Thursday, September 14, 2006

Current (and past) goings ons.

I thought everyone would like to know that my roommate and I are resolving our differences. There was a long period where we were fighting over closet space and whether or not he can smoke his pipe inside. Also, I eat in about once a week at the most, but he eats 10 freakin' meals a day. Why should I have to do his dishes? Exactly! And I'm getting tired of picking his feet hairs out of the shower drain. Talk about nasty.

Anyhoo, there's been a lot of things that I have somehow skipped over or forgotten about in my blogging, and I'm pretty sure that some of those things are worth reading about. For example, Wednesday of last week was an exciting day. After lunch with a new Chinese friend, Derek, Angelyn, and I all went across town to visit the Lewis family. If I haven't told you, Jeremy and Rena Lewis are here to teach with our group and they brought their three teenage daughters with them. Those girls deserve a lot of credit for moving to China and not being totally angst about it. Anyways, we went to visit them because they seemed pretty bored. We eventually decided that we wanted to check out a park in town called (oddly enough) The People's Park. It's near (wait for it) The People's Square and The People's Supermarket. Just down the street from The People's McDonalds. That last one was a joke. So we hop on the bus to the park and get off directly across the street. After checking out a cool little store we noticed, we all prepared to cross the street. You may not know anything about crossing the street in China, but it's a life changing experience. It can definitely make your life flash before your eyes. Well as soon as some of us walk out of the store, we see a lady on a motorcycle plow into an old man walking across the street. Usually the scene would unfold this way: lots of people would gather to look, cars would honk a lot and barely slow down to drive around, the lady would be left alone to help the old man up and get him some help, if she's lucky a police man will come by and help. But we happened to be there with good ol' Jeremy and his medical training from years in the army. So Jeremy kicks into action and goes out into the street. Well seeing a foreigner helping someone who just got hit by a motorcycle is enough to cause any Chinese person to die from shock, so we drew an even BIGGER crowd. Jeremy was able to check out the man's arms, legs, head, and whatever else before someone tried to move him and potentially make things worse. He checked out okay, Jeremy helped him to the side of the road, a taxi was summoned, and the lady and the old man were both whisked off to the hospital. At least I'm assuming that's where they went. Makes sense to me. How could I have forgotten to blog about that? I don't know.

After all the excitement we paid our 2 yuan and entered People's Park, the center of fun and merriment in Shiyan. It turned out to be a large park with some small mountains to trek all over, an amusement park (yeah, you read right), and a zoo of sorts. After trekking ourselves up a random trail and back down the other side, we ended up at the amusement park. There were such attractions as the whirling swing ride, shooting games, go carts, bumper cars, a pirate ship, a merry-go-round, a giant, mountain-spanning luge ride, and the essential roller coaster. First I hit up the shooting games. It was pretty easy because all you do is shoot balloons with a bb gun from 15 feet away. Not hard. There was also whack-a-mole, which they called "hit-the-mouse". Not quite the same ring, even in Chinese. We moved on past the peacocks and monkey in a cage to the rides. Now, when you're imagining these rides in your mind's eye, add about 40 years of age and rust to the picture. That's what we were riding. Jeremy and Derek rode this luge ride that I'm pretty sure was named "Big Mountain of Death". The sleds were just big plastic sleds on wheels. There was a handle in the middle that acted as a hand brake. There was no seat belt or strap or anything else to hold you onto the thing. It started off by being pulled waaaaaaay up the side of this mountain on a chain lift, like the beginning of a roller coaster. Only, since there's nothing to hold you onto the sled then Derek said he was trying with all his might not to slide off the back of it. Then you sled/luge/roll/whatever down this metal track, going around curves and whatnot. It's not a track like a train or roller coaster track. It's a flat metal road that resembles a bobsled track in the turns. Yeah, with no safety belts or anything. Coming down a mountain. With a looooong drop right next to you. Looked like fun, but I sure didn't want to test out my luck on it. After the survivors got off, we all headed to the roller coaster. I had ridden a similar roller coaster at a park in Qingdao before, so I knew that everyone had to try this thing out. Since they were all a little hesitant I went ahead and paid, which got rid of any hesitation. This wasn't a huge roller coaster with loops and corkscrews. This was a small roller coaster that some people know as a Crazy Mouse coaster. One or two people per car, the cars aren't attached to each other in a long train, just by themselves, tight turns, nothing too fancy. But add in the rust and general appearance of the ride and it makes it pretty scary. Somewhere in all this fun, Jeremy and I raced on the go cart track. There were only two cars and the track was only wide enough for one, so it wasn't really a race. If you started in first, you ended in first. Plus, Jeremy's car didn't exactly function to full capacity, so I was zooming around while he was puttering around. While making our way back to the entrance we passed what appeared to be a reptile house and a half empty pool with some ducks in it. The zoo, maybe? Dunno. That was our People's Park experience.

Well, I took longer than I thought I would to type that and now I need to go. I guess this is all you get for now.


Rachel said...

your Chinese amusement park experience feels strangely familiar to me ... :-P

Anonymous said...

Stop your hating on your roommate. Just because he's different....