As predicted, this past weekend was crazy awesome. Carole and Danielle came in from Wuhan about 1:30 in the morning Saturday. I had a wushu lesson at 9 so I didn't meet anyone before I left for that. I DID, however, get a thumbs up from one of the instructors at the gym. So far we've been taught by a girl who has been studying wushu about two months longer than us. They say after I practice one motion 100 times then one of the instructors will take the time to correct my mistakes. Needless to say, the fact that one of the instructors was actually paying attention and gave me a thumbs up made me really excited. I'm pretty sure I kept bringing it up the rest of the weekend. Anyhoo, I was out and about until after lunch, so around 12:30 I got back and found that the weekly ladies' brunch was wrapping up. That's when I got to meet our guests. Little did I know, the fun was just beginning.
Someone arranged a 2:30 trip to the orphanage Saturday afternoon, so we all piled on the bus and went to meet everyone else at the gate of the medical school. It was a cold and rainy day, so all the windows on the bus were fogged up. Of course, what could we do but draw baby feet and turkeys? Little known fact... apparently turkeys go "mrr mrr."
In this picture: (back l to r) Jessica, Megan, Danielle, William, David; (front l to r) Carole, Angelyn. Just a portion of the crew that went.
I've never been to the orphanage here because everytime I've tried to join in the trip got canceled. I was nervous about going this time because I didn't want to jinx it again, but we actually made it and were allowed in to see the kids. Unfortunately instead of 50 kids we were greeted by about 5 because the others had all been moved to a middle school with dorms that they could live in. We sang songs, passed out gloves, made a shopping list for our next visit, and just enjoyed visiting with so many people.
After we were done there, we all split up. Angelyn went to return the train tickets that I so painstakingly bought the other day and they decided 10 minutes later they didn't want. (just kidding, there was no pain involved) I went with Priscilla (in the pink in the picture above), Carole (the small one in the middle), Danielle (the tall one crouching in the front), and Jessica (has her hand on Danielle's head) to the bus station to buy new tickets and then behind the bus station to the Korean market for some Christmas shopping. I got some lights and they all bought hats. Priscilla actually bought a normal hat she could wear any day, Danielle and Carole bought some wicked awesome Russian/Chinese fur hats. I would have bought one except I had just bought one a day or two earlier. (If you remember, just before Halloween '06 I bought a big green army coat. Well, the hat matches it!) Afterwards, we went back to school and had dinner at Happy Guy's, followed by a night on the town with some other foreign friends at the disco in town. I have discovered that with a strobe light I can almost fake dancing ability. Almost.
Sunday we had our weekly meeting and then in the afternoon I went to teach English to the people who teach me wushu. (We pay each other with our respective teaching.) At 5 a bunch of us went to KTV. The K stands for karaoke, which is the unofficial pastime of China. We got an awesome room that had English lyrics that were mostly correct. Whitney Houston was singing some song about "blittersweat memories" but other than that it was just about right. My favorite was John dancing to "My Humps" (which is not a good song when you actually have the lyrics on the screen by you, be warned). I was devastated that we didn't discover the switch to turn on the strobe light until we were leaving, though. I could have practiced pretending to have dancing ability some more. Here you can see William and me holding on to John in front of a coffee/KTV place. It was actually the wrong place so were really just totally confusing the ladies in charge of opening the door and yelling welcome. They couldn't figure out if we were coming in or not, then we ended up walking down the street to the right place. Oops.
After an hour of singing we went around the corner to UBC Coffee (not the place in the picture above) and enjoyed a rare treat of fried ice cream balls, coffee, and spaghetti. Unfortunately it was in that order because the waitress thought I was joking when I ordered in Chinese so she only brought the stuff we ordered in English. We had our ice cream and then I had to ask where the spaghetti was. I couldn't finish it since I'd already had the ice cream, but some of the girls helped me out. I'm pretty sure I could have finished all of it if they had brought the spaghetti first. I know it's the same amount of food, but it's all in the order in which you eat it. I learned about it in physics in high school, trust me. Around 9 we were leaving and as we walked past People's Square we noticed that the nightly dance party was still going on. Basically every old person in town comes and makes a huge conga line and walks in a circle for three hours. We needed to work off that fried ice cream, so we all went and joined in. Jessica and Carole made a lot of new friends teaching the electric slide. I'm pretty sure if I go back tonight they'll all be practicing the "new American dance".
After line dancing ourselves to exhaustion, we all went back to our respective schools. At my school we ended up watching a movie and falling asleep with our cool new Russian/Chinese fur hats on. It's the best way to stay warm!
This morning Angelyn and I saw the Wuhan gals off at the bus station. And 5 minutes later we were bored, lonely, and sending them text messages to come back to us. So we went DVD shopping to distract ourselves. All in all, this weekend was a bit of a splurge in just about every way. We had an overdose of just about every good thing in life this weekend, and it was GREAT! Of course, what you don't get from reading this is all the hilarity and interplay between people. Or things like when Danielle played Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano at the coffee shop and got yelled at by the manager. I will leave you with two photos in memory of our guests. The first is to show why I'm the designated umbrella carrier when Carole is walking by me. The other is a glamor shot they took in front of William and Priscilla's building at the middle school.