We had our class in marketing today. We learned how in China, things are very group based. We also learned that people are very concerned about their 'face' or their representation of class/wealth. If your peers have something, you must also have that thing. It is interesting, here in China people seem to strive to be similar people, but in America people strive to be very independent and different from one another.
Later in the day we went to the porcelain/china house. Here everything was made of collected porcelain/china. The owner of the house started collecting it when they were 9. It amazes me how much was collected. While we were on the second house of the tour, a storm kicked up and actually blew the doors open with a strong gust of wind two times in the short time we were there. The weather was severe enough for us to call the tour off and head back to the hotel.
On the way back, I observed people seeming very rushed and scared of the strong winds and rain. However, I realized that it was mostly the rain that got people to act so hurried, as when I went out later in the day and it started to rain, there was similar behavior even though the winds weren't strong. In Minnesota we tend to welcome rain, in fact I remember running around playfully when I was a child enjoying the falling water and puddles. I wasn't able to ask anyone why they were so frightened, but I suppose they must have their reasons.
After dinner, I decided it was time to do my laundry. Washing machines don't seem to be very common around here, so we have to wash all of our clothing by hand. While washing, I told my room-mate "Washing your own clothes seems to be very humbling... especially your socks and underwear." After asking around about how people washed their clothes, it seems that the general way is to either wash it yourself or pay a modest fee to have someone else do it. Doing the math, it would end up being something upwards of 200 Yuan, or $30 to do my two weeks of clothes, so I instead opted to wash it myself for all of $2 for detergent. After spending at least an hour washing my clothes, I certainly appreciate being able to use a washing machine at home. We are very fortunate to have something that can save us so much time and labor.
Here are a few pictures from the porcelain house:
Good luck pot, if you drop money from the top floor and it lands in the pot you are said to get good luck
Here's us trying our luck at the top, sorry for the blurry picture, the lighting conditions weren't too good and I didn't want to use flash
Picture of the outside wall and the roof
Group picture inside the second house, before we had to leave