Saturday, April 15, 2006

Dry heat, the Great Wall, and more dry heat

Salutations from Phoenix. Wow...okay...I know I gave up on my blog a year ago. I guess I felt like I had nothing interesting to say. I mean, what could I write about? Um...another job interview gone unanswered but um...I have a pulse. Anywho, now that I'm living in Arizona (Dear god -- I learned from a play it's not offensive when it's a small g--I'm living in a red state!), I figured this would be the best way to simultaneously inform people how I'm doing.

I've been in Phoenix about a week now. Here are some of my initial impressions:
-It's too hot. I wish that the Bay Area could ship some of that rain our way.
-Phoenix in some ways is like California 20 years ago. There are a lot of Mexicans and Caucasians. I am usually the only Asian in stores -- at least on the East Side. See, in Phoenix, East Side = good, West Side = not so good. Southwest = very, very bad. There are A LOT of Chinese restaurants, especially buffets. However, I have my doubts about a $4.59 buffet. That cheap, one can't expect much. I have only spotted two Thai restaurants. Don't see anything Malaysian and I don't think there are nearly as many Pho places.
-It's hella dry and hot here.
-I've seen quite a few obese people. I think I know why. Yesterday at the drug store, it was 6 p.m., and the other people in line either were buying beer, wine or just candy. One guy, dressed in businesswear, apparently had an after-hours yearning for two tall cans of Old English beer. No splurging there.
--It's really hot here. Anyone who thinks Phoenix is the greatest place to live is kidding himself.

Some highlights:
When we first got here last week, my mom and I met up with mom's second cousin, whom I call Auntie Karen. See, Karen's mother was the first cousin of mom's father--got that? She introduced -- or in my mom's case re-introduced -- us to her siblings and their kids. So, I met a bunch of third cousins who are all in my age group--Grant, George and Betty. We were at Karen's sister's house and George was cooking chili for everyone. Apparently, they all grew up in Phoenix and always have family get-togethers--which I'll probably get invited to. I feel like Elaine on that "Seinfeld" episode when she started hanging out with alternate-universe versions of Kramer, George, and Jerry. Have I found my alternate-universe Woo clan?

So, all of Karen's family has somehow at one time been involved in the restaurant business. Last Sunday, mom and I did a Chinese restaurant crawl of sorts. For lunch, we had dim sum with Auntie Judy (Karen's sister) at her restaurant, the Great Wall. It's quite popular. When we got there, I saw a long line and the place was almost full to capacity. The biggest surprise: almost everyone was Chinese -- so many Asians in one place. At the end of lunch, Auntie Judy pushed a cart over and told me to take home whatever I wanted. Do you know what a dream-come-true that was for a Chinese girl who loves to eat? Then for dinner, we went to Karen's brother's restaurant.

I'm sure you're curious about my job and what it entails. It would take a lot of typing. But it's way hectic. I don't even feel like I have a free moment to use the Web to check e-mail. There's always something I should be doing. I input a lot of events for a calendar that is time-released via computer to media personnel in Arizona -- it could be info on a charity event, a press conference, or a trial proceeding. I have to tally how many AP stories appeared in the Arizona Republic (the state's largest newspaper). For those of you not sure, AP is a news wire service. Newspapers throughout the state subscribe to AP for the right to publish their stories. Hmmm...what else do I do? Yesterday, I called a Tucson hospital spokesperson to check up on the condition of the president of the University of Arizona and then I added my information to a story. Nothing too earth-shattering.

I have one roommate named Gaby. She's been renting out the other bedroom for a couple years now. She's from Mexico and pretty easygoing. Two days ago, one of the building's maintenance men knocked on the door and said in a mix of Spanish and English that he was looking for her. She went outside to talk to him and disappeared for an hour. Turns out, Gaby had partially paid for his truck but found it in need of many repairs and did not want to pay anymore. So, this man--who's 50-years-old--reacts by crying. Not just tearing up, but like wheezing and breathing hard. Well, thanks to his tactic, she agreed to pay him $500 of the $1,000 he wanted. Perhaps he can now afford a haircut. Seriously, picture a guy in shorts and a T-shirt with salt and pepper hair long enough to cover most of his ears and get in his eyes. Add on his scrub-brush moustache, and you have the 'after' picture for "The Shaggy Dog."

Well, now that I have Internet capabilities in my apartment, I will be able to keep in touch more. I hope y'all will keep in touch with me.


Jocelyn said...

Terry, all-you-can-take-home dim sum? Sounds like paradise!

wootang said...

Yes, I think I found a favorite pit stop when I have visitors. Not that I expect freebies all the time.