24 February 2007


The next few posts will be about my recent trip to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore for the Spring Festival (AKA Chinese New Year) holiday. There were six of us who went on the trip (Jamie, Daniel, Karri, Lindsey, Megan and I) and we all teach together. We left after school two Fridays ago, on the 9th. The general feeling was one of disbelief that we were leaving for a warm tropical paradise. I don't think I was able to comprehend that it was vacation until about day 4. Even as I was packing, I wasn't necessarily excited, mostly because I couldn't really understand what was ahead. When I left at Christmas and Thanksgiving, I was excited because I was going to see my friends, but this time I had so many loose ends to tie up (report cards, general end of the semester craziness, classroom cleaning, etc.) that I scarcely gave it much thought until we were waiting in the airport. It was still really cold when we left, but I didn't want to take my winter coat with me, so I just sucked it up for a few hours and froze for a bit.

I was rewarded when I stepped off the plane in Shenzhen (southern China) and even though it was 9 in the evening, it was warm and humid. After waiting for an imaginary hotel shuttle, we got in the taxi queue and arrived at our cheap hotel. (It had an hourly rate, which I must say in the first hotel that I've ever stayed in like that, but it wasn't as shady as it sounds, I promise!) Upon checking in, we realized that we all left our Chinese phrasebooks at home. The line of thinking was that we would only be in China for a night layover coming and going, so why bother taking it. Well, we should have bothered because they didn't speak any English and it would have been slightly helpful, but we managed without, so it was ok. After we got settled and checked out the comfy beds and put the AC on (not the heat, like Wuxi!), we took off to explore the surrounding neighborhood. Here's what we found:

A nice night market with yummy mandarin oranges.

A vendor selling decorations for the New Year.

Decorations for the front door of an apartment.

Every type of nut imaginable.

I feel like all these pictures are quintessential China--this was from the window of the hotel looking across to the neighbor's laundry.

Hmm, I'm not exactly sure how the land can slip...(These were in the bathroom of our hotel, I think they were trying to say be careful on the floor when it gets wet from the shower.)

"When the fire occurs run away to,Must use the wet towel clothes/the cloth class and so on to cover up the mouth nose, bends the waist/lowers the head the advance by creeping./Leaves the scene of a fire through the security staircase,."

And with that, we left mainland China for Macao.


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