First, my blog got hacked, and it’s still not up to snuff. You’ll notice if you try to go to any page on this website you will get a 404 error. I’m not quite sure why that is happening, or how to fix it, but it was annoying enough to discourage me from adding any new content until I solved the problem.
Then, like I said last post, I got really sick. I’m thinking it was bronchitis. It made me exhausted and while I managed not to cancel class, teaching was about all I had the energy for. The weather, about 8-weeks of solid rain, didn’t help my health or my general energy level.
Then, things kind of flipped the other way. The rain stopped the sun shone and the flowers and trees decided to bloom all at once. It was amazing, especially after the hellish weather we had been having, and I couldn’t stand to be inside. My school is a forestry university, and as such has one of the most beautiful campus’ in China. I taught my classes outside, had my office hours outside and spent as much time as possible outside (despite still feeling pretty sick).
Then, Qingming day came. Qingming is known as “Tomb Sweeping Day,” and is a national holiday in China. The school gave us three days off. But thanks to my awesome schedule (and re-arranging one class) I managed to have an entire week off. There was no way I was going to waste that.
So, I headed off to Shanghai to see an old friend. No, not an old person friend, but a person from my past. Waaaaaaaaay long ago. Megan and I were really close friends in middle school and the beginning of high school, but haven’t kept in touch much since graduation almost 18 years ago. We saw each other at our 10-year reunion, and chit-chatted, but we haven’t talked since. But thanks to the magic of Facebook, she got in touch with me when she was planning a trip to China. So as soon as my last class was over I hopped on a bus and spent the next 2 days with her and her husband.
It was really fun. We looked at some interesting French Concession architecture, ate some western and chinese food, and reminisced about old times. Megan brought up the fact that our younger selves would never believe this meeting. I mean, virtually no communication for decades and then a meeting in Shanghai, China of all place?! I love how unexpected life is sometimes.
Then I jetted off to Hong Kong. I know, I know, I was just there. But my friend Color lives there (so I had a free place to stay) and I still had many things I wanted to do (in the warm weather) so I went for 4 days. It was totally fun. I got to see a bunch of new things, catch up with my friend Danlee (and her super nice roommates), and got to eat a bunch of western food. One night Color even had a small dinner party (in which his poor classmate spent hours in the kitchen cooking delicious food for us all–I made mashed potatoes.) Hong Kong felt very familiar to me (well, I was there only a few months ago) and it was the perfect place to relax for a few days.
But as for cheap place to go, it didn’t exactly turn out like that. Color changed from my friend to little devil on my shoulder, and kept talking about buying a mac at the Apple store. I wasn’t buying into his peer pressure, but we did go to the store together so I could buy some headphones. Of course we played with all the computers and I have to say I was totally impressed. I’ve been researching laptops for several weeks in anticipation of buying a new one this summer, and on every “top 10 list” mac’s were always on the top. I finally understood why.
But they are of course expensive. Enter Heather, one of the best sales people I’ve ever met. She was queen of the soft sell, totally agreeing with me it was expensive, and even agreeing with some of Apple’s faults as a company. I was still pretty much a “no,” but she saw my hesitation and pounced on it. “Are you a student?” she asked. Color is. “Well, you are eligible for the education discount.” It knocked the already discounted price down to similarly priced computers I was looking into. I still walked away but to think about it. I’m a total miser when it comes to technology and money, I do not need the latest or greatest of anything, but even I couldn’t talk myself out of this purchase, the price was just too good. We went back and I bought one.
We celebrated my new purchase by drinking martinis and tequila in the famous Lan Kwai Fong bar area of Hong Kong.
The next day I went back home, with one day to relax before class started. I didn’t get much relaxation time because some of the foreign students from Indonesia called and invited me to have a picnic with them at the nearby reservoir. The weather wasn’t perfect, but there was no rain and the reservoir was incredibly peaceful. The sandwiches, made my Fami and Susan, were also amazing. It was also nice to just have a totally relaxing, fun time outside.
So, I think all that is a pretty good excuse for not being online much. I still haven’t figured out my websites problem, but I figure I should add some new content while I’m trying to fix it. So come back soon for updates!