Sunday, December 28, 2008

snow.

snow #3


sorry about the sides being black, i filmed portrait style :/ bad idea.

also, i sound like a child.

also, when I walked out of the door this morning, our gate man ran out and yelled at me, "MAOZI!!!" which means hat. I couldn't find it this morning!

the dance.

For the past few weeks, we have been practicing. Not for something useful, but for our school’s End of the Semester/Christmas/New Year extravaganza. Apparently, I like to dance, so I was awarded a position in this weird Scottish folk dance with a smoke machine and flashing lights.

Did I mention that I am too big for any of the costumes? Apparently my body was not made to fit into tiny asian red-sequined-ruffle skirts. So I look like… I just look ridiculous. I don’t know who thought that this would be a good idea.

Anyway, this past Tuesday was a hectic day. First we had our final exam, which was stressful. Then, we had rehearsal and an impromptu performance (that NO ONE told us about until about 5 minutes before) at the German students’ graduation (a ridiculously embarrassing moment), 4 hours of make-up, and finally the show that evening.

I have assembled some rare footage of our infamous hoe-down above. So you too can laugh at the absurdity that is my life. The first part is a speech that Aubs and Kristin took part in, and Kathryn, Steph and I are in the dance.

At least I got to try on some fake eyelashes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

my baby.

For my birthday back in October, my roommates gave me two turtles! One of them passed away, but the other is having a good old time in his new home. For the first 5 weeks, he refused to eat anything.. and now, he's a chow monster. His favorite is raw ground beef. I have about 1/2 Kilo in the freezer and only feed him a piece about the size of the tip of my pinky finger... so it should last a while....

so, here's a video of my baby eating... I am just so happy he decided to be healthy and eat!
i don't really know if anyone enjoys watching these... but i like making them... so yeah..


video



I am currently trying to figure a way to bring him back to the states with me....

Monday, December 15, 2008

tight ride.

this dog was so cute, and he barely fit on that bike... i don't know how he manages to stay on! his big fluffy tail was almost dragging the ground.. sorry no picture of that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

good day.

I went on a great walk yesterday and took some photos of my street:










these guys were building this really cool brick wall.. but I went by there today, and they covered the whole thing with cement. sad.




and had a successful shopping trip - bought two winter necessities.. I finally found a slouch hat ($3) and these fabulously ridiculous mittens that are all the rage over here in east asia...


and alfred (my plant) is dying in the background. i should just stop trying to have plants.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

KFC

Yesterday, I was in KFC for a good.... I don't know, 3 hours. We went to another city to visit and needed a good place to hide from the freezing temperatures outside. Western restaurants like mckies, KFC and, my personal favorite, Starbucks (which we do not have in my city ☹ ) are really great because they are a guaranteed quiet, clean place with nice bathrooms and lots of seating.

Anyway, I was there during lunch. And this was a particularly hard thing for me. I was REALLY tempted to eat a chicken sandwich – they just looked soooo good. But I was able to control myself and went somewhere else for lunch.

Aside from an egg tart a few weeks ago, and maybe some biscuits during growth group, I have not eaten any KFC products in about 8 years. When I was a sophomore in high school, I watched some video (probably circulated by PETA) about how their chickens live in horrible conditions and they cut their beaks off with this awful machine. Even though I really really loved their triple crunch chicken sandwich, I vowed never to give my money to KFC again. And technically, I have not.

Being here, I have been very tempted to buy some delicious KFC goodness because it is convenient, tastes like home, and you can’t go wrong with some good old fried chicken. And sometimes I think, “it doesn’t count because these chickens aren’t from America,” or “well, everyone treats their chickens the same, and I eat chicken all of the time, and love McDonald’s chicken so what is the difference?” But I guess it is the principle… I watched some stupid movie, and decided I would take a stand against KFC. So take THAT Colonel Sanders!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

a chipmunks wooly bully.

I've had this song stuck in my head, and I think that this is my favorite version of the song. enjoy :)


as you can tell I have gone a little youtube happy.

the game.

