Monday, August 29, 2005

bbq, beer and bloody flesh wounds

My damn computer has been such a brat lately. Pretty much the whole top row of the keyboard hasn't been working and it's really pissing me off. It's working now so I must take advantage and write a blog! By the way, that's why I haven't been commenting much lately, it's just too slow and frustrating.


So, Sunday was our last day of classes, which obviously called for celebrations afterwards. It was a really fun night, and so many people came out. Not just our usual little group of foreigners, but some of the Chinese teachers too. Also, the new foreign teachers had arrived so they came out too. Out with the old and in with the new! We went to that bbq restaurant, and this time ordered a reasonable amount of food as opposed to the truckloads of squid we acceidentally ended up with last time. It was kind of cool to see the new teachers in their first days here, everything being new to them. And then us, the old wizened ones, giving them pointers and telling our stories. Haha! Piles of beef, lamb, chicken hearts, sweet potatoes, buns, and squid, along with a few pints of beer to wash it all down. Grand total: $3 per person.


Next it was on to Noah's, our usual pub, to sit on the patio and drink more beer. Ryan, Theran and I treated ourselves to some celebratory Cuban cigars. Aren't we just the toughest? I figure the mob will try to recruit me after seeing this pic.


Sometime around 1 maybe, we made the move to JDs, the bar we always end up at after too many beers. It's filled with foreigners, mostly Russians. Drank a bit, danced a bit, the usual bartime antics. When it closed we weren't quite ready to go home so we decided to check out another bar a couple of blocks away, but it was closed when we got there. As we stood around trying to choose our next move, someone said to Theran "your leg is bleeding." And so it was. Actually, the bleeding had mostly stopped after soaking his sock and shoe. Now it was best described as a disgusting gaping wound.


Hospital time! Theran didn't know how it happened and couldn't even remember feeling anything. How could anyone not notice? He said it didn't hurt and the combination of alcohol and shock wasn't giving him the best judgement. He still wanted to find another bar and then go to the hospital in the morning. Hello! If your guts were in your leg, they'd be spilling out right now!


That pretty much ended the night and we walked to the hospital. Luckily hospitals seem almost as common as bars here, and there was one very close by. Everything went really smoothly too, the doctor and nurse spoke a bit of English and there was really no one else there at 3 in the morning. First we went into a big, fairly empty room where the doctor looked at Theran's leg and wrote out a prescription. The hospital didn't quite have the same sterile, antiseptic look like we're used to, espicially with the mosquito net hanging over the bed, but it wasn't bad.


Next we went and paid for everything. About $45. Then we went to see the nurse, who gave Theran a tetnus shot in the bum (I've got a pic, but I don't think Theran wants his ass on the internet. Then again, I could be wrong).


Ryan patiently waited in the corridor.


Now time for the stiches. Theran was very brave. I'd have been a nervous wreck for sure.


They didn't want me taking photos during the stitching, I was only allowed an after shot. I've never seen anyone get stitches before, but the doctor seemed so rough! Mostly when he was giving him the anesthetic. Jabjabjab! Blech.


So, all stitched and bandaged up and ready to go.


He has to go back in a few days, I guess to change the bandage. And that was it! Definitely a night to remember.


A friend is throwing us another goodbye party on Wednesday. I hope we make it out unscathed.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

That's a wrap folks

That's it. All finished. Yesterday, at 3:15 pm, my career as a Rockies English School teacher came to an end. It felt bittersweet, saying goodbye to my students and fellow teachers. There have been plenty of rough, difficult times, but so many good memories too. I will miss it here. Some of my students have emailed me already, which makes me soooo happy! One of my favourite girls has emailed me twice and it is just the cutest thing ever. Seriously, tears started to well up. Here are her two letters:



       Hello,Anmanda.I'm Cathy.I miss you and Idon't want you to go back to Canada.When you go back to Canada,I'll E-mail you everyday.When you go back to canada,will you miss me?I love you,Amanda.I will miss you,dear Amanda.I will study English harder and one day i will go to Canada and visit you,ok?


last night,Idreamed of you.we went shopping together.We bought many things.We were very exhausted,so you went to my home.My mother gave you the cookie,tea and some were very happy.oh!what's the matter?oh!I have to get up.What a pity!!!

