Okay, little bit of a mix up, turns out Chingdao is a city, not an academy. Anyway, we left Friday morning, got there at around noonish, went to a really nice looking resturaunt for lunch. Never judge a book by its cover, personally I didn't eat that much because when I asked the waiter putting out the food what was qingzhen (halal) he pointed first to the plain steamed rice, then the steamed buns, then walked away. Yum. But the people who could eat it didn't have much good to say about it, so most of the students headed over to a Starbucks convientely located within walking distance, the only western food sight aside from the apparently very expensive Pizza Hut that was sitting next door. After a quick bite we headed back to the bus and drove to our hotel, not a bad place, the only real problem was there were two poeple per room and one key. After we checked in we headed back to the bus for a nice little tour of the city. We started with a very famous pier. Mistake. It was pouring and the wind was gusting, we fought to the end of the pier and fought our way back, no sightseeing, just keeping our hats on our heads and our umbrellas the right side out. After that we were supposed to go to a construction museum, then two squares. However one of the students got wind a local beer factory and by popular vote away we went, when we got there I and three others elected to stay in the bus, everybody else went in, except the driver. About forty five minutes later they came back, just a little bit drunk, they had taken a tour of the factor and had been given some free beer, and then bought some more. After that we did end up going to the music square, but was all. Then we went back to the hotel and mulled around until dinner, again, less than stellar, and after another bowl of rice and a steamed bun I, along with some of the other students headed over to the McDonalds for a real dinner. After that I read some and went to bed early, while the rest of the guys, or at least most of them went clubbing. So the next morning most of us didn't even bother checking out breakfast, we just headed to the Golden Arches. After breakfast we headed back to the Shan, with two stops on the way, the first was a mountain. Now, on the mountain there were three stops, the first was the Dragon Pool bridge, not more than ten or fifteen minutes, then was the Temple, that was slightly longer, farther still was Mingxia cave, most of the group didn't go that far, I did, and I'm still paying for it. It took me an hour to get down the mountain at a fair rate, I was pretty tired by the time I started down. Since then my thighs have been so tight I can barely kick above waist height, today I was almost able to swing my leg up to head height, almost. When I got here, I could kick head high easy. The second stop on the way back was for lunch, we stopped at a market with a bakery type place, it wasn't half bad.
We didn't do anything on Sunday, just sat around, watched some TV, there's a fairly limited selection of things to watch.
Monday training started again, I can't seem to recall what we did. Yesterday we went to the foot of the mountain and did some sanda training and I think we did forms in the afternoon. Time seems to blend together and stretch out at the same time here, it's wonderful. Today we did power stretching for the first morning session, due to my legs I did forms instead, I practiced the first form, called the Five Fist form, and what I know of Tombei, the second one, and I learned the next move in Tombei. I also did some sword practice which is always cool. Then in the afternoon we did more sanda training, beating on pads. Twice our Shifu showed a new student the correct technique for a kick and both times my elbow went partially numb for a second or two, through three-inch thick padding, and he was barely putting anything into it. You do not want to try to mug these people with anything other than a gun, from far away. Oh yeah, yesterday I went inot Muping, he city closest to the Shan, it was okay, I'm planning on going up to Yantai this weekend, see if I can't find a flute. I guess that's everything. I'll try to put some pictures up next time. Bye for now.
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