On Sunday we had the distinct pleasure of attending a professional ‘football’ game… now I don’t know why I thought that it would be like any other professional sports game I have been to in the past… I don’t know why I thought that I would be able to purchase refreshments, hotdogs, maybe some cotton candy. I don’t know why I thought that there would be a lot of music and cheering fans. I don’t know why I thought that we would sit in the seats printed on our tickets..

Needless to say, I encountered many surprises at this game. Now, this was a big game because it was the final game or something like that… and our team was playing one of the best teams in the league. So it was a big deal. When we got to the stadium uniformed military personnel surrounding the perimeter and a huge mass of people crowded outside the gates greeted us. We jumped into the mass and started pushing our way to the front. When we got to the front, military guys holding onto our shoulders physically forced us into a single-file line. Aubrey got through alright, but Steph and I were given weird looks, and through a lot of yelling and hand motions we realized we were at the wrong gate. Great. We have to go through all of THAT again. We went over to the next gate and just shoved ourselves in front of the mass and were immediately forced through these metal fences… no single-file lines this time, just good old cram-as-many-people-into-this-space-as-physically-possible.


We finally got through the cattle fences and got to our entrance door only to find another huge mass of people:



We jumped into this one feeling like pros, but we didn’t get very far. About a minute of pushing later, I watched as the mob knocked over the tiny metal detector that probably wasn’t doing anything to begin with and start rushing the door. The military guys couldn’t do anything against the mob that just wanted to watch the game… so they blew a bunch of whistles, called for back-up, and closed the huge metal doors to the entrance… which made all of us really angry. Steph and I joined in the yelling, but after a while I figured they weren’t going to open the doors anytime soon since the crowd wasn’t dying down and people were getting impatient. We pushed our way to freedom and saw a bunch of people running towards another entrance.. so we ran after them.. but the next 4 gates were also closed with huge mobs of people yelling outside of them…



We finally squeezed through entrance 16 before the doors closed and we were finally in the game! But then we had to hop 4 fences to get back to our section and find our seats. We found Kristin and Kathryn in the madness.. were stopped by a couple of police guys… but as Kathryn wisely put it, “Let’s just jump the fence, he doesn’t have anything to beat us with!” soooo yeah.
We made it to our seats and enjoyed the game and the longest lasting wave I have ever witnessed.





Oh, and we won… so of course people lit things on fire to celebrate
:



Saturday, November 29, 2008

a train ride.

we went to a different city this weekend, and this is a clip from the train ride. hope you enjoy :D

Thursday, November 27, 2008

t-giving

In the past few days, I have given a couple of 'lectures' on the traditions of this wonderful american holiday and have been thinking about all of the things I am thankful for.. and it all comes down to family.

I am thankful for my family... that they are so supportive of me
I am thankful for my brother.
I am thankful for my new east asian family.. that we are always there for one another and can share this experience



today, I went on another adventure to find a suitable baking pan.. A friend gave me the name of a market that might have what I was looking for.. so armed with nothing but my fantastic grasp of the language, I hailed a cab and desperately tried to communicate to the driver where I wanted to go. After a few tries, she figured out what I was attempting to say and started driving. We drove through the part of town I was familiar with and started heading into uncharted territory... as the meter reached 14Y, I'm not gonna lie - I got a little nervous.. 1. I have no idea where I am 2. I have no idea where I am going. two not-so-good things. but she finally stopped the car, pointed at a building and told me, "You can buy cheap stuff here." and I'm like.. "yep that's exactly what I am looking for, thank you very much." anyway, to make a long story short, I found pans! They are not kind of pans you are imagining in your head, but they do say, "High Quality Stainless Steel" on the sticker. I bought 3. The first turned out to be way too big for our toaster oven.. and the other two just slightly oversize. We ended up just bending the lip up a little so that it slides into the oven quite nicely. And my casserole taste just like home...

also, tonight, we could see the stars... "it's a Thanksgiving miracle!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

today today today...

