Monday, October 27, 2014

Saturday Festivities

On Saturday a friend and coworker had brunch at his place--which turned into a day-drinking day of festivities. Not quite like a football saturday, but pretty close :)

Everyone brought something and we had a pretty amazing meal for China

The only thing missing was a good bloody mary (bloody mary mix is hard to find here)

After we went adventuring around Jinan

And ended up at KTV (America needs to get on the KTV bandwagon--singing karaoke with a group of friends is way more fun/entertaining than in a room of random drunk strangers)

And then we grabbed some dinner--basically you pick a bunch of food and they stir fry it with a spicy sauce--kinda like hot pot but without the soup base

After that we walked around the main square and the springs

Successful day in Jinan :)

Work Work Work

Last week I had my senior 1s (Sophomores) research about a city in America or Canada and create a pamphlet. 

This was the first time they have ever done group work and presented it in this way so it was a long, guided process. 

Many of them had a long night the night before...but I think they learned the importance of not procrastinating and working together as a group, which are foreign to the Chinese curriculum/ education system here

With so many students, they work really hard to stand out or have a competitive edge

This one was about Chicago--they told me that Latin is one of the most important languages there and the football team, the Chicago Cubs is pretty good...hmmm

Where is this research coming from? 

Right now, many of our senior 3 students are cramming this week to get their early admission or decision applications and essays in. 

Last week we played 5 Senior students in soccer at lunch--it was really fun since sports and the sense of "community" between senior 1, 2 and 3 students is rare. The kids beat us 5 to 1 (it was kind of a joke) and were shocked that I played and actually know how to play soccer. (Afterwards I wasn't able to move for a few days) 

Friday is our Halloween Party! Still not sure what I will be...hmmm

Birthday #3 in China

On Thursday last week I celebrated birthday #3 in China. 

Somehow the students found out that it was my birthday and surprised me with cakes, cards, bracelets and various other gifts. 

I was a little surprised because in China government officials and teachers are not supposed to accept or be given gifts because of corruption/bribery student told me they bought me a cup but could not give it to me so maybe it is over a certain amount of money.

I didn't really have the energy or feel like planning anything, but my coworker suggested we do dinner so Friday we went to a buffet BBQ where they came around and cut meat for us

Since a new kind of beer was on tap, we got free beer then there was a "beer holding" contest 

Haha one of my coworkers got 3rd place--it is a lot more difficult than it looks!

Overall it was a pretty nice birthday away from home. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nom nom nom

This was a special at Walmart today...mystery meat (aka pig face...)
I think I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but this is one thing I would never have the guts to try

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bouncing back from an awful week!

Last Wednesday marked the end of our National Holiday--we came back to work and had to work Saturday as a result of the extra days added to our holiday. (WOMP)

When I arrived home from my wonderful week traveling...

1. My laundry machine would not hook up to my faucet in my sink (dirty clothes piled up)

2. My sink got clogged

3. My toilet is leaking sewage

4. My priority mail still had not arrived (SOS need medicine!)

5. And on top of computer (my life) crashed on Thursday

After work Thursday I literally could not think of anything that would make my day better that was within reach...I couldn't vent to my mom or friends, the pollution was too bad to go running, I couldn't cuddle with my puppy or go walk around target/barnes n noble, I have no money to go shopping...

I have never felt so defeated--it was an all time low for me in China....the solution--wine. and ryan gosling ;)

A few days before this happened my hair stylist in Beijing texted me she would be out of town for the next month, so I booked train tickets to and from Beijing to get my hair done on Sunday--the only day off this week.

Below is the picture of the huge shopping center near my hair salon

This ended up being a blessing because right next to the salon is one of the few legit Apple stores in China. After my hair appointment, I went in to see what they could do. They were out of reservations for the day, but when I told them I was leaving at 4:30 they took my computer and looked at it right away. They quickly targeted the problem and said they could fix it in an hour.

One more apple care had expired 10 days ago so it would cost $300 for the part and service. However when I came back to pick up my computer, they said since I had never used my apple care over the last three years, my repair today would be free.

