Tuesday, July 22, 2008

i was tempted to reference harry potter in this title, and then, i decided not to.

at the start of the summer, young, wide-eyed, impressionable maeve loved travelling on the red-eye wonder that is the sleeper bus. the cozy cocoon-esque doubledecker beds seemed mystical and glorious. even as the yunnan mountainous terrain sent the bus winding around corners, i believed in these vehicles, i lived for them. well, this past week i have opened a new chapter in my life entitled 'die sleeper bus, die!'

our journey across the southern silk road, where we picked up a travelling breakdancing spaniard along the way, began with a sleeper bus. it had been the first one in awhile and after a night on the hard seaters, we were giddy for it. turns out lonely planet hasn't kept up with the chinese times--surprise, surprise--and what was supposed to be a 16-hour ride was actually cut down to 6-hours. so, we never actually slept in that guy. bummer.

flash forward a week. after an incredible experience in kashgar and karakul lake where we rode on motorcycles with locals, had a funny birthday celebration with some brits and aussies--if you see me ask me about the thailand prison and shanghai kindergarten stories--we boarded the 25-hour bus from kashgar to urumqi--trivia for ya'll: urumqi is the furthest city from the sea...in the world. neat! once again, after a few terrible normal bus experiences, we were looking forward to laying down...fuck that. not a fun way to spend a whole day.

a day later, without any other mode of transportation, we had to ride another overnighter. this time, we got to choose our beds, and since the back of the bus had beds that were completely flat, we jumped all over them. so, i know that the back of the bus is the cool place to be. you know, the hot spot for truth-or-dare, roll-calls, or if you were a member of the 2000 8th grade parker boys soccer team...wait, no, shouldn't bring that up. anyways, that rule does not apply here. the word 'bumpy' doesn't even give those 17 hours justice.

finally, last night, as i stepped onto my final sleeper bus, i had a good feeling about it. the beds were the best that we had seen. completely flat and longer, too... i could almost completely stretch out. it would be a good night. well, of course, about two hours in, the damn machine broke down. we waited for another two hours for a second bus to come, but when it came, it turned into a free-for-all of who could get a seat. luckily we scored the first two top bunks--learning from our last mistake. dear sleeper buses, you've served your purpose and for that i thank you. now, peace brah.

so yeah, tomorrow i head to the beijinger where some friends will try to convince me that it isn't the filthy, disgusting place that it really is. don't worry, they won't succeed. on friday, i will be departing chiner. to be honest, i am fucking terrified to return to the states... how do i socialize with people, again? but, then i think about a hot dougs hot dog, and i almost pee myself.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

lip my stocking

hola amigos. what's the deal? i know it's been a long time since i've rapped at ya, but the health fairy ain't been dropping dolla bills under my pillow these days. i caught some sort of bug last week, which left me coughin, sweatin, and not sleepin. but, now, the clouds are starting to part and the suns a shinin. so, anyways, now that all your burgers have been grilled, hot dogs charred, potato salads picked at, ya'll might be wondering, how the hell do you celebrate fourth of july in china. well, children, here's one way:

ok, first, i gotta give a brief introduction. i don't know if i have mentioned this already or not, but i seriously believe that the movie 'lost in translation' played a major role in my decision to study chinese. i'm not a fool, i know the movie takes place in tokyo, but chinese is just so hip these days, i caught the sino-fever. i remember watching it for the first time, though, and there was something about those neon lights and how out of place bill and scarlet looked/felt that pulled me in. and, the karaoke scene, of course. i mean, who wouldn't want to wear a pink wig, sing epic ballads off tune with local asian friends. so yeah, that has been a major fantasy of mine for some time.

flash forward: july 4, 2008. chynna and i check out the terracotta soldiers in the morning. i feel awful. no appetite, my head is pounding and my bowels are just being cruel to me. fourth of july is looking grimm for maeve. by the afternoon, after some advil and rest, i'm feeling much better. we start playing some pool--we have one rule this summer: whenever we see a pool table, we have to play. it's been awesome--when all of a sudden a group of chinese girls walk in and chynna gets really excited. you see, these ladies are not just any chinese broads, but in fact, the chicks that chynna met the night before when i had gone to be wicked early. chynna had been reading in the hostel bar/cafe area when the aforementioned group started talking to her. eventually, they asked her if she 'liked girls'. apparently they assumed that we were a lesbian couple travelling around together. after chynna laughed-- we are fully aware that we do indeed look like a gay couple. in fact, we have decided that the title of my memoir will be: 'my summer in china; or how i became a lesbian'... we're still working on the spelling...--she returned the question to which she received a positive response. our first real chinese friends=a group of lesbians... yes! so, they came back on the 4th and, wait for it, took us out to KTV (karaoke in private rooms)! really, no words to describe the euphoria. no offense america, but i don't think your silly little barbeques, parades and sparklers will ever rival pouring my heart out to whitney and celine, wearing a pink wig (!) and bonding with a group of dope chinese lesbians. bob harris would have been proud.

