Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Fever

Spring Fever has hit Dalian. Right after midterms ended, the sun came back out and now everything is in bloom. It's still a bit chilly and windy, but I that's what you get when you live in the north, by the sea.

Everything is now in bloom; it's crazy to think what's happened in the time since I last saw proper flora. I feel like last September/October was years ago- SO much has changed, both good and bad.

F and I went backpack shopping in Victory Square the other day; we walked all the way down and back, and it's a decent half hour walk maybe. While at Victory we saw some Chinese in camo all lined up in three rows, doing drills of some sort. They were counting off, marching back and forth in the square, and overall seemed very disciplined- it was really neat to watch. There were also some Navy people in the small base down at the bottom of the hill who seemed to be running drills as well, and they're fun to watch because they have those tassels hanging off their sailor caps and it looks ridiculously cute for a military officer.

On the way back to Dawai then we saw money in huge silver briefcases being transported into a bank, and the van with the money in it was surrounded by about six Chinese men- two with walkie talkies, two with clubs, and two with guns that looked like they could really mess you up. That was also quite exciting; F and I were like WHOA at the guns haha. I mentioned that I'd never really been that close to a gun before and F goes, "Really? But you're from America."

So now that midterms are over I've basically checked out mentally; everyone has. Lots of people have been skipping class in favor of going outside or catching up on sleep; Leanna and her class even convinced their teacher to take them to Labor Park and ride bumper cars instead of teaching their second class. Although some people have the HSK today, which is the Chinese proficiency test, so they've still been studying.

However, after that, I know everyone is pretty much checked out as well because May Holiday is right around the corner. I don't know how many people are traveling, but I think it's a decent amount just because the Koreans can go home so easily.

Danny, our director, is taking the six of us BCA kids on a six day trip around China: We leave tomorrow morning on a 7:35 flight to Wuhan, from there take a four hour bus to Yichang, board a boat there, spend three days going up the Yellow River and seeing the Three Gorges Dam and get off at Chongqing (most people go from Chongqing to Wuhan so it will be cool to go the opposite direction), tour there and Dazu, fly back to Beijing, spend about five hours there, having dinner at a Peking duck restaurant that's supposed to be really good, then arriving back late Friday evening. We'll be missing Monday and Tuesday classes (Wednesday starts the school break), but there's some sort of school-wide sports competition going on (like Track and Field Day back at Central) those two days so we're not missing much.

Then when we come back, school is still out til the 7th or 8th so we have four or five days yet to relax. So today I have to meet a new tutee from 11:30-1:30, tutor my regular girl from 2-4, then buy a backpack, pack for the trip, and then I'll be all set to go for the next week and a half.

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