Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Holiday fun in the motherland.

Well, as most of you probably already know, next week is National Holiday here in China. What? You didn't know? Well now you do. October 1 is China's National Day. To celebrate everyone gets anywhere from two days to a full week for a holiday. On this holiday every person in China travels somewhere (usually on the same train) to spend money, spur on the economy, and celebrate Chairman Mao's founding of the People's Republic of China. So as a good resident of China I feel obligated to follow suit. You may be wondering where I will go. Well let me tell you. I have some friends in the wonderful town of Ningbo, which is on the east coast of China, south of Shanghai. Those friends are wanting to see the Great Wall and the terracotta warriors. Usually one would go to Beijing to see the Great Wall and to Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors. Well, those two cities aren't exactly close together. That's like going to New York City and St. Louis in one trip. But the Great Wall isn't just any old kind of wall. It's GREAT. That means it's thousands of miles long. Which means it must be other places besides Beijing. Beijing's big, but it's not that big. So I looked into it and we've decided to go to Xi'an (which happens to be close to where I live) to see the sights and then take an overnight train north from there and see the Great Wall where it hits the edge of the Mongolian desert. Nice, right? It should be lots of knee slappin', hootin' and hollerin', fireworks shootin' fun. I'm excited. Plus it should be fun to spend a week with Keli, Tim, and Heidi. It's always nice to see new faces.

In other news, it's been raining here for three days or so. It feels like forever. The sad thing is that it doesn't really storm here, it just rains. I prefer a good storm with thunder and lightning and wind blowing the rain around. Nope, we just get some water falling straight down and nothing else. Booooring. Someone sent me an article about teacher salaries in China. Go ahead and read it here. It's pretty crazy. Keep in mind, I make about 3,500 yuan each month, am not an actual professional teacher, don't have to pay rent or utilities, and live in a small city with a low cost of living. The guy in the article lives in stinkin' Beijing, city of 16 million. Not a cheap place. That article made me grateful for what I've got. Not that I wasn't glad for it before, mind you.

Well, I'm off to be productive. I need to get train tickets and book rooms in a hostel for our lovely road trip next week. I hope all is well in the Western hemisphere. Mail me something good!

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