I was headed back to campus this afternoon to meet a friend for dinner and was running late because I overslept, so I was forced to take a cab - during rush hour. I got in, told the guy where to go, and didn't even notice that he didn't turn the meter on. So about a block later and driving slowly, he pulled over in front of some guy and they yelled at each other through the window... it was then that i noticed that the meter wasn't on, and my driver was trying to solicit more people to get into his cab... shadddyyy... now, I didn't really know if this is normal or not because I've never taken a cab during rush hour.. and I kind of thought, "Oh what are the chances that someone is going to the same place I am.." HA. 2-3 people later, a woman gets in the cab.. she gives me a weird look as she gets in the front seat, and still looking at me weirdly, leans over and says "hello!" then asks the man where I am from.. I just laugh cause this is getting a little ridiculous..

We ride the rest of the way to school in awkward silence, all the while I am thinking.. "there is no way I am paying the usual 8.30 for this cab.. crap, I only have a ten. what am I going to do!?" We finally get to school and I ask how much it will be because I want to settle on the price beforehand.. he smugly tells me "shi kuai" (10) I yell at him, "Bu shi!" and tell him I KNOW how much it costs, I am only paying him 8. meanwhile, he and the woman both start giggling... and we settle on 7.5 (the starting price for cabs.) so I had an interesting cab ride for 1 kuai less than usual. :)

After dinner, I headed to Wal-mart (of all places) to look for a baking pan for my thanksgiving dish.. btw, no one bakes here! they have NO baking supplies. ridiculous right?
anyway, I came across... what? the Christmas Aisle. How awesome is that, it's not even thanksgiving yet, and Christmas is already starting in East Asia. But the point of my mentioning the Christmas Aisle in Wal-mart is... this:


how creepy is that??

Monday, November 24, 2008

mystery 1.

living in a foreign land means that two things come with every new day: misunderstandings and unexplainable mysteries.

my second favorite mystery of this foreign place has to do with the little man who delivers our water. see, in the town where i live, the tap water is non-potable. we must order our jugs of drinking water. when we first moved in, a friend gave us the "water number" and a script (complete with pauses for questions and everything). as we learn more vocabulary, the script makes more and more sense, and now we are pretty close to knowing what we are actually saying. Anyway, about fifteen minutes after you make the call and read your script, a little man carrying two jugs of water on his back knocks on your fifth floor door. its like magic.

a few weeks ago, my roommate called our beloved water man, only to find the phone line busy. she forgot to call a second time, and it would have gone unnoticed if twenty minutes later, our water man didn't knock on our door. but he did, this time with only one jug of water. as he replaced our old jug with the new, we stood there, mouths agape, wondering how the heck he knew we were in desperate need of water.. did he have caller ID all of the sudden, even though said roommate had never called waterman before? did he note the date of our last water purchase and assume we needed more water? or did we actually call the waterman?

as he shuffled toward the door, we tried to pay him the usual amount, but he refused. then, he started talking about american money... very confused, we found a quarter in our belongings and showed it to him to see if that was what he wanted... he asked how much it was worth, and then handed it back to us. still confused by his actions and our nonexistent language skills, we handed it back to him and told him he could have it.. he looked pleased and, still refusing our local currency, walked out the door.

we are still unaware of his original motives for bringing us that jug of water and how he knew we needed it... but everytime we see him, he gets this big grin on his face so i guess all is well.. and the last time he came to visit, we gave him an american bill, so he has been more cheerful than usual.


in other news:
i have a creative block.
and am listening to feist on repeat.
it's bad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

xin de

i feel torn.

the old blog was lovely. i mean, i liked it. i don't know if you did. but it was a little... how to say... stifling. so this one will be more low-key and fun :D

Today, we were invited to have lunch with teacher friend of our teacher. As usual, I know absolutely nothing about the order of events. But i do know that we will be making and munching on jiaozi!