whew. long. ok. so tonight we begin our journey west... starting with a 16-hour train ride in hard seaters. glory god help me!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a marriage for the walking

ok, folks. it's over. i'm done. finito. i have found my paradise. and no, it is not the newly named 'shangri-la', that would just be too cliche. it is, in fact, lugu lake, which is on the border of yunnan and sichuan provinces. first of all, we weren't even planning on coming to this exquisite destination, but as luck would have it, and with a little help from the mccarthy-hating political party--once again, i'm being careful with my words here--we stumbled upon the lake. you see, we had planned on trekking across southwesten sichuan, but since it is an ibettay region, we couldn't even buy tickets at the bus station. so, after one last trip to mama naxi's in lijiang--and one more goodbye necklace and kiss--we jumped in a van with two chinese photographers and four exchange students from singapore for the seven hour journey.

lugu lake sits at 2685 meters on the yunnan-guishou plateau, is surrounded by gorgeous--said in a thick new york accent--mountains, and has crystal-clear blue water...something i had never seen in china. additionally, and the real reason why i'm never leaving, the mosu people reside in the area. according to lonely planet, the mosu are the last practicing matriarchal society in the world...but this ain't yo' normal mama sits at the head of the table society. they have this long-standing tradition known as zou hun, 'walking marriage'. so, the women of the village call the men over for the night. the dudes, hoever, have to arrive later than midnight and leave before daybreak, because if they are caught by the parents, they have to work for the girlfriend's family for three years....dang, talk about some killer walk of shames, though. moreever--said in a thick jimmy carter accent--if the man is willing and able, he can have multiple lady friends and if a child is produced he bears no responsibility. side note: the men do, however, help in rearing other children in their family, i.e. his sister's kids and what not. so yeah, pretty fascinating place.

in other news, i've got killer teva/flip-flop, watch, shorts and wife-beater tan lines going. and, chynna now has a natural, accidental mohawk.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

mama store yo' stuff fo' FREE

whoa. it has been a long time, yo. here's a snapshot of recent events and stufff.

hangzhou=over. i shall miss thee sweet ol' harry potter-meets-scarborough fair-street-cleaning truck theme song. and you too, tad. hellogoodbye will forever remind me of cruising around on all of your bright green glory.

the first week of summer vacation brought yunnan. mama naxi (pronounced nah-SEE). tiger leaping gorge. back to the chinese food diet. french-canadian travel friends. first degree sunburns. sleeper-bus nests. naked sleeping. yak meat. uncooperative pigs. kung fu/tai chi monestary. tipping points. 24 hour solo train ride.

the second week was luxury in hong kong. and i ate lox. it was delicious.

best story:
i'm out to dinner in kunming and i had to pee so i cruise through a creepy alley into the public bathroom, which consists of a long troth and short 3 foot separating walls... no doors. there i am, squatting, doing my business when this little girl strolls in and comes straight to my notso private stall. as im peeing she casually asks me "are you a foreigner?"...let's think about this. i'm 5'9, got blue eyes and am wearing flip-flops, as the wise gob once said, COME ON! i answer her question anyway, because she's super cute and i'm simultaneously plotting how i can steal her, but apparently girlfriend just wasn't satisfied and continued to stand there, just, watching me. i never thought i would ever be forced to make small talk with a 4 year old while popping a squat...new experience, people, neeew experiences. but wait, oh no, it's not over. when i'm paying the 2 jiao, the little devil runs up behind me and slaps my ass... whaaaat? hello sexual harassment!

k. cool. tomorrow, i head back to yunnan and will continue traveling. first stop: zhong dian, now known as 'shangri-la'. in order to boost tourism, the chinese gov't declared it the real life location of james hilton's mythical, age-defining paradise from the lost horizon. so yeah. if you never hear from me again it's because i'm chilling at the lamasery, playing some unknown chopin pieces, conversing with perrault, falling in love with lo-tsen and learning how to live for a few more centuries.

below is my last installment of visual delights, as my computer is going home with my sister manana. enjoy children. and i'll hit y'all up next time i can.

tim's first day in china. who's the creeper now buddy?
chynna in her nest on the sleeper bus.
lijiang in the morning, before the tourists swarm...yes.waterfall at tiger leaping gorge.
legend says that this here is where a tiger leapt to freedom from hunters. yeaaah boi!
in the gorge.savage water features yo!
ok. here is the infamous mama naxi of mama naxi's guesthouse in lijiang.
not only does she make a dank muesli with yogurt, strawberries and honey,
but her cell phone ringtone is 'blvd of broken dreams'
by green day as well... hilario.
look how she grabbed my hand. basically, obessssed.
damn you self-timer!
tim and i planned this totally rad pic,
but alas, my canon was too quick for us.
hence the awkward pre-jump pose.
hong kong hotel view. cnn? oil? the real world?
a stark contrast from yunnan, no?lamma island.
ah, the fragrant harbour.

