Sunday, August 30, 2009

No One Seems To Miss Me

But I thought I'd tell you about a cheap and wonderful, quick read. It's called "Reading the OED" and it's by a man named Ammon Shea. I bought it at a Dollar General (so it was only a buck), and started reading it. It's great! I recommend it to all the word lovers among you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Real Compliment- Probably Accidentally

In the last days of my trip, we were in Shanghai, and one day we decided to hang out with one of our friends from Bard, CC. She's a vegetarian. So she took us to this really famous vegetarian restaurant that also is completely organic and alcohol free. Go figure. And we each ordered two dishes, I think, so that was 6 in total for CO, CC, and me. And the food was, as you might expect, excellent. CO (I think) had ordered some kind of noodle-y soup, and I was eating that when I discovered a piece of metal in my soup (once it was in my mouth, of course.) This was the first time I'd run into a problem with the food, and this restaurant was classy. So at first I said, "Either my braces are coming apart, or I just found this in my food." And I showed it to CC and CO. I checked my braces. Still intact. So CC complained to the serving people. They apologized and said they would bring us a new one, etc- they were really embarrassed. So while we were waiting, they brought us free drinks. They were very pretty- looked like fruit juice. I love Chinese fruit juice- it's usually fresh- like someone took a watermelon and put it through a blender, or squeezed an orange. This was a nice pink-y red color, so I picked it up and took a huge swig of the stuff. I had had vinegar before to drink in China, only the usually gave it to you in small bottles that held about half a mouthful- not usually in a nice 16 ounce tumbler with a straw. Sour!
But on to the other story. After lunch, CC took us to this underground mall, and we were there for several hours playing around- shopping and getting manicures, etc. And then we went to this giant electronic store, because CO wanted to buy a new electronic dictionary (she broke her first one almost immediately after buying it in Qingdao because she bought a bad brand:( ). So, while she was deciding on that, I decided to buy MSM II a graduation/18th birthday present, in the form of a 320 G external hard drive, all sleek and shiny and new. (I really wanted it for myself, but I had neglected to get him a gift and he was headed off to college.) So I found one, and asked the guy to see it, and then asked how much it was. He wanted about 650 RMB for it. Less than a hundred dollars- so not that expensive, but I had 400 on me, and asked Cassie to borrow another 100 RMB, 500 being my top price, so about 75 dollars. The guy immediately compliments my Chinese- it's automatic for them. They think it makes you want to buy from them. Whatever, I ignore it. So we're arguing, and I tell him my highest is 500. But he won't go lower than 510. So I turned away. He said going once, going twice- no deal. So I walked away. And then he started packaging up and came over to me and said 500 was fine, just for me, yadda, yadda, yadda. And then he turns as he hands it to me, and asks how long I've been studying in China. So I start to say 2 months, but before I get to the 'months', he looks at me and says, "Ah, 2 years, I knew it! That explains why you speak Mandarin better than me!" And I looked him in the eye and told him 2 months. But it was a great compliment.
Alright, there are 2 more quick stories for you, and now I'm off! Love you all

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Busy! Doing... Things. School shopping, mad running. Picking berries. EEEEEK! Well, today is RPM's sweet 16th- that's scary scary scary. So we ordered him a GIANT cheese Danish from the best pastry place (as many of you may know)- Aunt Millie's! Woot! Can't wait for that.
And now for at least ONE China story, since I promised them probably a week ago.
So so so so so. Let's think of one. Ummmmm. I think I told you the story from Tai Shan. That's the one with the giant giant mountain covered in stairs, and we stayed in a hostel at the top? And the funny part was the bathroom. Do you remember this? Sorry if it's old. The bathroom was probably in a 3 by 4 space, with a step up from the room and a folding door with see-through windows. When someone showered, you could have a great conversation becuase it didn't block out any sound at all. So when you got inside, you had a water heater and a shower head, a sink... sort of, and an eastern style.... squat... toilet. The shower: burning hot, or cold. No in between. And the cold had no water pressure. The toilet: squat toilet built into the ground, need I say more? But it gets better, because it had a metal grate that you could put down over the hole in the ground when you were showering. And, the toilet doesn't flush. But no problem- because the sink drains directly into a big metal basin. And when you wanted to flush, you just dumped the basin's water into the toilet... Oh, so much fun. So. And, I forgot- nowhere to put your clothes when you showered. Whee for adventures in other countries!
There's M50, or 50 MoGanShan Road Modern Art Centre in Shanghai. China has a couple of places like this, such as 798 in Beijing. It's just a plot of land, somewhere in the city, and it's filled with old buildings (mostly old factories), and then artists rent spaces and put their work up, for sale and admiration. It's so great! You spend all day walking around looking at crazy art, and beautiful art. And if you get hungry, there's always the little cafe that makes delicious sandwiches and snacks and coke floats... And then there's always rain, it seems, those days.
OK, I gotta check out my journal before I type more. Be back tomorrow!
Love you all!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Links to the Pictures

There are all the links to just about every picture I took in China, excepting the ones I lost (about 350) from Taishan and Qufu. I am sad about being here- I miss China a lot lot lot. And my body is not adjusting very well to American food- which my traveling partner CO also said is a problem she has. My guess is it's the lack of oil and as many vegetables as the Chinese use.
We shall see. I guess I'll prolly make dumplings tomorrow, maybe some other food too, we'll see.
I can't stay, but tomorrow I should have time to blog about traveling at the end of classes. I spent all day today getting the pictures online, so out of luck, out of time.
Much love and many smiles.
Also, I think I'll be tearing apart my old jewelry collection and starting over with some new ideas and more dream catchers and stuffs.
Okay guys, this time I really do have to go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back From China

No time tonight- I'm uploading pictures and stuff, but tomorrow I should have time to write you pages of notes on China. Not that I will, but, you know.
I love you all!