Published: December 4th 2009December 4th 2009
I don't know what I'm doing...
Time flies when you’re having fun. I have been having dreams lately where I wake up and I’m suddenly transported back to America. I tell people about the stories and life I’ve been living and no believes a single word of it. But I wake up and I’m still here, exploring around in Never Never Land.
That’s not to say it’s all been easy. I have been in China over 5 months now, and I’ve had some down days. “Foreign” days as some of the expats call them. They are days where everything feels particularly foreign, especially yourself. I could live in China the rest of my life, but I will always be a foreigner here. However, as my Mandarin improves, I have less of these “Foreign” days.
I feel like I am making real progress with Mandarin. I’m speaking it all the time everywhere. I do not need any mental translation for many phrases and words, I just understand. I owe this in large part to a girl I’m dating. She is constantly trying to teach me Cantonese, it’s miserable. To hear the two of us speaking is to hear a confusing and interchanging collage
Tasty hot pot
of 3 languages; my poor Mandarin which only she seems to understand, her English that only I seem to understand, and the occasional Cantonese reserved for slang and jokes. It’s great! And she’s great, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. For now.
During the past month I dedicated one weekend to finding a Taco Bell in China. I went to a Chinese Hot Spring in the mountains, ate…DOG, and did a lot of shopping. Truthfully it’s been a slow month. I wanted to go to Taiwan, but it’s been delayed for the moment. Instead I rewarded myself with some local adventuring after all my hard work modeling for the TV cameras.
I’ve been aching for Taco Bell since the moment I landed in New Jersey before the second leg of my flight to China. I didn’t realize quitting Taco Bell cold turkey would be so difficult. Perhaps the problem is I never really wanted to quit in the first place. In fact, I love Taco Bell. I become irate every time I hear from my friends in America that Taco Bells has come out with another cheesy and delicious menu item (which is like every
The trees rip up through the pavement as much as they try and stop it... but I love the look of it.. the jungle breaking through the cracks of the city
other week). When word got to me that there MIGHT be a Taco Bell in a city 4 hours away I suddenly knew where I’d be eating “lunch”, forget that it was already noon. Plus it was in Shenzhen, a city I’d been meaning to see. Knowing I had nothing to do that day or the next I headed to the bus station with images of nachos, gordita crunches, and volcano tacos dancing in my head.
I got directions from one of my friends who had been to the Promised Land once before. After getting everything squared away in my head I bought a bus ticket and took off. Right about the time I re-penned my potential order choices for a 4th time the bus crept to a stop. We were stopped on the freeway in traffic, and I didn’t think it would be long until we got moving again. Well 6 hours later we arrived in Shenzhen.
Despite the delay I knew I would reap the benefits of cheese covered everything with fire sauce as far as the eye could see. I wasn’t bothered in the least. It gave me a chance to contemplate what items I’d
The vines and tree canopy completely covers most city streets, it really is like having a little jungle inside of the city
want to buy for breakfast the next day and for the ride home. That is, until I arrived at “Taco Bell”.
Taco Bell wasn’t there. Taco Bell was gone. Taco Bell had died, and so had I. I was crushed. I thought about getting on the last bus back home but decided to stay. Taco Bell had become a Papa John’s. Truthfully I like Papa John’s and I ended up eating it but my heart wasn’t in it. I pouted and made my waitress bring me extra everything while I folded my pizza into little tacos and played make believe.
Shenzhen will be forever tainted for playing with my heart. But when the city isn’t busy destroying double stuffed dreams it’s actually a cool place. Really it’s the best city in mainland China I have been to. Shenzhen has big modern buildings with a relatively clean and safe feeling. Know what also felt relatively clean and safe, the hot spring I visited! (No clue how to segue that one)
The hot spring I went to was... clean... and safe… Ha I’ve have never seen anything like it before! Where I went there is a complex of really
Hot Pot Food
Toss it in the pot!
nice hotel rooms located around a series of hot springs. The hot spring area is connected to another area designed for more relaxation. 24 hour buffets, massive leather lazyboy chairs with personal big screens, masseuses, computers, and even a movie theater with more huge lazyboys. Everyone just lounges around in towels occasionally eating and dipping in the hot springs. Considering all I wanted to do was sleep and not think about school it was the perfect getaway.
Back at school life remains busy and I’m ready for this semester to be over. I feel a little burned out, I just want a change of pace. Only 1 more month and then I’ll have almost 2 months free. I know I going to Taiwan and I’m considering Thailand. Time will tell. In the near future I’ll be going to a traditional Chinese Wedding next week (NOT MINE MOM). I’m hoping I will be allowed to take pictures for everyone.
Thanks for reading the blog despite my disappearing act. I hope everyone has an amazing week. Take care and Zai Jian!
Ps. Oh and Dog… well it tastes like Dog.
There are more photos below