Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Don't know when I'll be back again. Really, I'm flying out of Kunming tonight. Angelyn and I broke down and bought some plane tickets to Wuhan since we don't know if/when we'd ever be able to get on a train. They went from selling tickets 10 days in advance to 5 days and then finally 1 day in advance because of all the trouble with snow and whatnot. If you've been following the news then you probably know that traveling on China's trains right now is not a good idea. At all. Check out CNN.com if you don't know what I'm talking about. It's been all over the news for almost three weeks now. We'll get to Wuhan right around midnight tonight so we'll go catch a bus in the morning to Shiyan. We should be home by 3pm Thursday if all goes well!

Super Tuesday is coming to a close in America at the moment, so we're all glued to various news sites to catch the latest updates. It's tough to follow politics from China since I can't just turn on the TV or radio and listen to whatever is going on. I have to actively seek it out online. Since I'm not always interested in politics 100% of the time that means I'm not always keeping up. Luckily we have Jessica, an avid supporter of Barack Obama, to keep us on our toes. She's also an avid opponent of Hillary, so we don't mind her rants and raves. She's down in SE Asia traveling through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand at the moment, so we're missing her on this Super Tuesday. Come back, Jessica!

I finished class Monday. Originally I was supposed to finish this Friday but we worked ahead by meeting on Saturdays and meeting twice this past Saturday. Today is the Chinese New Year, so our teachers wanted to be free to go home during the holiday. I didn't mind helping them out during the holidays, but it was definitely tough having 20 days of class shortened from 4 full weeks to barely three. I survived, though, and I feel like I'm more confident in my Chinese ability. I can also write a daily journal in Chinese and I managed to read a newspaper article in class Saturday afternoon. It was about a retired teacher who had someone open a dog selling business in the apartment above her and all the noise, smells, and fighting that ensued. Now I just need to try not to forget what I learned.

I'm going to miss Kunming. It's got incredible weather and equally (if not more) incredible western food. There's a place here called Salvador's that has amazing Mexican food and ice cream desserts. And it's just down the street from a place that sells root beer and Dr. Pepper. The down side is that I spent waaaaaaaaaay more than I originally planned to so now I'm practically broke. I was expecting my bank account to be low due to the cost of the school, but I also planned on us only eating Western food once a week. Boy was that overoptimistic! We were lucky to stick to three times a week. I don't even know if we did stick to three times a week. Luckily Meager March starts soon and I'll only be spending 170 yuan that month. That should just about make up for the money I wasted on quesadillas, ice cream on top of brownies, root beer, and the two awesome foot massages I got.

Happy Guy has been texting me about coming to his hometown after I get back to Shiyan. It's about 3 hours to the north by bus, just into Henan province. I think I'd love to go if I wasn't just getting back from a bus, a flight, and a month away from my apartment. Plus, I'd be arriving after all the festivities. It's like inviting someone for Christmas or Christmas Eve and them arriving late on the 26th. I told him I'd try to go visit next time he goes home, he just needs to let me know when I'm not halfway across the country. :) As it is, I'm looking forward to being in my own apartment again, seeing some people I haven't seen in a while, and just being back in good ol' Shiyan.

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