is running and we’re feeling like we’re back in touch with the world.
I trekked back to the mall for dinner – Pizza Hut. They have a full menu with many items, burgers, dinner plates, etc. I order pizza and decided to try my Visa card. It doesn’t work. I spent so much time making sure all of our bank cards would work before we left, and now I can’t use my Visa? I’m irritated! I pull out the cash, and head home for dinner. We eat and spend the rest of the night unpacking and making lists for what food and household items we need at the store the next day. I also spent an hour on the phone with Chase Bank and after speaking with several different levels of management, finally solved the access problems with our banking cards.