Monday, May 26, 2008

donna martin graduates!

whoa. finals are here. if my life were a tv show, this week would be the season finale and heady shit would go down. but alas, it's not, so instead this splendid time is filled with studying for two tests, an oral presentation (done, schwing!) and a two-person skit, yes, a skit...oh, man, takes me back to ms. stockmann's drama class circa late 90's. i, also, sadly to say, have been frequenting starbucks a lot recently since i cannot study in my room, and, truth be told, miss good coffee. tonight, however, i was rewarded kindly for such indulgent behavior. you see children, i was preparing for my lit final tomorrow when an employee came over and invited me to participate in their 'party' beginning at 6 o'clock. of course i accepted. to make things easy, i have created a bulleted outline of the glorious festivities.
  • first, we--there were about 10 other guests--were escorted to the back area of the cafe and got to order any drink we wanted for free.
  • then, we filled out a card with our names, favorite store--yeah, i didn't really get it, so left that part blank--and favorite starbucks drink.
  • after this brief introduction, they gave us a sample cup of water--not sure why, perhaps to cleanse our palettes?--and told us to down it. then filled it with coffee, made us smell it and slowly sip it. once we finished half of it, they came around and poured orange juice, yes, orange juice, in it and instructed us to finish it. whaaaat? as expected, orange juice + coffee=not so delicious.
  • now, it was time for the games.
    • game one: spelling contest! after taking us behind the bar and showing us how to make a caramel macchiato, they had us spell out 'caramel macchiato' in english and in chinese. i spelled it correctly in english, although had no idea what it was called in chinese, yet still managed to score a 'geography is a flavour' map type thing.... score!
    • game two: picture contest! we were split into two groups. they gave us a bunch of little, colored magnets and we had to make a collage to be judged by the employee moderators. my group made a picture that read: SC (for starbucks and coffee, respectively) = heart. creative, no? the other group wrote out 'love' and had two stick figures holding hands. they declared all of us winners...oh man, takes me back to the parker-'everybody is a winner'-days--and gave us a fold-up starbucks shopping back thing.... and one!
    • game three: trivia! they asked us three questions: where was the first starbucks? when did the first starbucks come to hangzhou? and, how many starbucks are there in hangzhou? i answered the first one right--seattle, duh!-- and won myself a purple stuffed rat... count it!
    • game four: bonding game! so, for the last game, we played a middle-school retreat/NOLS/MOO-esque game. i'm too lazy to write it all out, but i'll tell you this much, it involved holding hands in a circle, pointing, dancing and singing. but yeah, do you believe in miracles? yes! yes! because just as those young americans defeated the unbeatable russians, i, too, came out victorious in this underdog battle.
end of story: i dominated that fucking party. and left with some baller tchotskies...oh man, takes me back to the time i tried to put becca cohen in the charity tchotsky box in 7th grade.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

crazy eights

so, i don't know if y'all have noticed, but this year, thus far, has certainly been an interesting one for china. according to superstitious folk, however, this is not a coincidence. in china, eight is the luckiest number because the word for eight 'ba' resembles the word for prosper 'fa'--source: 'numbers in chinese culture'. yeah middlebury, i referenced wikipedia, whatchu gonna do bout it?! anyways, since the beijing olympics are in 2008, the chinese figured, well shit, that's kinda lucky, now lets make it even more auspicious...so the opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin on 08.08.08 at 8:08:08pm. recently, due to unfortunate events, some are nervous that all this eight business is backfiring. check out this nutso/creeeepy conspiracy i just heard. (ellen-i basically copy-and-pasted this from the email i sent you, so you can skip over the next paragraph)

since the start of the year there have been 3 major, not so fortunate events: a massive snowstorm that stalled all the trains and prevented a whole lot of people from going home for the new year, the riots in tibet and now, this devasting earthquake. here's where shit gets totally crazy...the dates of each occurence add up to eight... snowstorm: january 25 (1+2+5), riots: march 14 (3+1+4) and earthquake: may 12 (5+1+2).....ahh conspiracy theory! clearly there is some sort of higher power and it is not happy with the chinese. i have decided that for the remaining "eight" days--tomorrow for instance--i am going to be extra cautious.

in other news, the olympic torch came to hangzhou on sunday morning. ann, chynna and i went to check it out, but due to a two-layer wall of people--see picture--we were unsuccessful. nonetheless, it was still quite an experience. a lot of screaming and 'i heart china' t-shirts, my favorite was the 'i heart china more than ever!' slogan....because let's face it, before i only sort of loved china, but now, maaaaaan, you don't even know!

