Maria Holland

China Day 6 – Wind Turbine

In Public, Uncategorized on May 29, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I didn’t wake up til 6 (definite improvement), and then laid in bed watching those more motivated than me get ready for a run. I started off the day by working on the weather station and starting the water tests on the home well. Then I joined the work on the wind turbine.


I ran some small errands before finally given something to do – cut a long bar of All-Thread into shorter bolts for the gin pole. Then I helped Tanner start the windmill blades. We cut some 8.5″ diameter pipe to a length of 5 feet, cut it into thirds lengthwise, cut a root and tapered the edge, and sanded it.


We took a break for a lovely lunch of squid, tofu soup, and – finally – potatos! Tanner was pretty excited about that, and apparently everyone else too, because they disappeared pretty fast. 


I tried metal chopsticks for the first time, and despite Jesse’s warnings that they are difficult to use, I was able to eat my fill. I’m definitely becoming a rice and chopstick snob – none of that long-grain or wood stuff for me anymore.

The work on the turbine continued after lunch. I got to design the tail, but since the jigsaw wouldn’t cut through 1/8″ steel, Edwin had to cut it with a torch. I got to try out the grinder, though, to smooth all the edges. It was a goodworkout for my forearms – keeping them in shape to play the Gloria!

When we went into Hunchun for dinner, we stopped at the post office. In my excitement to get postcards, I fell, scraping both hands, twisting my left ankle, and smashing my right knee into the concrete. The good news is, my camera was fine, and I got not only post cards, but also stamps, and for less than $4.  Even cooler, the lady had a computer and an abacus, and she totally used the abacus!  It’s so old school.

We had dinner at a Korean restaurant. As we did at the caf, we sat on the floor around low tables. The centerpiece of the meal was a bacon-ish thing (not pig feet skin!) that Jesse cooked on what he called ‘the original Foreman grill’ because it allowed the fat to escape through a hole in the middle. 


My favorite foods were the rice omelette and the egg-covered fried rice. We ordered a fairly obscene amount of food (still, it cost less than $65 for 12 adults and 4 kids), making the owner very happy with his crazy American customers.


We tried many dishes and foods that we hadn’t tried before, including MSG. Yes, monosodium glutamate, as in “No MSG added”, only . . . it was.


After eating, we stopped by the Hunchun night festival. It was a long street, filled with food vendors. Some of it looked good and at times I wished I hadn’t been full, but I was grateful for the good food we ate when we saw some of the products . . . such as goose heads, pre-hatched chickens, and pigs feet, all whole, on sticks. Tanner and I are pretty sure we saw mice, too, and we definitely saw silkworms.


We also learned the difference between rabbit meat and cat – they leave the ears on the rabbits so you can tell them apart. It’s pretty sad when the most appetizing thing in a market is a hot dog – at least you aren’t sure exactly what you’re eating. Sometimes ignorance is bliss . . .

We took a taxi back from the festival. It was my first experience in a Chinese taxi. Jesse got in and buckled his seatbelt and the driver pointed at him and laughed, and we could tell it was going to be interesting.

As you head towards the farm from Hunchun, you’re heading to the Russian border. All that the taxi drivers know out that way beyond the city limits is the tiny village (if you can call it that) of Teyan. So we all loaded up and Timothy told the drivers, in Chinese, that we were going to a farm out by Teyan. Well, the driver got out by Teyan and stopped. We tried to tell him to go further, but he had seen a gate that warned Russian truck drivers that there were power lines ahead, and he thought it was the Russian border. He was afraid of getting shot if he went any further, so he refused to drive! It was like being on a horse that balked. Our attempts to get him to “Follow nege” (that, meaning Timothy’s truck) didn’t work, but eventually our persistance did, and he continued driving. It was pretty funny, a few minutes later, when he laughed and started yelling “Go! Go! Go! Go!”. I think he finally figured out what it meant, or something.

The most interesting event of the rest of the night was watching Lyte learn what an eraser was. It pretty much blew my mind.

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