Saturday, January 7, 2012

In which I return to my home country and get fat.

This week I've been in America.  The land of baseball, apple pie, hot dogs and childhood obesity, woohoo!  I'm actually really happy to be here.  I saw my sister and brother on Tuesday and Wednesday, met the boy that my sister's probably going to marry (OHGOD WHY IS EVERYBODY GROWING UP??!?), helped my dad out with a pizza event at the Auburn Farmer's Market and got a superamazing Christmas present.

Honestly, I've been asking for a guitar for Christmas since I was 12.  I think I usually put it on my mom's list since I lived with her and didn't think my dad would send it through the mail.  (I always made two lists for each side of the family.  Even as a kid I was awkward enough to not want to deal with having two of the same thing and making the horrible decision of which to return)  My two youngest siblings both got guitars over the years... my brother abandoned his and my sister became amazing and now makes her own CDs.  But not me.  (not that I'm not grateful or anything, I've had some amazing Christmases and it's probably my own fault for not being more vocal about it.)  BUT LONG STORY SHORT, I finally got one.  This thing is my Red Ryder BB Gun.  I was a little giddy and trying to not look overexcited about it, and really wanted to dick around with some tabs before I left.  Unfortunately we had to loosen the strings for travel and playing anything now would sound pretty bad (or.... artsy.)

But you guys don't care about my X-mas, you wanna hear about China!

I went to that dinosaur museum, and it was pretty awesome.  The whole thing is shaped like a...a....I dunno, like a thing.

The thingiest of them all.

The dinosaurs were rockin'.  You start at the top and you slowly spiral downwards.  In the center of the spiral there is a dinosaur.

This dinosaur

I went with one of the German teachers and we were both a little dinosaur-giddy.  Then we reached the bottom where an incredibly lacking gift shop awaited us.  We headed for the doors, lamenting that there was only one real dinosaur skeleton.  On our way out we passed a couple of doors... out of the way, unassuming doors.  I poked my head in and what did I find?


There were maybe 10 skeletons in the place.  It was AWESOME. 

This summer I was also able to take a trip to Beijing.  I went by train, which was incredibly cheap and fun!  There were these two little girls who sat in front of me and always hung over the back of the seat, trying to talk to me.  There were a lot of "Duibuqi, ting bu dong!" or "Wo bu hui shuo putonghuanr"  or "Shut up, kid, I'm trying to sleep."  They could speak a little English, though, so I guess they were pretty adorable.

I stayed in a hostel right next to Tiananmen.  It was right in the middle of the city, on one of the oldest roads (called a hutong) and it was incredibly cheap.  The place was called Leo Hostel.  I highly recommend it for anybody who is going to Beijing.

The only downside were all the tourists who would ride up on their rickshaws and take pictures while the guests were trying to peacefully hang out in front of the doors.  Turns out the building used to be a house for nobles and members of the royal family who weren't awesome enough to live inside the Forbidden City itself.  Rockin!

Tiananmen was...... well, to be frank it was boring as heck.  There's nothing to do or see, it's just a big square.


We needed to go through security to get to the square, which was odd, but oh well.  I must have missed the point.  I think there's a museum there where you can go look at Mao's body, but that was a little too...... freakishly wrong for me.  Instead I headed north to the Forbidden City.

We are in the 90th year of the Mao Dynasty.

It took FOREVER to get in.  Long lines, wtf?  Once inside I tried to not follow the crowd.  Everybody headed straight north but I veered to the left and walked through the living quarters.  There was more stuff and less people: the perfect combination!

 The less traveled path with beautiful architecture, some really interesting gift shops.

Pictured: suckers who missed out

By the end of the City, my feet were KILLING me.  Like... I literally could not stand for another minute if you paid me.  So I went to a foot massage parlor next to the hostel and went to heaven for about an hour.  That's right, an hour long foot massage.  And why don't more people want to live here?

In the fall the foreign teachers were invited to see 'The Dragon's Head'.  This is the part of the great wall that goes into the ocean.  Apparently it looks like a dragon's head.


Honestly, I don't see it.  But the trip was great!  We toured a small town that still has the city walls intact.  We were able to run around them and climb on stuff, play with cannons older that our home countries and interact with priceless artifacts.


So basically, I've had a great time.  I can see myself living in China for good (or at least for the next few years.)  Honestly, the only reason that I'm planning on coming back is that I miss acting SO MUCH.  I haven't acted in anything in over a year, it seriously sucks.  And don't tell me that I can just find acting jobs in China because I'VE TRIED and it's difficult to apply for something when you can't speak the language.

I'm returning for good in late July (Europe trips pending) and fingers crossed that I can find some stage or screen to work on before going back.  Because really..... I'll probably come back to China after a while.

Oh and before I forget, the German teacher, a Chinese office worker and I all got together to dance to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'.  It's on facebook (and maybe here if the computer gods are kind.)

Hugs and kisses!

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