Tuesday, February 26, 2008


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.....

Friday, February 1, 2008

this weather.... WTF?!

wow. these past few days have been the most stressful, adverse, but in the end, most rewarding days of my life. i have never seen weather/human behavior like this before...freezing wind and frigid temperatures accompanied by people throwing their children in front of lines in hopes of securing the last hard-seater tickets. mother nature, and her stubborn need to test our patience and will, has sent me all over this country.... sleeping in airports, shoving old women out of the way as a desperate attempt to board trains and standing for fourteen hours in smoke-filled red-eye bus........psych!

yeah, none of that actually happened to me. but seriously though, i've been reading about all the chaos ensuing in china, but haven't been affected by it at alll....whaaaat? i'm confused/incredibly relieved. three days ago a few friends and i casually walked into the beijing airport, boarded a plane on time, received delicious in-flight dumplings and landed in zhuhai.... i was in bed watching my $1 copy of 'american gangster' by 11pm. it wasn't until the next morning that i first heard about the problems the rest of the country had been struck with. was i lucky? spoiled? jipped out of a terrible-at-the-time-but-afterwards-is-a-great-story-that-i-can-casually-recount-at-cocktail-parties kind of experience? i don't know, but i'm sure that most of y'all when reading that first paragraph were secretly thinking "yo, tomorrow, when i go to work/class i can totally be all like 'oh my gosh, can you believe this shit in china? i know somebody there and she told me all about it, like how she witnessed somebody get trampled in the train station. i swear, true story.' score! my co-workers/classmates are gonna EAT this up!" sorry guys, but the most dramatic events of my day were eating a mediocre chicken quesadilla in a food court and watching a white dude sing in a gondola that floated along the second floor canal at the venetian casino in macau. but, if you want to tell the aforementioned story, i will totes go along with it...our little secret.