Being back in America, I have suddenly forgot the fact that I love to blog. When I actually do remember I like to blog, I almost never have anything to blog about. This is the goodbye post to kneehowbuddha and the hello/welcome back to littlebabybuddha. There’s some things I like better about wordpress, but overall I am a blogspot fan. Now that the government is not monitoring and restricting my government use, I’m going back to blogspot. Anyone interested in hearing my random thoughts and adventures should check out the old/new blog.
Welcome to a continuation of my laziness. With my lack of things to do, you would think it would be easy for me to blog at least once a week, but apparently it’s not. Speaking of the word “apparently,” that reminds me of the movie “Despicable Me.” I am in love with the way Gru says that word. I also am in love with that movie. I only watched it 16 times in China for class and a couple times since I’ve been home so there’s no reason for me to be sick of it. Right?
The last day at the school was quite a treat. There was a singing competition between all the Senior 1 students that morning. Chambrey and I were given seats up front with all the judges and very close to the speakers. The speakers could have definitely been turned down a few notches. Let me just say that the stereotype of Asian students being very smart is very much true, as well as the stereotype about their singing. Two and half hours in the hot sun with the speakers blaring in my ear…it was rough, but so worth it. I was proud of my kids, especially when they beat out Chambrey’s for first place! My favorite part of the competition was the judge I was sitting next to. Whenever those sweet little angels would “hit” a high note, he would burry his head in his arms and start laughing. It made those high notes bearable.
The last three weeks of blogging have been pathetic and completely non-existant. A little FYI, the outlets in Hong Kong are completely different than the outlets in mainland China. In my collection of adapters that I brought with me, there was one labeled “Asia.” The Asia adapter did not fit in the Hong Kong outlet so my days there were spent without anything requiring a charge. There’s no excuse for the two weeks that I’ve been back in America. I was lazy.
The Saturday before I left, two of my students, Jason and Dean, took us to KTV. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, KTV is karaoke. It’s nothing like the karaoke you’re probably used to. You have your own private room with couches and a big TV screen. The music video is playing with the words going across the screen. There was a little window in our door and I kept catching people out in the hall who would stop to take a look at the singing foreigners. I wish I could share a video of the singing and dancing, but in exchange for Chambrey actually giving me the videos, I had to promise I wouldn’t post them on my blog. But I can provide some pictures from the evening.
There has been a slight change in plans in the last few days. Original plan: teach until Wednesday then leave that night to head for Hong Kong. I went back to the train station a couple days after the hour-long wait for a ticket that didn’t exist and had a 20 minute wait for a ticket that didn’t exist. There was no train leaving that day so I had to buy a ticket for two days earlier. This meant missing my last two days of teaching. Yesterday (Saturday) morning we found out that Friday was actually our last day of classes. You’ve gotta love the fact that I found out I was done teaching after the fact at both schools. This new plan means that I leave Yongzhou for the last time tomorrow. I’ll be taking a 9 1/2 hour train to Shenzhen, crossing the border to Hong Kong, hanging out there for three days, then heading back to the home of the brave.
The last days here have been great and I will post more about them once I’m in Hong Kong and have pictures on my computer. Until then, here is a random picture of my favorite little girl in China.
A random collection of thoughts and events from the last few days here in China:
After waiting 55 minutes in the hot sun and humidity so I could buy a train ticket to Shenzhen, I was told that the ticket is not available until June 22.
There is a good possibility I have/had bed bugs. I washed all my sheets and clothes, but still wake up with red spots on my legs in the morning. Any tips on getting rid of those suckers? I think I might just have to suck it up for 8 more nights and sterilize everything I own when I get home. Speaking of bug bites, I have 5 mosquito bites on my foot. It looks like a big puffy red blob and itches like CRAZY!
Chambrey and I saw the town bum (literally) taking a bath in a fountain the other day. You’d think my first thought would be, “wow! He is butt naked in the middle of the big roundabout fountain in the middle of town,” but it was actually, “I’m happy he found a place to do his laundry and take a bath.”
