Date registered: April 16, 2009
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@Tiger John: omg, you don't even know what you're talking about at all. saving face? do you even know what that means? subway is the right direction? subways are expensive to build, maintain, and operate, and there are only a small handful in the world that are able to run at a profit (since you mention "hurting city revenue"). on top of that, it's already one of the top contributors to suburban sprawl in chengdu, making it that much harder for bike and bus commuters to get where they need to go.
NOT EVEN ONE! so sad.
I've noticed some of my Chinese friends use Dettol or Walch (those disinfectants/germicides) in their laundry. I always figured the fewer chemicals the better but now I'm wondering if it's a good idea to use those (at least for socks and underwear and bedding) because we don't have hot water in the washing machines. My clothes don't really come out of the wash very refreshed with just cold water and liquid detergent. Does anybody use them? Do they enhance your laundering experiences?
Also, does anybody use those washing machine cleaner products, or are those just more useless cleaning products?
I notice a lot of the ads for English teachers just list "competitive salary." What does that mean in this day and age?
If you don't mind disclosing what your work situation is (age of students, class size, all at one school or are you "farmed out," holidays, etc. and minimum qualifications) and salary, I would appreciate it — I am interested to know what the "average" is these days in Chengdu. When I taught at a vocational school in 2005-2006 the working hours were low and holidays long and we were paid 4,000 a month for 12 months plus international roundtrip plane ticket and a pretty nice studio apartment off campus. But now cost of living has risen a lot since then so I guess salaries have risen somewhat as well?
I used to think Chengdu taxi drivers were the nicest taxi drivers in China. Not so anymore! Ignoring the imbecilic refusal-to-take-passengers-at-rush-hour phenomenon, I've had one give me a fake 50, another one laugh at me when I asked him to go down the street that I live on because he was so sure it was one-way (it used to be but hasn't been for months, and he flat out refused to believe me although I live there and go up and down that street daily), a whole slew of them refuse to take me on a weekend night, and that's just in the past few days. Irritating! Just had to vent.
I have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, they offer some of the best baked goods in Chengdu at extremely low prices (RMB8 for brownies, slice of chocolate cake, and I think even less for donuts and cookies). So for a quick dessert that'll definitely leave you feeling that you got good value, both taste-wise and size-wise, for your money, I think it's a great place.
Their selection of drink mixes, baking mixes and ingredients, and ready-to-eat stuff like granola and bagels is both quite extensive and very reasonably priced.
I haven't tried any of their breakfast or lunch offerings, and part of that is probably due to the fact that despite its large space, it's not a very cozy hangout. During mealtimes it's chaotic with what seems like lots and lots of small children running around and screaming, and other times, something about the layout or furniture arrangement or decor makes it seem kind of cold.
Service is not the speediest, and the hot drinks are a little disappointing -- watery and served lukewarm -- but, hey, they are indeed inexpensive and certainly not the worst in town.
The last time I went here I ordered the two tacos that used to be 18kuai and then were 26kuai and now might be even more expensive I heard. Anyway I asked them to substitute refried beans for the chicken or steak. When it arrived not only was the whole thing cold but also in my first bite there were a few shreds of chicken. I thought they had messed up my order so I dug further. I didn't find any more chicken but I found stray clumps of mashed potato! As if somebody had dropped the beans somewhere they shouldn't have been ... I didn't want to know what was going on in that kitchen. Anyway, not impressed.
Normally I would prefer to support the independent store over the chain stores but Sabrina's has failed me enough times that now I'd rather go to Metro or Auchan or even--horror of horrors--Carrefour to buy my imported goods. Selling expired cheese and tinned foods, mozzarella that's being sold as emmentaller, higher prices, mislabeled stuff ... and the cashiers act like they're doing you all kinds of favors by ringing up your stuff. And you have to pay for boxes if you buy a slice of their cake or pie.
I used to go here regularly but the last two or three times I've been I was really disappointed in the quality of the food. It just seems the chef is not taking care and some of the dishes were so sloppily put together I didn't really want to eat them even. It's too bad because of all the vegetarian restaurants in Chengdu this one has by far the best location for me.