I have some question ,can i ask you:where are you living now?(in dalian) why do you want to go back to Canada???


Is that not the sweetest thing??? She's 9 years old and she wants to be a diplomat. Crazy!


Anyway, I can't bear to write anymore right now. My keyboard is still behaving badly and the top row won't work. I am using an on-screen keyboard and it is taking a million years for me to click out every damn letter individually. Never has a blog been so painstaking or time-consuming.


Friday, August 26, 2005


At school, feeling grumpy. For the past too many weeks I've been forced by time constraints to eat McDonald's for Saturday lunch. Well I just can't stomach it today. Unfortunately that means I must wait til after 5 before I'll have a chance to eat anything. Something is wrong with my right leg. The skin on my calf is really sensitive, and every tme my pants brush against it, it feels like a billion little needles prickling me. Argh! What the hell is it?


Boss needs computer. Adios.

more clothes!

Picked up my other outfits from the tailor's today. I think I'm pretty happy. Not 100% sure about the pants, the bum area could be improved. Sigh... or perhaps it's just my bum that needs the work. Anyhoo, here are the new items.




What do you think?

Oh gee, someone said I look offal. Did she mean I look like offal? Isn't that mashed up animal parts or something? Man, that sucks. She's pretty mean, especially using her soaring intellect to attack me with words like "offal". Boohoohoo, whimpers my crushed spirit.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A night out at the talkies

Theran and I decided to treat ourselves and go to the movies. We've only been to one movie in the last year - Star Wars. I know we can buy DVDs for ridiculously cheap, but I love going to the theatre. So we went to see War of the Worlds, the only English movie playing. It was so nice to sink into the big, comfy chairs and stare up at the huge screen. The lights dimmed and it began. If time had dulled my memory since the last outing to the movies, this experience refreshed everything and it is now indelibly etched in my mind. I will NEVER go to the theatre in China again. Okay sure, I leave really soon, but I would stand by this even if I had to stay here another year. It just isn't worth it.


TALKTALKTALKTALKTALK!!!! The people in the audience just wouldn't shut up. I remember that it annoyed me when we saw Star Wars, but I forgot just how bad it was. People leave their cell phones on, and then when they get calls, they don't go in to the lobby to take them, they just talk right there. I don't stay perfectly silent during the film, but if I do want to say something to my friend, I whisper it!! Does nobody know how to lower their voice here? And this wasn't just one annoying couple or group, like we occasionally get at home, this was everyone in the damn theatre! Yapyapyap. yakkityyakyak. So rude and inconsiderate!


Honestly, one thing I'm looking forward to about going home is that, generally speaking, people have good manners. Most people hold the door for others behind them instead of letting it slam in their faces, most people will hold the elevator if they see someone running to catch it as opposed to repeatedly pushing the close-door button, most people won't sit on the aisle seat of a bus and then refuse to scoot over or even move a squidge to let someone else sit down, most people don't push their carts into you impatiently while you're waiting in the check-out line, and most people don't talk at full volume throughout an entire movie!!!


Okay, just had to vent. Don't get me wrong, I still have more fond memories than bad ones, but I most definitely will not miss things like this. It really makes me appreciate the standards back home, where the majority of people really do uphold Canadians' reputation for being polite.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

2 days left

I can't believe I'm so close to being finished. I have a 7 1/2 hour day on Sat, and 4 hours on Sunday. And that's it. Finito. No more. I'll be unemployed.


I've bought our tickets to Shanghai and booked our hotel. Now I just have to pack up the apartment. Ugh, really not looking forward to that. I am such a packrat, I want to save everything! But I'll have to be reasonable. I'll have to send some stuff home ahead of me, but hopefully not too big a box. Theran bought another suitcase to bring stuff back. But he's only traveling for 2 weeks (and he's just going to store the suitcase at the Shanghai airport), there's no way i want to lug around piles of dvds, books etc while I traipse across Russia.


