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Published: November 27th 2010
I've had a cold all week, but it hasn't stopped me from being out and about and having fun.
On Monday, Clare, Audrey, Maria and I went to the hostel to do homework, homework, homework. First we ate lunch at noodle man, which was delicious as always. I will definitely miss his food when I go back to America. At the hostel, I borrowed Maria's computer to research for my Tibet textbook chapters. She has a VPN and I do not. While Audrey was researching on her own computer, which does not have a VPN, her internet shut down. She tried to fix it by typing things like "i love china" and "hu jintao is a great leader we can all look up to" into the search bar, but to no avail. She used the hostel computer to finish researching. This is why it seems silly to me to write a paper about Tibet in China... It is difficult to access sources that look at the situation from more than one side: the TIBET IS PART OF CHINA, side. I finished much more quickly that I thought I would, around three or four. When we left, it was rush hour, so we couldn't take a taxi back. We took the subway back and then walked through North gate, picking up pizza bread along the way.
On Tuesday, I did a few things. I ordered a copy of 1984 (which is going to be amazing to read in China, because the Mao era was basically Big Brother and doublethink and propaganda) in Chinese at a small bookstore near the school building. I ran around the track for a while, but cut my workout short when a Chinese girl ran up to me while I was running and asked me to edit her personal statement for an application to an electrical engineering college in Sweden. What could I do but give her my email address? Then she insisted on joining me for the rest of my run, which was awkward because she was wearing jeans, a bomber jacket, and still had a purse tucked under her arm. She told me my spoken Chinese is standard. Is that supposed to be a compliment? I don't know. I told her I had to leave when we ran out of things to talk about.
I picked up my book at 3 p.m. Very fast! Good service. After Audrey got out of her religion class, the four of us went to a spa. It was kind of sketchy, wedged in between some clubs, up some concrete stairs lined with potted plants. We had two rooms, with two big beds each and a shower. Maria and I were in one room, Clare and Audrey in the other. They gave us tea and weird, papery bermuda shorts and wrap shirts to wear. Then the masseuses came in and had us lie down and put comforters over us. They climbed around us on the bed to massage us. Head, stomach, arms, legs, butt, back, feet.... It was different, but still good. I felt very relaxed afterwards, and they gave us fruit. (By the way China, cherry tomatoes are not a fruit.) And all for about 20 dollars US.
On Wednesday we went to the Tibet quarter. We walked around a bit, then got lost. We ran into a few dead ends, found ourselves in a neighborhood, walked through the Southwest Minorities University campus... It was a beautiful campus, with grass and trees and a pond. A lot like an American university campus. We found our way back to Tibet street. Maria found the pants she was looking for. They are stretchy at the top and the cuffs, and have a really low hanging crotch-- very hippie. We stopped in a bookstore, and I found a book perfect for my chapters for the Tibet textbook, but it was 150 kuai. I called Adam to see if the program would refund me, and they would, so I bought it! Yay! We ate dinner at a little restaurant and ordered yak meet, potatoes, fried rice, and carbs. It was very good. We went back to campus. Adam's class is usually at seven on Wednesdays, but when we got back we found out that we were meeting at 7:40 at the small north gate to see a movie. It was a funny movie, very CCP propaganda about Tibet. The movie was set in Tibet, but only one of the actors was actually Tibetan. It involved two love triangles... it was fun. Afterward we had discussion in a little cafe next to the theater.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course. We still had class. A few of us went to Hooters for lunch. The Chinese girls at Hooters do not really have boobs. They probably just wear super padded bras. However, our waitress did have a butt, and the two boys in our group could not stop staring. Really! I had a philly chicken sandwich with peppers and onions and real provolone cheese. mmm... and Mcdonald's ice cream for dessert. The best way not to miss Thanksgiving at home: don't eat Thanksgiving food, don't do anything really Thanksgiving-ish. Thus, no comparisons to Thanksgiving at home. The worst part was hearing about all the snow at home. I always miss it!
On Friday we had a trip to Chunxi Lu. We haven't been in a long time! We had donuts first, then hit up the women's market. It was crazy as usual. I bought a case of eye shadow, and nothing else.
The rest of the week I watched a lot of Sex in the City, sniffled, and stayed in and did homework. Cold's almost gone! Success.
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