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


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!