EEK--such a successful day! Everything worked out--the only problem I'm still dealing with is my toilet (woof)

The iPhone 6 will come to stores October 14th in China (finally)

There were a ton of security people in the store

And then tons of people right outside selling iPhone 6s

At the railway station I treated myself to a McDonalds ice cream cone (it was pink I couldn't resist)

The pink was Jasmine flavor--ew...not a fan

Some more pics around Beijing--(mainly people watching)

The murse--not unusual to see, but usually it's a small side-satchel. or if its a full out purse there is a woman in sight. (I really like his taste tho--very stylish, bravo) 

The voice in the metro station says over and over again to keep to the right--i wish i could say 
"get out of the wayyyyy!"

Old people playing ping pong--they were amazing

A sign in a bathroom
(nice to see this in China finally!) 

Haha and another sign...

A cat chillin in a fruit/vegetable market (is anyone else grossed out by this?)

This man fell into the crowded subway exhausted and just took a seat on the ground

A few days ago--the blood moon

Heres to a new week! (and payday) xoxoxo

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shenzhen--home away from home

My last two days were just hanging out in Shenzhen. I felt at home again--it was so nice to see old friends and go to places that I am so familiar with.

The first day in Shenzhen a friend took me to a path along the coast--we rented bikes and enjoyed the scenery

And the people watching

I love Shenzhen because there are huge beautiful parks where you can have a picnic at or walk around or just relax. 

In Jinan there are motorbikes everywhere and parks are so crowded you can't just relax. Plus the weather is not usually nice and the landscaping is not like Shenzhen. 

It was really nice in the morning but then it got pretty crowded...some girl rode her bike right into me.

After that I ran some errands...

This is a mall display/play place. Coolest play place ever

I had to go to my nail ladies in Shenzhen--they do such a better job than the ones in Jinan and for a cheaper price

Its becoming more common to see advertisements that show how bad smoking is for you. However, many people (mostly men) smoke--it is part of the social culture/business culture so it is a hard (but disgusting) habit to get rid of. In hotels you often see signs that say "please do not smoke in bed" 

In Hong Kong you see buttons to press if you see someone smoking in a public space and there is a $500 HKD fine (about $75 USD)  

After that I met friends for hot pot (one of my favorite things to eat in China)
Sooooooooo good to see old friends! <3 <3 Check out my sunburn...yike

The next day I met a friend and checked out the Science Museum 
Before I grabbed coffee at McD's in the metro

There was a huge cosplay met-up there (you can see the girl in the blue). Cosplay is very popular in Japan and seems to be getting more popular in China. You dress up in costume...then I don't know what you do. Just hang out all day in costume? 

Also check it any restaurant in China when you're finished you just leave your stuff..there is a worker who specifically just cleans up after people. When Chinese people travel to America they are shocked to see Americans throwing their trash away at places like McDonalds and Starbucks. 

The Science Museum! It was pretty neat but did not compare to a science museum in the US...

After that we went to a super cozy coffee shop...which are becoming more and more popular in China

The was really expensive and it was romantic lighting, I'm not sure how people were working on their laptops or reading

It also smelled like someone was smoking right next to us, which I wouldn't be surprised if they were. 

It's funny because it was definitely european--french inspired but there were pictures of marilyn monroe and elvis and audrey hepburn everywhere (typical Chinese decorating)

You can see above the pictures and the mass amounts of books and magazines the place had...I love coffee shops, if it didn't smell like smoke and the lights were a little brighter this would definitely be a regular spot for me. 

After that I met a friend who worked for the same company that I did, but quit and took a new position in Shenzhen

It was so nice catching up with her and grabbing western food (MEXICAN!) from one of my favorite/regular spots 

After that I went back to my hotel and got ready for an early wake up call...back to Guangzhou/Jinan.

I swear Chinese people do not know how to make a single file line--so frustrating 

The best part about flying in China is when you land. The loudspeakers are saying over and over again "Please remain seated with your seat belts on until the plane has made a complete stop" but literally the second the plane hits the run way and puts the breaks on, people jump out of their seat to grab their overhead carry-ons and form a line to race off the plane. They do not let you file out like we disembark airplanes in any other's insane. 

And then a few minutes later, I see them again when we all wait for our luggage in the baggage claim.