Since the end of the term is nearly upon us, it's time for me to venture to Shenzhen for another weekend with old friends. This time is a little different than visits in the past: one good friend is moving to another Chinese city and another is moving back to the US. This weekend promises to be special and memorable.
I arrived on Friday and, having some extra time before lunch, found a Costa Coffee where there hadn't prevoiusly been one. The entire time I lived in SZ, there was only Starbucks, so this is a welcome change. Because it 11am, there were few customers and the barrista was quite chatty and friendly. I took my drink to the lovely patio and spent the next two hours reading a delightful book and feeling like I was really on vacation.
At one I met my old Chinese teacher for lunch. She and I still skype each week, swapping Chinese lessons for American/western culture lessons. It's a bit strange; I talk to her more than most people, but I haven't seen her for a year and a half! She's actually one of the few Chinese people I feel quite close to
Best Mocha Ever
It mixes itself
and it's always good to talk with her. Her first reaction upon seeing me was, "Wow, you look great! You look younger and healthier than you did last time I saw you!" I guess moving was the right decision! We only had an hour for lunch since she was on her lunch break, but it was a fun hour up until the last minute.
Then I went to Toni's apartment and she and I hung out until dinner, just relaxing and catching up.
I have another friend who is a vegetarian and he and I keep saying we should get together and make dinner when I visit. So this visit it happened! Toni and I stopped at the supermarket on our way over to his home in order to pick up some vegetables and wine. I knew our host already had pasta, sauce, and more wine, so this seemed like a fair plan.
The three of us enjoyed a lovely dinner and great conversation and then another friend came over and joined us. She was Chinese, and it was fun to talk with a Chinese person who's traveled quite a bit and can have insightful conversations about
I relaxed in one of the brown half-igloos
China. Often, because of the inability to compare China to other places or cultures, this kind of conversation can be quite challenging.
We left quite late, full and happy.
Saturday, Toni, Dylan, and I went to Hong Kong. I'll write about that later.
Sunday, after taking Toni out for a thank-you breakfast, I had lunch with Roy. Roy has now left our old school and is working at a training center and part time at a high school. He seems quite happy and content. We had a wonderful time catching up, talking about former colleagues, and swapping stories about traveling in China. Because my impending trip back to Guangzhou, I'd planned on being done with lunch aroud 2:30 or so, but we didn't finish until after 3! We could have easily talked and laughed longer if I didn't have the journey ahead of me.
In all, it was a good weekend. I saw the people I care about the most, relaxed, and had fun. I like visiting Shenzhen, but for the most part I don't miss living there.
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