Anyhoo, packing shmacking. I've got more important things to think about. Like going away parties!! Yippee!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

tentacles suck

One of my students was telling me about all the different kinds of seafood she's eaten: the usuals like squid, and shrimp, along with things like jellyfish, sea cucumber etc. I thought I had her beat because I had eaten all the above, as well as shark, which she had never tried. But alas, she topped me. She soared passed me and I have no desire to try to catch up. She described to me a kind of seafood that looks a bit like a squid, but only with 3 legs and about the size of your hand. It's a Korean dish where they eat the thing raw and alive, still kicking. She said you cut it up but the tentacles still wiggle around, I guess a bit like chopping an earthworm in half. And as if it's not gross enough to eat squirming squid legs, apparently the little suckers grab hold and stick to the inside of your mouth! Ugh barf gag!!! I don't think I've heard of anything more unappetizing. I'd take silkworm over that anyday!


Here is one talented artist's rendition of the fearsome squid-like creature.

Monday, August 22, 2005

the idiot box

This entry was supposed to be titled The Boob Tube, but damn msn deemed in inappropriate. Yeesh.


I've been watching an obscene amount of television lately. Whipped through season 1 and 2 of Nip/Tuck in about a week, finished off season 4 of Alias, watched all we can download of the current season of Six Feet Under (oh my god, I can't believe what happened!!!) and now I've gotten into Queer as Folk. I think it's because soon I'll have to leave this magical land of the 80¢ DVD and then what'll I do?? We're taking all the DVDs back home, but apparently not all of them will work, it's just the luck of the draw. It's funny (strange, not haha) because I never watched that much tv back home, only now when we're buying series after series. I've decided I love tv. I know there are loads of shitty shows out there, but there are some really good ones too, shows with witty dialogue, interesting characters and stories that really suck you in. Unfortunately, those are often the shows that get inexplicably cancelled.


Anyhoo, i'm in China and all I'm talking about is American television. What a lame-ass blog. Here are some of the options I have if I want to watch the Chinese channels instead of DVDs.





Sunday, August 21, 2005


My passport came back today with my Mongolian and Russian visas! Yay, I'm really going!!


Lalalalalalala. This calls for a change in tunage. Now playing: some Chinese song that I don't know the name of, but I call it Green Light.

Friday, August 19, 2005

the video

A friend told me that he thought this was something I would do.... heh heh.... it is  my sense of humour, that's for sure!


It's working now, right?

So far so good

I went to the tailor's today to check on my clothes and to get Theran to look at materials with me. I wanted him to look at the other red I liked, and help me scope out the shops for some nice blacks. Well, the pants and shirt weren't done yet, I have to go back on Monday, but the dress was ready. I like it better than I did the other day, so I don't think I'll bother getting the other red one made up. I am still contemplating a shorter black dress though, one that comes just above the knees. I think it'd be pretty. So...... here's the dress!





Thursday, August 18, 2005

disappointment and stress

So I went to get my outfits from the tailor the other day. It was so disappointing! The shirt was way to wide and gave me no shape, I just looked like a big thick tree trunk! The pants had the wrong colour flowers stictched into the bottom and instead of a nice cool sea green, I got hot pink! Plus, they're on both legs when I thought it would just be one. The style of the pants is also really horrendous. I specifically said I didn't like high waists, I'd prefer them to sit more on my hips. What did I get? High waisted Urkel pants! With these hideous pleats that bulge out making it look like I've got an ass in the front. ARGH! The ass I've got in the back is plenty thanks, I don't need another! As for the dress, it needed to be taken in a bit, but the traditional Qipao style was very nice. Unfortunately, I no longer like the material. I mean, i like it, just not for me. Instead I am bitterly jealous over my friend's dress which is the other material I was debating on. It's soooo beautiful! This is why I always take hours to choosesomething, because I need to be sure. Look what happens when I make these hasty decisions!


