Hong Kong Along

19 01 2016
 The city of Hong Kong was beautiful but cloudy as we entered the main part of town.

The city of Hong Kong was beautiful but cloudy as we entered the main part of town.

My roommate, Allison, and I headed off for our first leg of vacation, starting with a 4am taxi ride to the Hangzhou airport. We arrived in Hong Kong, exhausted from traveling all day, but spent our next day (the first day of true vacation) visiting the Peak–the highest point to visit in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, the fog (pollution?) was quite heavy, and we ended up IN a cloud at the top.

We took the tram up the mountain to the Peak.

We took the tram up the mountain to the Peak.

Our "amazing views" from the Peak.

Our “amazing views” from the Peak.

Ironically, the views were not amazing.

Ironically, the views were not amazing.

We went back up to the Peak later in the week, and found that the views were, indeed, pretty amazing.

And THIS is what the Peak what it was actually supposed to look like.

And THIS is what the Peak what it was actually supposed to look like.





ShangHair

17 01 2016
AJ getting her hair cut. The man behind the mirror was my hairdresser, Mr. Hu, and AJ's hairdresser is behind her.

AJ getting her hair cut. The man behind the mirror was my hairdresser, Mr. Hu, and AJ’s hairdresser is behind her.

On my last day in Shanghai, AJ and I decided that it would be interesting to check out the salon down the road. We had barely set foot in the door, when the owner pulled us the rest of the way, incredibly excited that we were there. It was quite the place, and they not only cut, but also “styled” our hair in the way they thought most appropriate.

AJ and I after having our hair cut and very intensely styled.

AJ and I after having our hair cut and very intensely styled.

On my way back to ShaoXing, I was able to visit my friend’s home near Jaixing for lunch. Her mom was a great cook!

On our way to my friend's house for lunch.

On our way to my friend’s house for lunch.

My friends' house is on the right.

My friend’s house is on the right.

My friend and her mom. (The photo is a bit blurry)

My friend and her mom. The host is especially generous when there are lots of dishes and when there are crabs or lots of seafood present. (The photo is a bit blurry, though.)

Saying goodbye at the train station.





China American Football League

15 01 2016

Stadium

I have never been to Shanghai before, so this weekend, I visited some friends there. Coincidentally, two of our friends–Jimmy and Ethan–were playing in the championship game of an American Football league, so we went to watch their game together. It was actually pretty fun, despite that most of the stadium was empty and most of the people there didn’t understand much about American football.

The cheerleaders were entertaining... Look closely at their sign.

The cheerleaders were entertaining… Look closely at their signs.

Enjoying a beautiful day at the football championship game.

Enjoying a beautiful day at the football championship game.

Champs!

Champs!





Fuel for the Fire

13 01 2016
The beginnings of our mural on Zion's hill--I mean, staircase.

The beginnings of our mural on Zion’s hill–I mean, staircase.

Hannah (my artistic friend from Hangzhou) and I decided that the time was ripe for Zion’s white walls–I mean, dirt gray walls–to become something beautiful. So I bought paint from the Hangzhou art market, and we started drawing.

I also found marshmallows at the foreign market, so while we celebrated with paint, we also struck our first fire of the year on Zion’s roof.

Our bonfire on the roof of Zion.

Our bonfire on the roof of Zion. I saved all our used shao kao sticks and one-time use chopsticks so we could use them as kindling.





Rickshaw

11 01 2016

According to Google, a rickshaw is a “light, two-wheeled hooded vehicle drawn by one or more people, used chiefly in Asian countries.”

Or, if you live in ShaoXing, Rickshaw is a person. He used to work here as a teacher, and came to visit us this week. We celebrated his birthday as well as Tony’s return from America.

Celebrating Rickshaw's birthday with the team restored!

Celebrating Rickshaw’s birthday with the team restored!

Tony’s return not only brought our team together again, but he also came bearing gifts from American, namely, spices and flannel sheets!

China doesn't have flannel sheets, so my dad packaged these up and sent them to Tony to bring back to China. Thanks, Dad!

China doesn’t have flannel sheets, so my dad packaged these up and sent them to Tony to bring back to China. Thanks, Dad!





Tourism Toothpicks

9 01 2016
These were a few of my favorites, especially the toothpick one. Apparently, this is how my students think of America.

These were a few of my favorites, especially the toothpick one. Apparently, this is how my students think of America.

Our grade books are entirely in Chinese.

Our grade books are entirely in Chinese.

Our semester is finally ending, and we have spent a good chunk of time figuring out our students’ final grades. For my “Tourism” class, I had the students do one postcard for every place that we talked about, and I was pleasantly surprised by the creative results.

And, as a study break, we gathered some friends to go to the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie!

Using the selfie stick after seeing Star Wars!

Using the selfie stick after seeing Star Wars!





“We Should Just Have Ally Pay!”

7 01 2016
My friend and I in an Uber car, on our way to sign a ton of papers and open my online banking.

My friend and I in an Uber car, on our way to sign a ton of papers and open my online banking.

AliPay is a third-party payment option used frequently on phones in China. It is similar to Paypal in America, but general, it is much more effective since most people have it, and you can transfer money to other people as well as businesses (and flights).

After almost losing our spring festival airline tickets due to my American bank, I decided to ask a Chinese friend to come to the bank with me and set up my Chinese online banking–and an AliPay account. It was also my first time using Uber (a taxi service).

With my newly opened account, I bought our final tickets that night and was thankful for how many options I have here in China, as well as all the people willing to help me.

Also, one of the first weeks we here and eating together in China, Brian commented that we should just have AliPay (to pay for our food), but Ally didn’t know what AliPay was at the time. She was indignant about this prospect and said, “Why me?!”








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.