Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Adventures of Ai-mi-da

Things not to do on your day off:

1. Go into a restricted Chinese militarized zone.

Today was quite the event packed day. Woke up early and went down to the school at 7:30 to meet up with our friend and our boss's parents. We were going cherry-picking! Today was the first day of a cherry festival (I think) and a perfect day to go to one of the orchards to pick fruit. The parents spoke Chinese so it made it much easier to make our way there. There were several orchards to chose from, all near the town of Lushun. So we went to Lushun where there would be complimentary mini-buses to take us to the various locations.

We were dropped off at a small square where Ernie's parents spoke to one of the representatives about when the bus would arrive. No more than 10 minutes had passed when a man approached me, showing me his police ID. After a brief conversation with the cop, E's parents explained to us that foreigners aren't allowed in this town because there's a military base nearby. So, we were taken into custody.

We sat at the police station while negotiations were underway. Of course we couldn't understand what was being said so we just sat still like naughty children in the principal's office. At one point we were just talking quietly amongst ourselves, joking around about something and the cop reprimanded us, telling E's parents that we shouldn't laugh because this was a serious matter. We were on our best behaviour after that.

Of course everything was complicated by the fact that none of us had brought our passports, so we couldn't even prove that we had permission to be in China. Luckily, our school came through for us and faxed copies of all the info. Soooooo....after about 2 hours of deliberating over the appropriate punishment, our school was able to bail us out. Originally the cop said it would be 700rmb (over $100) a piece plus a fine for not carrying our passports, but because we were all so well-mannered and co-operative, and clearly we didn't do anything wrong on purpose, there would only be a charge of 300rmb for the group. Seemed like just another way for the government to scam some money - I bet that guys going out for a nice dinner tonight! But we didn't have much choice.

We had to sign a bunch of papers, but first we needed Chinese names. So that's me - Aimida* - common criminal.

To wrap up this loooooooooooooong story, we did eventually make it to the cherry orchard. Picked and ate loads of plump, juicy, perfect cherries. Mm-mmm! I've never gone cherry picking before, but I have a strong background in playing Hi-Ho-Cherry-O!, so I was a natural. What a fun day - run in with the law and all!

Mmm....delicious. A bunch more pictures in my cherry picking album

*Ai - Love
  Mi - Beautiful
  Da - Achieve

(or any number of other meanings depending on tone - I could be Herb, Rice, Big, but that's not quite as pretty)

20 comments:

islandgirl said...

Things not to do on your day off......I knew it was gonna be funny right then.....and look I get to pop the cherry on the cherry story, how cool is that?A lot cooler than getting picked up in a foriegn country without your passport.....I never carry mine, not too much concern about it here....but every so often I think, uh oh....I think you should go with the Herb, Rice, Big for the name, it\'s more unique don\'t ya think?You crack me up.....C U Later!

Aileen said...

You always get into trouble!

Marley said...

sounds like an eventful day for sure.....I\'m not a big cherry fan, but fresh, real ones kick ass.....loving all your pics....take care.

Isabella said...

Omgosh, I\'m glad that it all worked out well in the end! That sounds like some scary stuff! Glad that you got your fill of cherries though. I love the meaning of the name AiMiDa, verry pretty.~Hugs~

Megan said...

Just wandered through on a link safari...you\'re hilarious! Will definitely be back! :D

deadites said...

Man, that reminds of of the time I took my first BF down to the US to go shoppng. I\'d always just used my birth certificate to cross the border, so when he asked, I said, I use my birth certificate. So he left his British Passpport with the Canadian Landed Immigrant papers inside it. When he flashed his British Birth Cert at the US Immigration officer they asked him what his status was in Canada and apparently he needed a Visa.. so anyways, they ship us back over to the Canadian Border, where he couldn\'t get back in because he couldn\'t prove he was a landed immigrant. Oh the joy and days of silent treatment that brought along after. After 4 hours we were allowed to go through as they contacted the immigration office to see if there was a record of him being a landed immigrant.... sheesh!It was all kinda stupid really..

Corrina said...

OOooooh I like the change in your Space ... nice and bold! =)

Jade said...

YIPES I would have freaked, but that would have worn off to being just a pain in the ass!!

Unknown said...

hahaha! you\'re such a troublemaker! im soooo glad that you didnt get thrown in some chinese prison! gruel sucks! you should have tried to bribe them with some olios!!!!great pics! its sound like a lot of fun! ive been apple picking...hahaha hi-ho-cherry-O! rofl!

Laoch said...

What a harrowing day, Amanda! I am glad we didn\'t need to send you a file in a cake

Gem said...

Good to know my embarassment is finally paying off. It happened so long ago at least I can appreciate it and share it with others now. But boy let me tell you; at the time, I was wishing I could just crawl into a hole and die.. hehe Thanks for stopping by. :)-Gem

Jenna said...

nah i put where i live now and my hometown in ont on my map too no worries :D mmm fresh cherries

Josie said...

funny ....I\'ve done something about cherries today too.. :)have a good weekend!!TTFN

Isabella said...

I hope that you have a great weekend Manders,=)~Hugs~

Theresa said...

I\'m a fan of herb rice big myself.And man I want cherries-- I\'m always hungry! Lol!What an adventurer you are!

JessieJo Taylor said...

Fun for me story of the being tagged by the cops in unknown territory. I have one of those I mentioned on my 101. You can come to my space for a big hug.Love cherries!

Jen said...

omg you get yourself into some pretty interesting scenerios lol.. I think I woulda been shittin bricks hehe.. the laws are so different, ya just never know when you\'re gonna get cuffed in a foriegn country.. you\'re lucky they let ya\'s go.. as for the countdown... Mike is coming to visit me in 3 days =D can\'t wait.. (he\'s the guy I\'m seeing..hehe)

Tracie said...

WOW....I so love coming here I learn so much about where you are...and I especially love typing with this background...lol...it doesn\'t take forever to see what you wrote.Thanks for pinning yourself up on my map.....sheesh now you really do look so faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away when I see the location on there. =SThanks for sharing your experiences while your there....that Shoilet and the Shoilet fly.....*makes a pungent face* hack.....lol...that is halarious...them flies would freak me out...I hate them couite carriers!Thanks Amanda....your great!(((HUGGLEZ)))Tracie

Unknown said...

I\'m thankful they didn\'t confiscate your new camera :)

Cyn said...

Hey fellow criminal!! I just got stopped by the US Army police and the San Diego police for taking a photo! Luckily I did not get fined for not having my passport!

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