One of my students has an obsession with me. Not joking. He knows my schedule and I frequently find him standing outside whatever classroom I just finished teaching in. Sometimes I hear my name being yelled across campus and pick up the pace a little bit. If I don’t answer the phone when he calls, he calls back again, and again, and again and…you get the picture. He’s already taken a bunch of pictures of me, but yesterday was a little different. After class he asked if he could take another picture of me, then said, “start dancing.” I realized that his camera was a video camera and he wanted to film me dancing. I just started laughing and told him I’m too shy. He looked pretty upset that I wouldn’t dance for him. I feel a little bad, but It was awkward.
I see way too many smashed rats and mice on the road everyday.
My liaison here, Luke, promised to help me with anything I needed when I got to China. I saw him last night and asked him if he would go to the bank with me and translate so I could transfer money from my China bank account to my account in America. After he realized I was not talking about exchanging money, he said, “you can do it on your own. Go to the bank and look for English directions.” Thanks Luke. We also asked where we could use a printer to print off our flight itinerary and he said “Changsha or Guilin.” I doubt that the closest printer is 4 hours away.
I would like to wish a Happy Birthday and Fathers Day to the coolest Mom and Dad out there. I hope to be as active and outgoing as they are one day. With my arthritis and knee surgery I plan on being in a wheelchair in the next 30 years. Not these cool cats. My mom has the ability to slalom ski, effortlessly, and do it without getting a drop of water on her hair. She wins the award for “Best Hair” in Lake Powell ever year, no questions asked. My dad is the coolest guy and will surprise you every now and then with a back flip on the sky ski.
One of my (least) favorite memories of father Mike was on the Gad 2 ski lift. He was on the chair in front of Whitney and I and turned around to yell, “I’ve realized that our family likes to do things on reservoirs of water. In the summer we like to water ski on reservoirs of water and in the winter we like to snow ski on reservoirs of frozen water…” He went on to continue embarrassing Whitney and I as the skiers below listened to our conversation. The point of that random story is that my parents not only are awesome behind a lake, but they also dominate those frozen reservoirs. Whenever I go skiing with them, I find myself racing down the hill just trying to keep up. I remember being at Snowbird with them last winter and thinking “this is going to be the end of my life,” as they explained that all I needed to do to get to safety was jump over a few rocks while holding onto a rope that would prevent me from falling down a cliff to my death.
I hope you get my point. My parents rock. Happy Day to both of you. I love you so much!
(Pictures won’t load right now so I can’t show off their awesomeness, but I assure you they are both blessed with sick skills and good looks.)
If you’re ever in Beijing, I recommend checking out Beijing Hikers. They have a bunch of hikes in and around Beijing at a pretty good price. On our third day in Beijing we went to see The Great Wall with them. The portion of the wall we hiked is unrenovated so we had to hike alongside the wall in some places because it was too dangerous. The wall was weaving through the green mountains and words can’t really describe how beautiful it was so I will rely on pictures.
A little more about Beijing Hikers. We met the group at a hotel and took a two hour bus ride out of Beijing. The hike itself was about four hours. For the first time in China, the tour was not accompanied by a loud, annoying microphone and speaker. Our guides were both from Chicago and everyone in the group spoke English. It was a nice little break from playing charades and speaking extra slow for the day. At the end of the hike they supplied us with a bunch of drinks and snacks, include western delicacies like Oreos and chips and salsa. The cost of the tour was about $43 and was definitely worth it.
The site recommends wearing good hiking boots on all their hikes. I wore tennis shoes which was perfectly fine for this particular hike. Although tennis shoes were fine, I wouldn’t go to the point of saying flip-flops are good hiking shoes as well (despite what Chambrey might think.) Luckily, the woman in charge of Beijing Hikers wasn’t joining us on the hike and just so happened to wear the same size shoe as Chambrey and had an extra pair of hiking boots in her car. Much less fashionable, but much more function-able.