13 May 2007

May Holiday

Currently reading: Newsweek, April 16/April 23

Currently listening to: Hello, Dear Wind, Page France

The first week of May was one of the three "Golden Weeks" in China. Designed to promote to tourism, May holiday, along with Spring Festival and October holiday, are the time of year when most Chinese travel around the country. We had the entire week off from school so I went north to visit my friends. Most of the foreign teachers from our school were picking up family in Beijing, so we all took an overnight train to Beijing together. It was quite the luxury--a nice contrast from our train in Thailand. Apparently, I just don't have the ability to sleep on trains though. It was quick trip; we left at 8 at night and got in to Beijing around 7 in the morning. I met my friend from Switzerland (she studies Chinese here in Wuxi) at her hostel (her parents had been visiting her and they were traveling around the country). We went shopping and just hung around the city. After the day together, I went over to see the Kennedys in their city. If everything works out, I'll be moving there in August. It was nice to see the school again and to imagine myself there in the fall. It was a relaxing, low-key week. They blogged about the holiday week here. Now, I'm back in Wuxi and with another week down, we only have a month and two days left of school. It is really possible that I've almost survived my first year of teaching? Teaching overseas nonetheless...craziness. Here's the week in review:

The luxury that was our overnight train--complete with a fake rose and the Chinese countryside in the background.

Karri, Megan and Lindsey (closest) in the hall outside of our compartment on the train.

At the market in Beijing--"Handicraft Embroidery Depend The Mat Bed Cover An Ensign Set Cloth." They're advertising that they sell traditional Chinese pillowcases, etc.--in case you didn't understand :)

Betcha can't buy cotton candy from a guy on his bike in the States. (Again, see the Kennedys blog for more pics and info on our May Day outing adventure)

Beautiful balloons for sell--Note the balloon with the Olympic mascots on it, only one more year :)

The boys goofing off.

The girls goofing off.

The view to the outside from a little cave--beautiful, huh?

I was so excited to see tulips in China! They reminded me of my mom's tulips in our front yard and also of the amazing planters at the Calvin chapel--sigh. It wasn't quite the same, but I was thankful to see them still.

Another reminder of Dutch West Michigan--not sure what these clogs are doing there, but I've learned to stop asking silly questions like that.

Because of the holiday, the park had a bunch of public displays. These kids couldn't have been older than high school and they all played the drums amazingly.

The water was teaming with fish.

Another picture to make you wonder--Would you buy a car from the "Faw Camel Company"?

The Grand Finale to the Ultraman/Batman tightrope show over the water--complete with water fountains.

A man selling animals made from grass on Ancient Culture Street. Do you see the grasshopper on the left and the butterfly in the middle? Completely made from grass!

Hannah playing dress-up with my winter clothes.

A little background before I explain: The two main Western fast food restaurants in China are McDonalds and KFC. Both are very concerned for their customers safety and will provide a chain connected to the bottom of the table with a hook to secure your bags to.

Now for this amazing sign--"A tender remind from the police: please use the crook under the table to ensure the safety of your belongs." Wait a minute--I'm supposed to give the crook under my table my belongings ? I thought the idea was to prevent thievery :)

Well, Happy Mother's Day!


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