day 28

wow.  hard to believe that as of tomorrow I will have been here for one month!  

yup, I'm definitely a little homesick.  I'm definitely missing the comforts of home, but am still very excited to be a part of this exciting project. 

Meanwhile, we had an office field trip the other night...to IKEA.  Yes, there's a few stores here in Beijing (though their pronunciation of the famed Swedish brand is very different from ours).  I was sure that I would find comfort in the familiarity of their maze like show room.  I was sure that seeing the BILLY bookcase again would somehow bring me back....not so much.  Instead, I was reminded why I don't go to IKEA very often!!  Friends, here's a piece of advice...SKIP THE SHOWROOM UPSTAIRS!  unless you need to sit on the sofa or perhaps are ordering some kitchen cabinets I'd suggest you bypass the crowds and and extra steps and just go straight to the "marketplace" where you can easily browse through the lamps, kitchen goods and duvet covers!

Once we wound our way down to check out, I was taken back to my days on Babylon 5...where we referred to the check out as CUSTOMS.  Here's another IKEA trick, friends:  the shorter lines at the check out are almost always on the far sides of the rooms!  

 ah, the familiar blue and yellow!   looks like you can only pay cash for the meatballs.

ah, the familiar blue and yellow!   looks like you can only pay cash for the meatballs.

 from here we made a stop over at the IKEA FAMILY room (the orange room over on the right)....

from here we made a stop over at the IKEA FAMILY room (the orange room over on the right)....

 ...and when you walk into the IKEA FAMILY room, you find that that's where the sell...THE KNIVES ?!?!?!?!?!?

...and when you walk into the IKEA FAMILY room, you find that that's where the sell...THE KNIVES ?!?!?!?!?!?

 wait, is this Burbank or Beijing?

wait, is this Burbank or Beijing?

 yup, they sell the meatballs here too....though this cafe seemed larger than any of the ones I'd seen.  I didn't happen to notice if they also had chopsticks.

yup, they sell the meatballs here too....though this cafe seemed larger than any of the ones I'd seen.  I didn't happen to notice if they also had chopsticks.

 nice of them to translate for us, no?

nice of them to translate for us, no?

 sameness.

sameness.

This is a holiday week here in China...National Day(s).  We are off from work for the rest of the week...which worked out well in that I am having to travel this week outside of the country for 24 hours to satisfy some visa requirements.  I'll keep the destination a surprise for now....but will tell you that I am headed to a "magical" place!

Hope all of you are well!