Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On the Other Side of the World

Now that you all, including me, know what Andrew's been up to, it's time to share my less interesting activities since he left.

Mostly, I've been working long hours. I have three IELTS test-prep kids that I must finish before I leave China. This means teaching 3, 3-hr classes a day, often covering the same boring crap. It's pretty tedious. But I suppose it's better than the alternative, which is going home and cooking a measley meal by myself and watching House, again by myself. During the weekends, things get a little more interesting.

The first weekend after Andrew left, I joined Morgan et al. for a baozi cooking class in Beijing. Andrew and I had been dying to do this, but it had never been offered on our days off and we could never get a big enough group together to do a private class. Well, with Morgan we were able to make it work, and I finally learned how to make my favorite Chinese dish: steamed pork buns. It was a lot of work, and I'm not sure I'll ever make them again, though Andrew will probably force me to hone my skills.

I also attended several dinners and a party, also courtesy of Morgan's invite. There was a very interesting Hawaiian style birthday party for one of the English-speaking Chinese girls that runs with the ex-pat crowd, and the theme brought out some interesting outfits. I particularly liked Brian's super-tight board shorts, and some random guys scoop-neck pirate shirt. Classic. I also enjoyed the Chinese version of the Hulu, performed to Shakira's "This is Africa" song. As Chris put it: "They were Chinese girls, performing a Hawaiian song, to a Colombian singer's song about Africa." You can't get much more multi-cultural than that.
Me, Brian, and Morgan
Check out the scoop neck
Cool Mongolian restaurant; yes, that' s leg of lamb roasting at our table
Us girls wore our new qipaos to the restaurant (Phylinda, Victoria, me, Morgan)

This past weekend I took my last vacation. I traveled with Victoria to Beijing and we spent the weekend shopping for souvenirs and eating our way through all the western restaurants. For lunch we had crepes and French macarons (the waitress even spoke French!) and dinner was Mexican followed by Italian the following night.

View around Houhai

In between eating, we walked our butts off (I developed several blisters on my feet as a result), picking up touristy kitsch to give to our friends back home. I managed to find another set of dragon/phoenix tea cups to replace the ones I had bought the last time I was in Beijing, but had broken. The one tourist thing we did do was go to the zoo, which was packed, even on a Monday morning. I'm afraid we didn't pay much attention to the animals, as all the children squatting in public was a bit distracting. Seriously, there were plenty of toilets at the zoo; this was completely unnecessary. I did manage to pet a baby zebra! He was cute.

Tonight I'm going out to see the new Pirates movie. If Johnny Depp can't cheer me up, nothing can.

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