even though i am taller than most chinese, i'm not that tall. bummer.
everybody was screaming, and i mean screeeeaming, 'jia you (gee-ah yo)!'
direct translation: add more gas!
my entourage

Thursday, May 15, 2008

who's the awkward one now?

as you have probably figured out, i love awkward moments, live for them, at times, even seek out these muscle-cringing experiences. most of the time, i am fully aware--at least i think i am--that what i am doing, or the situation i am in, is uncomfortable and take it all in. what i am slowly realizing, however, is that some chinese people put my awkwardness to shame, but don't even realize they possess such an empowering attribute.

two examples:
a. i was working at a cafe, and the woman sitting next to me asked to look at my work. i handed her my material, and thought after a few minutes she would simply return it and we would both continue with our respective activities. well, just moments later, she pulled a chair up to my table and began drilling me about my chinese. we hit an awkward silence, so i signaled that i should continue working, once again thinking she would head out. but, no... instead she told me she wanted to watch me work. whaaaaat? so...i...did. it was weird. about twenty minutes later, she asked for my email address and left. while i was tempted to give her the address i usually give people i don't actually want to hear from again--hrosen@middlebury.edu--but i decided that was not necessary. still haven't heard from her though...should i be insulted?

2. a few weeks later, the SAME thing happened, except this time instead of studying, i was running on a treadmill. so yeah, i was just getting my treadmill on, and this little chinese staff lady came to my side. i removed my headphones, and said hello. after returning the greeting, she just stood there...watching me. i had NO idea what to do. so...i...kept running. a minute later she reached over and increased my elevation. um, thanks? then, she left. i thought i was in the clear, but, once again, was mistaken. instead, she came back with some paper towels so i could wipe off my sweat. um, thanks? after 13 minutes of her staring and periodically jumping up and down due to excitement(?), i cruised over to the rowing machine. she squatted down next to me and then just started talking and talking and talking...'i want to speak english with you! oh! but i can't! it's too bad! hehe! i want to take you to my hometown with my boyfriend! hehe! you are so tall, i am trying to grow taller--good luck with that girlfriend--hehe! etc...' after ten minutes, i gave in and we exchanged cell phone numbers. i have since received many text messages from her, asking me when i'm going to return. (un)fortunately, i threw out my back--the same thing happened to me just two days before the production of 'hair' sophomore year of high school. i was bed ridden for a full day and was deathly terrified i wouldn't be able to star in the musical as 'no-name tribe member #7'. but, alas, stole that fucking show--so haven't been back in a few days. as for that trip with her and her boyfriend, i'm thinking about it...

annnnd, totally unrelated to china....today is a glorious day for chicagoans all over the world. after two long, liver-less years, the city council finally reversed the ban on foie gras. now i can look forward to eating a 'joe moore/tom tunney' when i get home...
hot doug's: 1 chicago: 0

Monday, May 12, 2008

bouncing dance floor, hidden dragon

i am glad to report that i have successfully infiltrated the chinese gay scene, and i couldn't be happier. i don't know where my comfort level with gay guys originates from--maybe my cousin chrissy? oh wait, was that a secret?!-- but, regardless, dancing with gay guys is, well, just fun. i have yet to make it to the legendary roscoes in chicago, but for the time being jundu, the gay bar we found in hangzhou has hit the spot. aesthetically speaking, this little dance club looks more like a hole-in-the-wall dive bar you might have stumbled upon in bucktown ten years ago--at least how i imagine bucktown pre-real world/yuppie invasion. the dance floor is pretty small, and while watching the skinny men with shirts pulled up past their stomachs dance, it was hard not to snicker at how their heads/bodies amazingly bounced in sync. well, that was until we ventured onto the floor and realized that it was not suspended into the ground..whaaaat? yeah, i know, increddddible...a little dangerous, but nonetheless absolutely fantabulous. let's just hope that a bouncing dance floor is in the works for the mccullough social space renovation...it would become a freshman heaven on earth.

the day after this groundbreaking discovery--more on earth-shattering activity later--ann, chynna and i headed to the anji bamboo forest, the location of 'crouching tiger, hidden dragon'. rumor has it this place was untouched ten years ago, therefore making it an ideal spot for the film, but leave it to the chinese to completely transform such a pristine area into a crazy tourist site. below are pictures that show the pretty and the hilarious sides of anji...

we ventured off the stair trail...if we had gotten in trouble, we planned on pulling out the "i don't speak chinese" foreigner-card...
greeeeeeen
chynna: warrior or monkey? you decide
because hiking is just too tiring...
roller-coaster type slide...because hiking is just too tiring...
ok, so they had a blow-up human-sized hamster wheel on water. i couldn't say no. but let me tell you, that shit was hard, as seen in the sequence below...

making my way up...
success!
balls!