So here is my dilemma now. I am considering getting another dress made, same style, different material. Maybe the deep red like my friend has, or maybe looking for a nice black. The red is gorgeous, but the stupid dress I have now is also red (but with small goldeny flowers on it). Apparently nobody has black Qipaos, but only Chinese people will know that, no one back home will be any the wiser. What should I do? I want to go home with one dress that I'm happy with. And the lady has agreed to make it for a very reasonable price. Material + tailor will be about 250RMB. So that's like C$37. Pretty good. I wish I didn't have this dress, then I would get the dark red and a black one. But that's just silliness now. How many Chinese dresses can a white girl reasonably have! Yeesh! I go back there tomorrow, what should I do? Help help!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Today's video

Time for a change on the media player, so I thought I'd test out a video. Not the greatest quality or the most exciting, but who cares. This is from the beerfest, after Carmen and I had narrowly escaped being trampled to death. I took this video on my lovely Canon A95, which I still absolutely love to bits.


P.S. Ugh, I hate hearing my voice on video. I sound so whiney! 


Can anyone see the video? I don't know what I'm doing wrong. When I go to Preview My Space I can see it..... blast! I should have known I'd never be able to master this technology!


Okay, so I tried uploading my video to Walagata but it said it was too big. Although I never did any uploading for the song, and it seems some people could hear it. What do I do now?


ARGH!!!! Is it working yet? I trimmed down the video so it's under 5 whatevers, and tried the Yahoo briefcase thing, but I still don't think it's working. Shitgoddamncrap.


Okay. I THINK I got it working. But it takes a hell of a long time to play. So if you're patient, or you leave my page up in the background while doing other things, you should eventually be able to see it. Fingers crossed!

Kuai diar!

Despite the excessive amount of DVDs I own, sometimes I just want to channel surf aimlessly. Today that brought me across The Amazing Race in China. They don't actually show the entire show here, only the Chinese part, which is annoying that they only care about the part in their country. So I'll never know who wins. Oh well. Also, I could barely hear what the people were saying because Chinese was put overtop. But I got the gist of it. I could never be on that show, I find it infuriating just watching these people in their frustration. Not that that stopped me from watching of course. On the one hand, I totally felt for them. I know it's frustrating here sometimes, what with the language barrier and culture differences etc,  but some of those contestants were such assholes. "Faster, faster, what's going on, I hate China" blahblahblah. I know I'd be irritable and obnoxious too if i had a million bucks on the line, but that is one of the reasons i wouldn't want to do it. Money can turn people into such shitheads.


Anyway, I saw these contestants cursing China and I suddenly felt so defensive. Jerkballs, dissing my China. Like I said, I can sympathise with them, I often lose patience and get pissed off at things here, but I don't hate the place or the people. I'm in their country, I have no right to be angry if they don't understand me. Some of those contestants seemed to be getting so pissed off that their driver didn't understand what they were shouting at him. Yeah, say it louder, then it'll translate itself. Yeesh.


What was my point? Hmm, I don't think I really had one. I guess it's just that despite what I feel are some very justified points of dissatisfaction (crowds, inefficiency, rubbish), I like it here. Maybe I'm just getting overly sentimental and nostalgic because I'm leaving so soon. There's a lot I'll miss. And seeing those stupid, arrogant tourists that seemed to expect everyone to do things like it's done at home, kind of ticked me off. In fact, now that I really think of it, I don't like that show at all. Pushy, impatient people rushing through the most beautiful places on the earth, not appreciating their surroundings, just racing to get out so they can get their hands on a big pile of cash.


Stupid Amazing Race, who cares who wins.


(kuai diar means "quickly")

Saturday, August 13, 2005


This is so exciting! Thanks to islandgirl I have now added this super cool media player! How fun! I'd been thinking of adding music to my space but this is way better. Now it's up to you if you want to have a listen or not, as opposed to music unexpectedly blaring through your speakers and scaring the beejeezus out of you. haha, beejeezus. And all those psychedelic sound pictures are mesmerizing. Ooooooh......


At the moment, the song playing is called SuperStar, by the hugely popular band S.H.E, who I have decided I love. Go on, have a listen. You can even sing along to the one English line "you're my superstar". I fill in the rest with "dadadas" and "bapbapbaps".

smoke 'em if you got 'em

 Here are two views on smoking. The one I'm used to, being from Canada, which is "SMOKING BAD, SMOKING GROSS, SMOKING KILLS."




