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Feeling Lucky and “Fresh”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

So after two nights in an overly priced single room I finally moved into the dormitory at Y60 bed ($7). Yep I could hear my bank account thanking me right now:) I roomed in with four gals. (Therese Norway, Joanna & Beth PI and Yumi Japan). Two of the four (Joanna & Beth) are English teachers here in China!! OMG, I couldn’t frickin’ believe it – Just my luck!! And it gets better… they work in Qingdao!! Qingdao is one of the two cities I looked into teaching in. They gave me the 411 on getting a teaching job and offered to help me when I get there. Sweeeet!

Last night was Therese’s 24th bday and we celebrated by going out to dinner. At dinner, the girls and I found out what “Fresh” on the menu really meant. We ordered up some fresh shrimps in soy sauce. The waitress brought out a covered dish, placed it on our table and in quickness revealed the dish. To our dismay, the shrimps were alive and kicking! They were swimming in the soy and a few of them were actually jumping out of the bowl and onto our table. LOL! It was great. The shrimps were quite tasty but after my fifth one I couldn’t eat any more. You should of seen Therese’s reaction though–it was classic! If only we had it on video. This is definitely a birthday celebration she’ll never forget. Happy Birthday sweetie!

My six days in Beijing came and went–here it is in a nutshell:

The Great Wall: Amazing! I recommend not going to the Badaling side of the Wall. Too much tourist….it’s impossible to get a shot without having someone’s head in the photo. And this is low season so I can’t imagine being here during the high.

Summer Palace: Breathtakingly beautiful! I think I enjoyed myself more here than at the Great Wall. I’d love to see this place in the summer!

Forbidden City: It’s a city within a city. It’s huge! Another must see when in Beijing.

My Mandarin is slightly improving and I pretty much mastered the Beijing public transportation system. Yay me! Oh and I had myself some fried baby scorpions – they were a bit spicy but overall very good.

Today is my last day in Beijing. Tonight I catch an overnight train to Xi’an with Therese!

The Great WOW

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

“He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man.” – Mao Zedong 

Ni hao from China! The past two days have been rugged to say the least. I never felt so helpless. My constant attempt at communicating in Chinese and English didn’t really help me nor the person I was trying to communicate with. The books I’ve read and stories I’ve heard couldn’t be any truer – English is rarely spoken if any in China. Not even the staff at my hostel who is supposedly aiming at wooing international travelers. But I’m definitely making the best of it and putting a bit more effort in learning Chinese. I booked a single room for two nights at Y128 ($16).  A bit over my budget but my burned out body was in dying need for a nice, long uninterrupted nap. And my chances of getting this nap would have been slim in the dormitories.

I spent the whole day site seeing. I purchased a bus ticket to take me to The Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. Little did I know, the ticket I bought placed me on a Chinese tour bus. So the tour guide only spoke Chinese. Dang! I totally screwed myself. But it turned out to be an awesome exprience nonetheless. A family of six pretty much watched over me the entire time. Trekked up The Great Wall with me, held my hand, bought me food, walked me to the toilet, chased off the hawkers, kept me on time check just so I don’t miss the bus, etc…. It brought me back to my similar experience on the bus in Cambodia.

All the distress I had this morning was washed away by the site of The Great Wall. Of course, a must see when visiting China. It’s massive, it’s beautiful and damn right amazing! This wonder stretches at approx 4,000 miles and dates back 2,000 years during the Qin Dynasty.

greatwall2.jpg      greatwall.jpg  

Can you tell I’m excited? Happy V-Day everyone!


Good times with fam and friends

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


What a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dreaming of tasty dim sum, fluffy pandas, and the great wall

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I didn't get much sleep last night and surprisingly woke up early. I was laying in bed, staring up at the ceiling with a huge smile on my face thinking, "In eight days I'll be waking up in China!"

Ni Hao ... [Continue reading this entry]

I’m booked for China

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

12th of February - I leave for Beijing! WoooHooo!

Quick recap on my job search: The past two months have been nothing but applications, waiting, phone interviews, waiting, paperwork, waiting, more paperwork and more waiting. Instead of sitting here, twiddling my thumbs ... [Continue reading this entry]

China Bound

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Last week I got my passport renewed, thank goodness a new updated photo! If you remember me mentioning in my past blog how extremely dreadful my photo was prior (it was not good), lets just say I'm very happy that ... [Continue reading this entry]