15.11.2009 15 °F
Before I apologize for missing three weeks on my blog, I would first like to explain how these past few weeks have gone. Yes, I know, they're excuses, but trust me, they're really good, and kind of interesting.
Two weekends ago, I, for some reason I'm still not sure, decided to volunteer to help organize the American booth for Peking University's International Cultural Festival, and that turned out to be one of the most exhausting decisions I've ever made in my life. So after visiting the Forbidden City (pictures to some...late), I had to rush back to campus to make it in time for rehearsal. There, I found out that not only did I need to have an all-black suit by tomorrow, but that our performance was at 8:30...A.M! So after that, I went on a hunt for black pants, and found a rocking pair of sweatpants that I would wear to an orchestra concert. Swear to God, first time this ever happened. After this, I had to go back to one of the other people helping out with this event's apartments (sorry about the Chinese grammar), and I spent the rest of my evening painting, cutting, and...making capes? Yeah, it was A LOT of fun. About 12am I got back home, passed out for a few hours, then got up at 5:30am so I could make it to campus by 6am and start setting up. THEN, I had a performance with the orchestra at 8:30am, where we played our "red" song, The Red Flag Ode. It was a big hit. Who knew? After that, I spent the rest of the day telling Chinese people about American culture and history, which was quite interesting when they knew nothing about it, and I could make small changes here and there. For example, I told one person that when people came to Ellis Island, they had to sign a book so that the government would know where they were at all times, and also made them eligible to win a fantastic prize. Little stuff like that...Also, I had quite an interesting time trying to explain to Chinese people what phrases like "WTF?", "Dude", and "BYOB" meant in Chinese. I hope that I taught them well and that I will forever be remembered as the kid who spread the word "Dude" all around China. Anyways, I spent the rest of day on campus, leaving myself about 2 hours to finish 6 hours of homework. That worked out for the best...
That following week was pretty much hell for me. I was constantly tired and behind, and had absolutely no interest in studying. Also, it was my birthday that Thursday, so the teachers got me a cake, I had a DQ blizzard, and wrote an 800 character essay. Quite fortunate birthday right? That evening I also decided to have some fun (go on and guess what that means), so I didn't really have that much time to get ready for the next day. The week got even worse, as due to the fact that we were leaving for South Korea on Friday, or test was pushed up to Thursday, which meant one less day of studying, and one less day of sleep. Furthermore, our flight was at 8:30am on Friday, so Austin and I decided to stay over with our friend on campus, meaning we could sleep in a bit longer. 1 hour longer. So instead of getting up at 3:30, we only had to get up at 4:30!! It was so refreshing!! So we finally get into Seoul that afternoon, and decided to go explore the area. We were in a very young part of the city, as there was an arts school in the area, and it was crawling with young, hipster, liberal, South Koreans. It reminded me a lot of Portland and Seattle, but if they mated. And birthed a much bigger baby than the two combined. And was Asian. As you can see, I am very good at comparing things. Funny side note: Seoul has a lot of waffle shops. Don't know why, this is just the way it is. Anyways, back to my riveting story, we are walking around for a few hours, and are trying to learn new words, and at that point we had learned the essentials: "You're beautiful", "Where is the bathroom?", "I would like a beer", things of that nature. Also, we could count to ten. So we decide to test out the nightlife in Seoul, and that was quite fun. That day, in order to make up for the past week of sleep (more like the lack thereof), we slept in until about noon, and then proceeded to devour Facebook for the next two hours like we were Rosie O'Donnell at an all-you-can-eat donut buffet. Later, we met up with a friend of a friend and got some Korean Barbeque, which was absolutely delicious. We also went with some fellow travelers that we met at our hostel, and spent about 3 hours at dinner. Needless to say, we ran out of things to talk about at minute 35. Later, Austin, our new friend an I decided to elongate our night...till 4am. The amazing thing was though that 4am in Seoul looks just like 11am, those Koreans just refuse to go home! Anyways, we were supposed to get back that afternoon to Beijing, but due to the government proclaiming it should snow in Beijing on that day, we were delayed 9 hours and didn't get back till 11pm. We were absolutely delirious in the airport, but it was surprisingly fun, as we decided to speak perfectly clear English to every single person, and spend our food stipend on Dunkin Donuts. Reaalll good idea...
The week after Korea was also quite terrible, but mainly one reason stands out. On Tuesday, it snowed it Beijing, dropping a few feet on the ground. I, for once, decided to leave early to give myself some extra time to get to school. Yeah, you already know how this is gonna turn out. After leaving my apartment at 7am, waiting at the bus station for 45 minutes, standing (yes standing) on a bus filled to the brim with people for 2 hours, I finally made it to campus. Only an hour late. I have now decided that I in fact to NOT like riding the bus. Apart from that, there was really no other difficulties. Well, there were other difficulties, but those were ones I chose for myself. On Thursday, one of Austin's friend's from William and Mary who is doing the semester at sea program landed in Beijing, and he wanted to show him a good time. I wanted to help. Let's just say that we succeed. After a very...interesting...test on Friday, we finally found him after we lost him the night before. We then took him around town, and then decided to help him explore a different part of Beijing. At night. That Saturday, I meet up with a couple of people who were also from Spokane, and we went to a Persian restaurant for dinner. It was so weird talking with two people in Beijing, China about streets in Spokane, mutual associates, and how much we hate it when people mispronounce Spokane.
Well, that's all for now. I'm sorry it's all over the place, and doesn't make much since, but I guess you can chalk it up to the fact that I'm trying to fit in a lot before I leave Beijing. It is such a great life here, and I don't want to leave. In fact, I probably wouldn't, if not for the fact that you who is reading this right now if back home. I do miss you, and can't wait to tell you everything. Well, sorry Mom, maybe not EVERYTHING. Miss you guys and I promise I will write again next week. That is a Ben promise, which means it's absolutely worthless, so I'll consider writing next week. I kid. Until next week.
White on the outside and yellow on the inside,