And here is a demonstration of the Chinese attitude.* Slightly more laid back with a tad less emphasis on death. "FREE CIGARETTES, SMOKE AWAY, YUM YUM." These were samples being handed out in the bar one night.


*before I get criticized for being racist or generalising about Chinese people, here is my disclaimer: This is NOT the opinion or view of everyone in China, I am well aware of that. None of my Chinese friends smoke, all I'm pointing out is that the government doesn't condemn it and smoking is permitted everywhere. So don't go getting your panties in a bunch!

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

quit playing with your food!

Yes, I'm a big geek, I know that. But the endearing kind, right? Anyway, we went out for bbq the other night and it was so good. Basically it's an all you can eat place where the waiters come by with giant skewers of meats to give you.



skewers of chicken wings

Ordered a mug of beer and it turned out to be green beer. Don't know what made it green but it was so tasty!


mmm, green is delicious!


There's also a buffet with salad, veggies, noodles etc. It's so delicious. I had squid, chicken, beef, pork and I even tried tongue! It actually didn't taste that bad, but it was just knowing what it was that really grossed me out. Ah well, I'll try almost anything once! Besides, it made for a good photo op.





Look, it's tongue! But not my tongue! I'm just pretending it's my tongue! Get it? Get it?? HAHA! Okay, maybe a bit too literal, not subtle enough. I'm just not up to my usual tongue-in-cheek wit today. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!


Man, I am such a loser.

pic of the day

This is at the end of our lane. I'm really not sure how this works, but people are LIVING in there. Each section is just one room, some of them have the doors facing the sidewalk, I guess the others have access from the other side. I got a quick glance through the "window" with the light on and I could see a bed with a mosquito net hanging over it, and a few shelves piled with clothes and things. It's so strange. I could never sleep in there, I'd feel so claustrophobic! 


Update* I found out who lives here. It's a temporary lodging for the construction workers that are working behind it. Interesting.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

I'm alive

Although still saddled with a dud of a computer. We were optimistic that it was just a clogged fan like a few people had suggested. We took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly. It was filthy and it seemed plausible that this was the cause of all our troubles. With renewed hope we set it up and turned it on. It was working, purring softly like a happy kitty! I plunked myself down to do some surfing, and not 15 minutes in it crashes. DAMN YOU COMPUTER!!!!

So here I am at work, using a relic from the cultural revolution for a computer and it's driving me bonkers! First of all, there's no wheelie on the mouse. Why would anyone want a mouse without a wheelie?? What good is that?? I have to scoot the pointer over and use the scroll bar, what a nuissance! Damn inconvenient scroll bar way over on the side of the screen. Of course I keep forgetting that the mouse is wheelieless so I keep giving it futile little mouse massages with my finger.

For some reason i don't get any options in my blog either. Hence the small, boring, black font.

The keyboard is all grungy too, black and sticky from so many dirty little fingers poking at it. That's just icky.

On the upside, it's on, so I'll count my blessings. One. Haha.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to pay my deposit on my trans-siberian ticket. It's such a big whackload of moolah. Even though I know it'll be amazing and totally worth it, blahblahblah, it's still hard to part with a large sum like this. And this is just the deposit - gadzooks!

Lemme see, what other thoughts should I jot down while I have the opportunity? Tomorrow is the last day of the beerfest, I'll either go tonight or tomorrow.

I hate this small font. It's giving me a headache. Besides, it's not nearly big or pompous enough for my deluded sense of importance. NOT EVEN LIKE THIS!

I'm starving. I'm so hungry that I'm eating a bag of soggy, limp crackers that have been sitting on this desk for god knows how long. After touching this grubby keyboard. I'm sickatating.

Alrighty then cowpokes, I'm off. It's been fun. For me. I've been checking in at everyone's sites when I get a chance. I don't always leave comments though, either because I don't have much time, or I'm uninspired. Or you're boring. Muahahaha! Hey, don't beat yourselves up, not everyone can come up with this riveting soggy biscuit material.

Ew, soggy biscuit. Heh heh.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005


My computer is busted! It keeps shutting itself down after about 5 minutes! It's so awful. Help!! This is why I haven't been able to visit anyone. Hope to get it fixed asap. I feel like I'm missing a limb!!
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