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Singapore! China! « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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Singapore! China!

hello, internet access is limited so my updates will come in spurts when possible.

There is a slightly longer story about looking for a massage place in Singapore that wasn’t “dodgy” as they like to say here, but I can save that for later. hehe. My biggest memory in Singapore is running from Grace’s condo to the bike shop downtown, getting completely poured on for 20 minutes straight (out of NOWHERE!), while trying to remember which way the cars drive and turn into every time I crossed the street (as they drive on the WRONG SIDE of the road), and finally arriving to the hot pink store front, where I stared at the sign for a few moments before walking in. my thought: THE BIKE BOUTIQUE IS REAL. maybe a strange concept but I’ve been living on the other side of the globe since getting in contact with teamTBB about a year ago, so almost everything has been a virtual reality.

so now I’m here in China. we got here Tuesday afternoon, a big entourage as I was travelling with the mechanics and head honchos of the Bike Boutique.

it’s like being on a different planet. Everything is so different and strange. and yet, strangely familiar.

there are water buffalo hanging out on the side of the road in the more rural areas, and Chinese workers with the stereotypical Chinese rice farmer hats. all the signs are in Chinese, and my first twinge of nostalgia brought me back to my elementary school days when my siblings and I were forced to go to Chinese school on Sundays (as all Chinese-American kids have to do, just like how the Jews have to go to Hebrew school).

everyone is speaking to me in Mandarin and I really wish I had worked on my language skills a little more. of course choosing to spend time training more or practicing Chinese more, well, you can see which I picked. The frustrating thing is that when I try to get the right words out of my head, I find that it’s a mixture of Mandarin, Taishanese (my family’s dialect), and…this is totally embarassing…but I think in Spanish also when trying to come up with the right terms. I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and it seems all the foreign languages have gotten jumbled up in my brain.

the food is familiar too. It is a lot of the same Chinese food I am used to, but slightly different flavors.

today they posted the pro list and there are 11 female pros registered. So I have an excellent shot at coming in top 10! I am also the only American female that is racing pro. gotta represent! I am bib #19, which is obviously the lowest number I’ve ever gotten. I was actually #52 in my very first Ironman, because it was also the collegiate championships and they let the collegiates have the next numbers after the pros, going up by age and starting with the girls. Since I was the youngest college girl, I got the lowest non-pro number!

ok, I should go get ready to swim the course. yesterday I got to meet the big team of local lifeguards and took a picture with them. Caroline from Singapore said “oh, they are tall!” well, the tallest ones were my height, so I guess I’m tall for a Chinese boy??

more soon! my bike and luggage made it safely and I don’t have traveller’s diarrhea, so life is good.

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