Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving and a weekend trip

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. I think the week leading up to it was horrible in terms of culture shock and homesickness, but the actual event was quite enjoyable. I started it off by sleeping late, which actually isn't an uncommon thing when you usually have nothing to do before lunch. Then a load of us got together to teach some students the ancient art of American football. We had two teams of 13 and were confined to playing within the goalie box at one end of the soccer field. Needless to say, there wasn't much running. We were playing two hand touch, but with that many people in that small of a space there's just nowhere to run to. Plus, I think the complexity and number of rules was a little too much for their Chinese minds to absorb in one session. After most of the group left to go to class or eat lunch, we found some more students standing around watching us and formed a nice game of ultimate frisbee. That went over much better because the basic rules are don't run with the frisbee and don't let the other team catch it. It was a lot of fun and, more importantly, we got to run a lot and warm ourselves up. It was cold that day!

After eating a good lunch Derek, Jeremy, Michael Li, and I all headed into town to run some last minute errands. Amazingly, all the stores weren't closed on Thanksgiving! Derek and Jeremy got off the bus at the Wonderful Supermarket to hunt down some butter while Michael and I went to check on the turkeys. We had arranged for a restaurant in town to find us a couple of birds and cook them for us. Everything turned out pretty good, although a bit pricier than expected. Then we all made our way back to the automobile school to hang out and watch the ladies cook. It was like a little piece of America, the guys sitting around doing nothing in particular while the ladies labored away and talked themselves to death. At 5, some of us went to pick up the turkeys and we all met at Yanliang Hotel, the swankiest place in town. We had a fantastic party. Most of the Family was there, including a few faces that I've only seen once or twice this year. We played mahjong and Uno, visited, watched Derek act all hyper and ask all the girls in Chinese if they wanted another boyfriend, ate turkey and dressing, stood in a big circle and took turns saying what we were thankful for, and just had the grandest time ever.


I know you can't tell, but I just took a two hour break from typing this. Angelyn and I escorted Alice back to her dorm across town and then decided to enjoy the night and walk home. The bus ride there took 30 minutes and the walk back took an hour and a half. Now it's 1:00, my legs are tired, and I'm ready for bed. I'll fill in more details in the morning. Happy Thanksgiving!

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