finally, some of you may have heard about the earthquake that hit sichuan today. apparently it was felt all over china, hangzhou included--i was feeling under the weather and i think slept through it. i still don't know how bad the damage was in sichuan, but aside from a few swaying buildings, nothing serious occurred here, so no need to worry. k, that was almost too serious for me, so have a look at my new boyfriend...i heart comb-overs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

a second reference to 'newsies'

hola, amigos. what do you hear? i know it's been a long time since i rapped at ya, but i been dragging my ass through the routine. the past few weeks have been both monotonous and crazy at the same time...possible? yes. school work has yet to slow down, and with four weeks left, it seems like it never will. so yeah, not fun. buuuuut, i have also had two crapulous--great word, yeah?--nights recently...one in shanghai, one in hangzhou. highlight was when chynna and i ended up at a gay bar dancing with shirtless brits and malaysians in shanghai... yeaaaah college, no parents, ice cream for breakfast!

in other news, summer has hit hangzhou. surprisingly, hangzhou-ians/ans/ers(?) still wear long sleeve shirts and pants, but accessorize the look with the 'sun' umbrella. the past week has brought out more umbrellas than an indian summer monsoon. it's awesome, suddenly rihanna's song is multi-functional. this weather has also led to my increased usage of tad. while riding that little guy is effing sweet, i sorely miss cruising in lloyd, my fantastically ugly turquoise subaru legacy wagon. in order to fill this void in my heart, i have put aside my pride and dignity and started singing like a fool while tearing through the streets. i don't know if it's fate, or all in my head, but i swear every time i hit a scenic bridge or the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, the song hits the chorus and, therefore, the crescendo of the my life-movie montage. top three: 'sunday bloody sunday', 'unwritten' and 'carrying the banner'. the last is the best...each time i hear the line 'we need a good assassination!' i think of that epic jack kelly pelvic thrust.

finally, today i tried to make breakfast--egg/toad in a hole--and failed miserably...big surprise there. *update* apparently in new jersey they call this fine delicacy "rocky mountain toast"...i don't understand...jersey, they would.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the road not taken

so i was trying to find a particular chinese movie online, and instead stumbled upon this. enjoy.

http://www.56.com/u78/v_MTM3NzkxOTU.html

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"china's loyal youth"

hey all- check out this article from the april 13 nytimes.... it pretty much hits spot on the current attitudes of chinese college/college-aged folk. gives a more in-depth/not-awkward (sorry, sorry) look at what i've been experiencing here.

annnnd... speaking of governments that control media...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

to stick up / to rise on one end / to tilt

yesterday my roommate told me she liked my butt, gave it a little slap and said it was 很翘 ('qiao'-see title).... i don't even know what to say, except that i guess it's a nice break from the usual 'maeve, you don't have an ass'.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

chynna tales


meet chynna--not to be confused with chyna, the professional wrestler--and yep,that is her real name annnd she's studying chinese in china. destiny, no? well, she has racked up her fair share of some pretty savage stories, which i wanted to share with y'all.

so first of all, yeah, the whole name thing really confuses people here. best encounter with some dood in a bar:
hi, what's your name?
chynna?
oh...ha, that's a good one.
no, really, my name is chynna.
ohhhh, nice to meet you, i'm japan.
and then the fucker walked away. keep up the good fight girlfriend.

second chynna story. she overheard a conversation between a little boy and an old man. here's what was said:
old man: no, that's not a cat. that's not a cat. it's a lady!

final tale:
chynna has wicked game. she met a young chinese bachelor on a campus bench, and they got to talking. turns out, the chinese guy absolutely loved national treasure2, and insisted on lending her his copy. well, a week later, what do you know, they made a date. a dinner date. picture this, and boys, take note: a tuesday night, er, afternoon, 4:30 in the school cafeteria...that's hot. not only did they talk about movies, buuuut tv as well! he's a rachel-guy, which led to a debate as chynna leans toward chandler. wow, nothing like an sexy affair in a foreign country, eh? once again, keep up the good fight girlfriend.

ok. more of my stories later. ps my roommate has some sort of vegetable-meat dish that has been hanging out in our room all afternoon and it's raining which means the sliding door has been shut all day...i might vomit.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

can i get an encore?... sans linkin park

so as midterms week looms near, thus signifying the semester's, well, mid-term, my life here in hangzhou has developed a cute little rhythm-damnit, i don't think i have ever spelled that word correctly in a first attempt. this is great, this is exciting, it means that i have finally settled down in china, something, that a few months ago seemed like another world away. this, however, also means, that in some ways, my everyday life has now developed a...hm, boring's not the right word..maybe regular? (no insult to regs a.k.a 'students of typical september matriculation'--definition provided by a mr. hank rosen)..sorry, has developed a regular routine. i wake up, sometimes early enough to swim, check my email, read the front page of nytimes.com and bbcnews.com, eat oatmeal, go to class/do work, putz around/play dopewars--i had to download it again, eat lunch, take a nap, ok, y'all get it. it's great, though, because now, the smallest things make me reaaaally happy. for instance, this weekend, i discovered npr's live concerts from 'all songs considered' podcast. it's incredible. they have over 60 live concerts, for free. seriously though, heaven sent.

