Saturday, June 5, 2010

Where has Edna been, and where is Edna going?

That's right, I graduated. The last month has been a weird mix of goodbyes and emotions and silly things like that as I left Etown (and soon, home) for good. I also hosted two visiting friends from Australia, who I'd met in Dalian and had come all the way to Central Pennsylvania to see me graduate/turn 21. First lesson of adulthood: hosting people is exhausting.

Oh, and I turned 21! On the same day as graduation, no less. I have to give a shout-out here, for my family threw me an absolutely incredible graduation/birthday party.

So anyway, the eternal graduation question: What now? Well it certainly isn't more education- after the nightmare that was my thesis, I have no soul left and you couldn't pay me enough to go to grad school.

So where am I going? Back to China is the logical (and correct) answer, but surprisingly, I won't be staying long.

I mean, I'm 21 and I've already spent a year and half of the last four in China, not to mention all the summers I went to Shanghai. If I go back now, I can see myself easily falling back into the China Bubble, oh that dreaded Bubble, and I want to go out and really challenge myself this time. I mean, there's so much of the world to see! So I'm realizing my wish to move abroad again and starting a slow-travel RTW (round the world) trip, beginning with San Francisco in two days. I'll spend a week there, then head back to Shanghai for about five weeks of pure family/friends time, then I'm ....moving to Singapore!

That's all I've got planned so far, I haven't even a job lined up yet- just a three-week volunteer gig with the Youth Olympic Games that will take me to the end of August. I'm tentatively thinking Australia or the Philippines by Christmas, but I mean with these things... who knows? The last thing I want to do is plan too far ahead.

And if I ever need a backup plan...Shanghai's not going anywhere.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inflatable Rainbows (or: cellllebrate good times!)

Sooo I was gone for a while. I was writing my senior honors thesis and it pretty much ate my soul. There was a rough patch there where I didn't even think I was going to finish it (nor did my professors, great motivation there), and therefore not graduate with honors.

Yeah, April was a long, sleepless month.

But I'm back! I can't promise I'll be around for long- this month is crazy full of graduation prep, including finals and senior week, but at least MY THESIS IS OVER. Nearly. I defend it tomorrow!

Hey, all that aside, here's a colorful picture of some inflatable rainbows outside Xinghai Square in Dalian. September 2008, during a visit from my mom.

So...Celllllebrate good times, COME ON!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rub Down

A massage parlor somewhere; they're so common in China that I don't even know in which city it was that I took this. If ever there was a good impulse buy, this is it.

They're not always the cleanest establishments, but the service is fabulous; even at 20 RMB (~$3) an hour you get some quality foot-rubs, often with a bit of head and shoulder massaging thrown in too. Actually, even writing about it makes my shoulders ache for one...only 11 more weeks til I go back!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gaelic Football in China

(It was windy, I couldn't get a good photo. Shut up.)

So it completely slipped my mind on Wednesday that I have photos of China that are appropro for Paddy's Day. Namely, the annual All-China Gaelic Games. So here's a belated Irish in China post.

Go Mikey Go! (Game against Shanghai; Mikey's the one who started the Dalian Wolfhounds)

There's a surprisingly large Irish expatriate population in China, and they've of course brought their national sport, Gaelic football, to the Chinese, English, Americans, Australians, and whatever other nationalities will stand for the rough sport. I played keeper in the Games in Beijing '08 and Shanghai '09, both for the Shenzhen Ladies (though I trained with the Dalian team, we didn't have enough for a full girls' team.) I famously fractured my foot in '08 post-games and my appearance in '09 was completely guilt-tripped by my captain, but the Games were ridiculously fun nonetheless (despite my foot wanting to destroy me for making it suffer through an entire football competition).

Also, for anyone who knows me personally, Gaelic football was basically where my obsession fondness for the Irish took root.

Dalian Wolfhounds men's team, Beijing 2008 (check out the air pollution! healthy sporting conditions to be sure!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shiny Shopping Street

Nanjing Lu, the famous pedestrian shopping street, Feb 2008.

Kind of a cliche photo to post, I realize, but ooh look! Pretty lights!

/Edna runs away to finish her thesis

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Barbie's House

The Barbie flagship store on Central Huaihai Road. Six stories of pink girliness.
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