Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome to America

Robin always brings along random students to dinner with us who want to go to America and who "say" they are going to America. We enjoy it, we are most of these students first Americans they ever meet. Which means we get to stick in their minds forever! Unforgettable.

Tonight Robin brought along a student, a high school student who is studying really hard to be able to go to an American university next year. What a brave, dedicated kid. After dinner, Kevin, Robin, and I took this kid to game room on campus to teach him a new sport.

Meet our new friend.
Jerry. Or Gary. Or Barry. We couldn't really understand what he told us. But we think it was Jerry.
He had never played. So Kevin tried to teach him the tricks. But I think Kevin just got kind of frustrated because he wasn't winning!

Robin was my partner.
And he means business. He has a pool glove. He says his hands get too sweaty.
Robin has skill, strategy, defense. He's got it all. He steps up the table, looks at his shot and fires away.

Kevin is different. Kevin plays pool the way he walks, or talks. He is a "takes his time" kinda guy. As Robin says Kevin's pool style is "TMT" (Too Much Thinking). Rob made it up. And he is so true.

I think it helped having a pool table growing up.

Because we dominated.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Name Game

I have to learn my students names. 150 students is a lot of names to remember, but I feel so bad when I call on a student and I have no idea what their name could even be. So this week I am taking their pictures with their name cards, and I am learning. I am going to study them before class next week and 'wow' them with my excellent memory skills.

I will share a few pictures from today. You might be jealous, fyi. These kids are pretty stinkin' great this semester!

Will and Fisher. BFF!

Viva. She has this "too cool for school" vibe she sends my way, but I think it's because she just looks too cool for school. I'm real interested in her.

Star. However, she wrote Evil Star on her name card. I've got to keep an eye on this one.

And of course every class has "lovers". I am lucky, I get 2 couples in 1 class!

Cherish and Will

Oscar and Kelly
And I did not force them to take their picture together. They wanted to.

Travel, Michael, and Taylor. And Monica who creeped in on their picture. Monica is in the running for my PNB (Potential New Bestie). We danced at the dance party together, and she creeps in other peoples pictures. I see big potential for her.

Libby and Rachel. Named after friends. And classic Chinese pose.

Eric. Like my brother Eric. And this kid, in a strange way, reminds me of my brother.

Sunny. And Sunny's excuse for why he is not in class. I already know his name. And Cathy knows his name... she thought he was a hottie in his sweater vest!

Tuesday at 4:00. In the running for my PNFC (Potential New Favorite Class). Last semester I had a class full of rock stars. They made me laugh so much. I love laughing in class. This class has huge potential. Sophomore Chinese Majors. 10 boys, 11 girls. And I am their 1st foreign teacher. They think I am the rock star! And I don't mind that attention.

Classes were great today but what I was really looking forward to was dinner. We haven't seen Winter in a while, she has been out of town, and is finally back to party.

She looked different. I kept telling her she looked like one of those hip hop Asians who break dance and rollerblade.

We went to our noodle joint. But I made an impulse decision.

I wanted rice. And it was a great decision.

We laughed, talked, ate, and Winter almost made us cry. How do I leave her?

3 months. Don't think about it now.

When we got home Robin had this in his hands.

President of the United States of America- Robin. It's a magnet. He asked if the bird was a Robin. How do I leave him?

3 months. Don't think about it now.

Happy Tuesday.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

1 bottle of ranch

We had a looong, busy week. And I have this cough that is getting worse and worse, so we needed to treat ourselves this weekend.... That usually means a trip downtown! DVD "store" and PIZZA HUT! (Why am I always writing about Pizza Hut?)

So Kevin, Kylie and I headed downtown today. We found that this new FREE shuttle bus for the new Tesco downtown, a giant huge supermarket that the Pizza Hut is attached to. This shuttle bus goes right by our school, so we got on it today, not really knowing if it would take us there, we assumed, but never assume in China...

The bus was very new, so no spit, or sunflower seeds, or trash, or dirty smells, or even people. Clean smells actually. And AC... now I was not a fan of the AC today... it was pretty cold today... but come MAY when it finally warms up I will appreciate that little dose of cool air on my way to buy some butter, or chicken feet?

Since we were going to Pizza Hut... we needed to bring a staple item with us in any pizza experience.

The Ranch Dressing. How have my lips gone 7 months without a drop of this....? How! (BTW, we had it sent from America, we can not get this in QHD)

Once we were kicked off the free shuttle bus, we made our way to our DVD "store" and searched for any new releases. I left with Alice in Wonderland... I hope it works.

We were early for dinner so luckily we did not have to wait in line for an hour like most of our trips to the PH...

