Thursday, March 4, 2010

February 28th: Firecrackers and Chopsticks

Thankfully, I was already awake when the first explosion of firecrackers went off at 7:30 this morning. Not just one or two tossed by passing students—this was a whole carton of blackcats, or more. Fifteen minutes later I heard another round; it sounded pretty close. I heard the boom of fireworks about eight. I know this is the day of the Lantern festival, the last day of the spring festival holidays, and everyone returns to work and school tomorrow, but who can even see fireworks at eight on a cloudy Sunday morning?

As I was getting ready to go out, Frank, our waibon, came by. I finally had the chance to tell him about my broken desk chair and to ask again about when the internet will be set up. He took the IP address for my computer; he said he’ll work on it. Hopefully soon; I’m going through facebook withdrawal. I know everyone’s wondering what’s going on; I haven’t even checked my email since Wednesday night. This is the longest I’ve gone without talking to Billy Wayne since we started dating.

I went out with the Pratts, and we met up with other friends at Casey and Tabby’s house. We spent some time together there, and then Dale, another American teacher, took us to a nearby restaurant and helped us order lunch. Yet again, the meal was good, although it wasn’t any of my favorite dishes. We had lotus root fixed a novel way for us, a chicken and greens dish, corn with a bit of bell pepper in it, spring rolls, and a hotpot of potatoes with a bit of pork—we had to watch out with that one; there were bits of chili pepper in the mix. I accidentally ate a large piece and it took a glass of orange juice, a spring roll, and half a bowl of rice before I could get the numbness out of my mouth. Other than the occasional mouth-numbing pepper seed and the bits of cooked ginger, which I can eat but am not crazy about, everything we’ve eaten has been wonderful. Everyone raved about the food in China before I came, and now I believe them.

I had only used chopsticks two or three times before moving here, and never for an entire meal. I was afraid I would have a hard time with that, but it hasn’t been a problem at all. When you hold them the right way, they aren’t too difficult to manage. I still am a little slow sometimes trying to serve myself from a bowl to my plate, but other than that it’s just clicked.

I know most people think I’m a bit crazy for moving off to China, but I love the adventure of it. I need to be challenged in life—moving to a new country is certainly a good way to do that. I love exploring a new city, finding my way around, looking for new possibilities. Now you’ll know I’m crazy—I even like moving. I love being a new place and figuring out what to do with it. How should I arrange the furniture, should I paint, where should I hang these pictures? I love the process of settling in and making a place mine.

I know there will be days that I get frustrated living here in China, but I’m still in the honeymoon phase right now. Everything is still new and exciting.

The top picture is the view from my kitchen window; the bottom one is my sunroom. 


Post a Comment