in continuing with this new independent lifestyle, last friday night i ventured to the hangzhou grand theater to see a piano/violin duet. while waiting for the bus, a little old man asked whether i was going to the concert, and we hit it off from there. we rode the bus together, where he asked if the u.s. was going to split any time soon and how many different ethnic groups we had--somebody's got ibetay and aiwantay on their mind, no?. when the bus driver got lost, luckily he was there to set his course straight, and once inside the theater, he invited me to browse the theater's various performance photos with him. the concert hall was pretty sweet, followed by a great concert that ranged from carmen's fantasy on themes to a chinese traditional piece. the best part, however, was the encore. let's just say, the complicated encore procedure was not received well by the chinese audience. the first encore was preceeded by the duet exiting and returning the stage two times. at this time, about ten people awkwardly stood and then sat back down, slightly confused and embarassed. after that, however, about half the audience stood up to leave, and were completely baffled when the performers did the whole process, again. it was great. people were all over the place, not knowing what to do, but this time it was apparent that they were frustrated. yo, word up, when the hell is it actually going to end? stop fucking with us like we're experimental lab rats, damnit. so yeah, about half of them left. and i was in bed at 10:30 on a friday night.

whoa buddy...front row.. that's ballsy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

why is maeve awake at 6:20...am?

so. yesterday, i went to the college pool (olympic size, not too shabby) to buy a swimming card. my swimming career began a few years back, and even though i'm no conor stinson, i still get by with your basic crawl. sometimes i feel like ben covington releasing all of my angst against my estranged father, or sorting out my fickle feelings for felicity porter--whoa, sorry, it's just that i discovered that you can find just about any tv show on chinese websites, so that's been my main leisure activity recently.

anyways, being my father's daughter, i bought the morning 30-time-use card, as it was half the price of the regular one. i can only use it from 6-7:30am...looks like maeve's going to become a morning person....who wants to start a pool of how long that will last. so yeah, this morning, i bucked up, woke up early, and rode 'tad' to the pool. when i walked by the front desk i saw a tv monitor, which at the time i thought was a real-time video of the pool. i looked at it and thought 'score. nobody's there'. wow, i was a fool. this country has 1.3 billion people, no place is ever that empty. as soon as i walked out of the locker room, i was taken back to those summer nights at the high ridge ymca, except less children, and more elderly--which probably is a good thing...i'm thinking less urine? ew. that's gross, sorry. half the pool had lap lanes, except, each one had around eight people slowly getting their butterfly on. after one lap, which took fooooooorever, i decided to move to the open half. yo, swimming laps has never been so exciting. i felt like mario in the underwater worlds, as i maneuvered around each kicking foot and outstretched arm. yes, yes. it was a video game and i am the master.

Monday, March 17, 2008

dalai la...whaaaat?

i need to be verrrry cautious here...dealing with sensitive material.

sooo, due to 'heightened activity' in a place that starts with a 't' and ends with 'ibet', the governing body of a large, panda-loving country, lets call 'shinah', has disallowed access to a certain popular video-sharing website...if you don't understand what ima sayin, it's time to crawl out of that paper bag you are living in. i know what you're thinking...how the hell am i going to live without phil collins music videos? do not fear. i have great friends. a mr. richard kenwyn saunders--not to be confused with richard saunders, the director of the middlebury college museum of art and walter cerf distinguished college professor--has supplied me with hours and hours of fun, found here: http://www.nobodyhere.com/toren.hier.....ten minutes, and i've already forgotten the url for youtube.

i leave you with some photographs from our camping trip this weekend...

old school...
i had to...


Friday, March 7, 2008

annnd...they're back. ALRIGHT!

last night i was warped back to 1999. to the days of bar/bat mitzvahs, y2k, the legendary 6 9's math test--whooa, ms triplett, that was a little dirty!--'going out' with bob mccormick, etc. how did this happen? you might ask. well, it was as easy as stepping into the hangzhou dragon gymnasium for the backstreet boys 2008 'unbreakable' tour. yes, i did it. i bought tickets and went to see the backstreet boys--sans kevin--live in concert, and let me tell you, it was worth every penny. after an enthralling 'larger than life' opening number, set in a boxing match (see video), they raised the mother-fucking roof with a sweet mix of new--actually, not so sweet--and old--un-flippin-believable--songs. they sang about life's sorrows through 'show me the meaning of being lonely' over a poker game, and what true love is all about through 'all i have to give' over a warm fire-trashcan on a staged cold winters night. for one song, they displayed a heart-warming, albeit irrational, monotage of harlem. a few of them even gave us a taste of how shitty their solo work is. 'backstreets's back' left us screaming for an encore--a few fools actually left at this point...come on--and ended the evening with the joyous 'shape of my heart'. all in all, it was a ridiculous experience.