We were so excited to get to use the ranch!

We had to shake it up just right....

Cut the seal...

Serve and eat!

It was everything I had ever dreamed of and so much more. It did make me miss The Hideaway and all the sauce they load on their pizzas. That is one thing about China that they have yet to understand... sauces. They barely put any pizza sauce on the pizza. What's up with that China!?


Saturday, March 20, 2010

i hate goodbyes

There are some things you must do while you are in China.

Eat as much food as you can
pee in a squatter toilet
climb the Great Wall
have an adventure with Robin
experience the driving,
and drink milk out of a bag.

Cathy can now leave the country knowing she has done all on the list.

We took them to the bus this morning. They are taking the airport shuttle from QHD to Beijing. I knew it was going to be an emotional goodbye, but I thought I could contain myself.

Robin couldn't! He loves the girls too!

We managed to get one picture where we aren't all crying all over the place. (and we are also aapart of the glasses club apparently)

The Chinese peeps on the bus had no idea what to think of us, 5 American girls (Kylie was there taking pictures, holding back tears, she misses her friends too) and 1 Chinese man just crying and hugging on the bus. We made a scene. As we do everywhere together.

And as quickly as they came, they were gone.

And then it was just us. And pretty soon we are going to have to say goodbye to him. I can't do that.

After I stopped crying in the parking lot and their bus was out of sight, we tried to make it for McDonald's b-fast, but was too late, so we dominated some cheeseburgers at 10 in the morning.

I miss them already. Thank you so much for coming and visiting. I know China isn't glamourous, and it smells, but it loved you a lot! And I think I know a few 100 students who would happy to be your guide next time you come!


Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm makin' dreams come true

As most, and probably ALL of my readers know, Kara's blog is pretty dang great. Her story is one of those stories you tell to people, and then they start reading, and they tell their mom and they start reading, and pretty soon movies are being made about you. That's what makes blogs so powerful. You have no idea who reads them, or how they can touch someone's life.

Kara's blog touches peoples lives.

So today we went to see her so that my precious friends could meet the girl they read about!

They got to meet Kara, Peter, and Mother Blain.

And get their picture together!

I remember my 1st time to meet famous blogger Kara... I was nervous because I had creeped on her for months and knew all the stories and thought she would think I'm such a freak. Kori and I compared our 1st encounters with Kara, to what it would be like to actually meet The Pioneer Woman. What would we say to her if we actually met her in person?

Pretty sure she would think we are crazy. Blog Stalking.

Since we were so close to the ocean we had to see it. After all, it is their Spring Break, and most people go to the beach for SB... not China.

It was cold, and dirty. Not your typical SB Beach location.

They leave tomorrow AM, which means tonight was our last hoorah; food, entertainment, culture, we had to get it all in. We had a few hours left. We had to make the most of it.

And Kiner did.... She stood up to eat. Great concept.
KTV night. Which included....





And KTV China can't be done without...


There may have been about 30 people there in a giant huge, pimped out VIP room. It was a perfect way to send them back to America. ( p.s. I love America)

I have loved every minute of having them here. I needed them more than I thought.

I don't think I can say goodbye tomorrow. I want them to stay with me. Forever.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adventure Day with Robin

We went to The Wall today... Robin came with us, so before I go any further, you should know that this trip was not any ordinary Great Wall experience. It was special. And insane. Because Robin was with us.

We started by peeing here.
Kori and I side by side.

Robin didn't want to pay the 30 yuan ($4.40) to enter the Wall, so he "said" that they told him we could just climb the side of the mountain for free and get to the wall that way... And of course, we followed Robin...

Through a gate...

Under a barbed-wire fence...

And up the mountain...

"I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here"

And when we finally reached the wall path. There was celebrating.
And happy faces!

We worked up our appetite climbing that mountain.

So we stopped for our PB&J sandwiches.

Robin added bagged seaweed to his....

After lunch, we were off to go back down the wall and take pictures...

Robin told us we must stretch before.

We love that guy!

AND... we had visitor on the wall...

So as we were coming back down, we wondered how we were going to get out without getting in trouble... Robin said just to walk through. Well that worked for us...
But not Robin.

To make a long story short... after, a LOT of Chinese yelling, and a LOT of confusion from the American girls, we finally got Robin back. If you want to know more in details or see photos from the almost Chinese beating/Chinese arrest of Robin, contact Kori, Cathy, or Megan. Or me. But just not for pictures.

That is a story we will tell our kids someday. "One day, I snuck into The Great Wall of China through the side of the mountain, and it almost got my Chinese best friend arrested"

I am glad my friends can experience Adventures with Robin.