ni hao, blog friends! sorry that is almost the extent of my Mandarin skills. I am staying in room number liu er er if you want to come over and hang out.
today was a grocery trip adventure and well, it as quite the adventure. I went with my roommate Donna and Amanda and Luke MacKenzie, two Aussies, and we were promptly dropped off a this huge shopping complex in town, and this was the part where I really wish I could speak better Chinese. first off, we couldn’t even find where the grocery store part was. it was like Super Walmart meets Costco meets a ginormous department store in a huge mall. Luckily we didn’t stray too far. I went a little crazy with the groceries (ah, never shop when you are hungry, oh well) because my eldest aunt had said to bring back some coconut candies for all my friends and family who helped pitch in for my airplane ticket (THANKS VERY MUCH LOVE YOU ALL!!!), apparently that is what Hainan province is known for, the excellent coconut candies. I will have to post up some pictures later. Donna had trouble finding the skim milk and I was not very much help. All the milk seems to come in juice boxes like when you packed your lunch for grade school. Amanda got distracted with the uber cheap ipods on our way out! $10 for a Shuffle or something… and I thought they were cheap when they went on sale for $50 at Target.
I had a fabulous massage from Olivia who is from Oahu, yes I paid the full price for the official massage therapists at Ironman Village. Been a little sketched out with reports that the hotel massagers offer “full service” massage here, not that I should have much to worry about. it was cute though, Olivia asked to take a picture with me after my massage, because I’m a PRO! and the only American female pro (therefore I will be 1st American pro woman, heh heh) here, so they were all excited. I also signed my first autograph yesterday, when we had a “meet & greet the pros” at the TBB tent.
I attended the press conference today even though I’m not yet special enough to be invited to sit up front with the microphones. The Chinese press were very excited, there was a cute local boy racing pro and he got all the attention. They wanted to know why there weren’t any Chinese women racing pro, and I had to admit I wanted to jump up and down in my seat and tell them I’m Chinese! I’m racing pro! I just happen to have been born in a different country!! but I restrained myself.
the weather here is kind of nasty, there’s a typhoon (or a “whirly” as I heard an Aussie call it) headed our way, but it’s due to hit the southern end of Hainan island tomorrow, and there should be gorgeous weather race day here. A lot of people are worrying about it, but I’m not bothered. Can’t control the weather, so why fret, my pet? We’ll all have to face the same conditions whatever they may be.
I went on a run down the main road yesterday, and got TONS of stares. Of course all the Caucasians here are getting stared at, but somehow I feel I almost got extra stares during my run, like if I were white, they would just think “oh, it’s a crazy white person doing something crazy.” but they kind of do a double-take-stare with me, like “wait, she’s one of ours, what is she doing?!” I’m looking forward to race day, when I can show them that Chinese folks can do Ironman, and do it fast!
thanks for all the good luck messages, I just checked the forum the carbo dinner is tonight and I’m interested in seeing if we get rice and noodles instead of the usual pasta. There is also a lot of interest in my custom disc wheel cover from wheelbuilder.com, I painted a really cool design on it that you will get to see later, and I guess a lot of people here have never seen a wheel cover before. Well, they all just have enough money for a REAL disc wheel. haha!
also I wanted to give a big thanks to my friend Heather at Atalanta Running Skirts (skirtgoddess.com) for my send-off gift, she gave me a couple skirts to run around in, yeah, to pick up cute foreign triathletes. You can see me wearing it in some of our team photos on the front page of the team website. maybe we’ll even start carrying them at the TBB store eh??
zou le! zaijian!