but there's more...

after the concert, a mob of girls approached us and asked if we were friends with the backstreet boys. after foolishly setting them straight, we talked to them for about ten minutes. the highlight was when one girl asked what chatrooms i like to go to, because recently she's been having a hard time finding ones with 'good' guys. the chatrooms she currently logs into are filled with 'bad' guys who like to say 'sexy' a lot. i was very apologetic i could not help her out, seeing as the last time i was in a chatroom was in 1999 when i dumped billy warden's sorry ass because my heart truly belonged to bob mccormick. annnnnnd we've come full circle. SCENE.

for your viewing pleasure:

i had to.
howie d? is that a fu man chu?
this dude knew every word.
even the songs off the new album
nick....? really?
i, personally, am more of a brian girl
they really are larger than life.
check out my fine cinematography that is synced with the music.
skills, i know.
video

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

wings and orange short-shorts...yeah, you know what i'm talking about...

i'm sure you've heard about it. yellow fever, asiaphilia, jungle fever, yellow plague. call it what you want, it's a phenomena that has swept the western hemisphere since the implementation of the open door policy. i remember the first time i encountered it. ah, yes, 'twas the summer of 2005 when i was working at mamacita's mexican restaurant (r.i.p.) in boystown. a few hours after the gay pride parade, this short white dude walked in and asked for a table for eight. after seating them i noticed that the group consisted of the aforementioned white man and seven asian men, and that the baller's shirt read: once you go asian, you never go back to caucasian. it was an earth-shattering moment.

i digress.

since i started studying chinese i have met a lot of guys with 'yellow fever'... not a surprise there, but then there's my friend luke. i guess you could say luke has 'yellow phobia', in that, he is actually kind of scared of asian temptresses. when around them he gets awkward and nervous, it's really quite entertaining. so, we thought, what better way to celebrate his big 21st birthday than take him to 'hooters hangzhou'. below is a video from our celebration. it speaks for itself. i leave you with this: as the wise michael scott once said, "why do i like hooters? well i will give you two reasons, the boobs and the hot wings."

what you should know before watching the video: luke is wearing red. our waitress' name was shakira. and nik wears his hat like my father.


video

Monday, March 3, 2008

make me a mixed tape?

no, but seriously. somebody, please?

Maeve W-W
Middlebury College School in China
Zhejiang University of Technology
Number 6, Zhaohui District
Box #1026 CET
Hangzhou, P.R.C. 310032

i'll be waiting....

also......

he doesn't know it yet, but we're getting married.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

finally

on today's vocab list:

鸡肋; ji1lei4, something one is reluctant to give up though it is both tasteless and meaningless

this little guy entered my vocabulary a year and a half too late...just imagine all the conversations i could have had by now....

p.s. today i had my first martial arts class... savage.

Monday, February 25, 2008

back to the playground...ew, not like that you creepster.

so this weekend, i had 'go home with my (new) roommate weekend' round 2, which yet again situated me in a little town--much more rural than my beijing roommate's--where they don't speak mandarin. a lot of blank stares. this time, however, i was almost always accompanied by my roommate's cousin's twelve year old, slightly chubby son, because his family reaaaally wanted him to practice english with me. even though the kid was too nervous to speak english, it didn't prevent us from bonding. and, in doing so, took me back to those blissful post-paschen park day camp afternoons... you know, with phil, leon, shanen, bobby and katie sherman, CJ, tim (oh my god, sisters, help me out, what is tim's last name...!), etc... on saturday afternoon, after hiking around mogan mountain, while the adults cooked, we rode around the village on bikes, ate a lot of candy, played cards, and all that fun stuff. it was great, until at dinner i was forced to drink bai jiu-'white alcohol'-a chinese delicacy... whoever thinks grappa is difficult to drink, needs to check this shit out. i don't know of many children downing liquor from a bowl, but whatever, still good ol' family fun.

also, last night i made my first chinese friend...she's nine. you see, i was studying at starbucks --SHOCK! i know, i gave in-- and this girl came over to my table and basically just started hanging out with me. since our chinese is at about the same level, we really bonded. she drew while i read my third-grade level chinese literature stories. her parents ended up taking me out to dinner, where, once again, my psuedo-childhood quickly ended when forced to drink sake. all i know, is her mom got my number, so i'm really hoping we can have a play date soon.

pictures from the weekend:

peace sign!
my new friends (and my roommate, yue yue)
the side of yue yue's house and vegetable gardenthe inside of her home.
pretty sweet set-up actually
cold at times, but still sweet.
mogan mountain
it's a huge tourist site in the summer,
but since the weather is still a little chilly,
nobody was there and we didn't have
to pay the $80RMB entrance fee
don't do it kid!
this kid, tian tian, looooved his toy guns.
it was a definitely a fishing town.
behind yue yue's house there was a river,
with an old man in a little shack watching over it
to make sure thieves didn't steal the fish!
apparently in china snow white is a blonde.
they would.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

tad and fireworks

if i were kidnapped, blindfolded and woke up in an alley in hangzhou at night, i probably would think i was in a war zone. but then, i would slowly walk to the street, probably almost get hit by a car, bike or moped--more to come on mopeds innnn a second-,look up in the sky and see a shit ton of fireworks.....whaaaat? i mean, obvioooously, right? its like the 10th day of the new year, so why not light up some fireworks for the fifteenth night in a row. but seriously, it's actually pretty sweet to be driving along the road and see a continuous string of fireworks. except, now, when back in the states, nothing will impress me, not even you evanston, with your nifty beachside display coordinated to a wide range of music.

so yeah, my friend, the gorgeous, absolutely amazing, needs to be the mother of my babies, kelley coughlan, studied here last semester and left me her moped, 'tad'. 'tad' is the best thing to happen in my life, well, since birth.

note: dear mama and papa, i originally wasn't even going to tell you about the new man in my life, fearing that you would disapprove. well, i can't hide such emotions from you, it just wouldn't be right, so yes, i know, you will worry. but you really shouldn't. things are going to be a lot better now. and yes, i wear a helmet, even though all the cool chinese kids will make fun of me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

hong kong edition

here it is, a little late, but here nonetheless:

Hong Kong: essentially, the land of expats. The island was leased to the British for 99 years after the Opium War in 1899, and their influence is still ever present. White people are everywhere. It was weird. Squatter toilets were rare, toilet paper in public bathrooms was prevalent, pubs called PJ Murphys and Ned Kellys sold pints of Guinness and Stella Artois, while ladies night at clubs gave away pink cosmos in martini glasses. The ‘whiteys’--as the late-night weiner circle workers might adoringly, or belligerently, say--made their presence known through various behavior trends, but none more hilarious than the late night drinking scene at 7-11, yes, 7-11. Drinks along the major bar strip soared up to $75RMB, while 7-11, which were as abundant as starbucks in manhattan, sold beer and girly drinks for $10RMB or, as you can see in the picture below, REAL bottles of carlo rossi….who knew such a thing existed? outside the various 7-11’s there were dozens of foreigners, hanging out, socializing, doing their thing…it was pretty amazing. i don’t know what I will do when I return to a land where 7-11 sells slurpees without the booze.

um, yes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

effin' karma

made it to hangzhou. we don't have internet in our dorms yet, so i'm currently in an internet bar--that's the chinese direct translation--listening to techno, surrounded by dudes playing video games/webcam-chatting and freezing my arse off...hangzhou doesn't have central heating because the weather is suppose to be warm but recently has been experiencing the wrath of global warming. so yeah, my fingers are numb.

oh yeah, since i don't have internet i have to hold off on my hong kong blog-guy because i wrote the entry on the plane when i was bored, but cannot get to it without my computer, so yeah, y'all will have to wait til next time. i hope it's not 'too late to apologize'....one republic, what?! chika chika yeah! whoa, but seriously, that was lame, sorry.

oh man, some guy just let out a monster grunt... must have died or something.

wow, hello ADD. anyways, so my first few experience have definitely been guided by karma...what a bitch. here are two examples:

1. my roommate situation in beijing was baller because i essentially had a single with a chinese friend, in that she was rarely around except when she was taking me out to do cool shit. sweet, no? well, my roommate here, while cool and all, is currently in crutches...she busted her knee and therefore sits in our room allllll day long. karma.

b. on wednesday, my friend beamed 'dope wars' to my palm pilot. it was sweet. in just ten minutes i made $3.5 mil. after officer hardass busted some major coke dealers leading to sky high prices. of course, the next day my palm pilot was stolen in the street. karma. but god, allah, buddha, whoever, seriously? they weren't even real drugs and i totally would have donated a few grand to some sick kids before retiring in the carribbean. give me a fucking break.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

who wants avian flu?

it has been decided, when i retire i am most definitely coming back hurr. boca raton aint got shit on the chinese retirement lifestyle. in guangzhou, for instance, there were old people in parks ballroom dancing--waltzing to 'silent night' in february...because they can, bitches--practicing qigong (breathing exercises), doing some taiqi, sword fighting, playing ping
pong, they even had old people playgrounds... savage life.


also, no relation to old folks, but apparently people here have no qualms with handling live poultry, but when it comes to eating KFC, everybody is given plastic gloves....allllright.


some toenail trimming in the park....
i saw a lot of myself in her
tomorrow i leave for hong kong to celebrate the upcoming year of the rat. rats are disgusting. stories to come.....