Monday, September 17, 2012

notes from the weekend.

I had a really good weekend. 

To celebrate reaching Friday (hooray!), a few of us went out for dinner and I ate real Indian food for the first time ever. 

Saturday was busy and laid-back. Anthony, Katie, and I set out a little after 10AM on a mission to buy cell phones at 258, the electronics market. But before we reached our intended destination, we ate McDonalds in the sunshine and got frappuccinos at Starbucks (where I also had an encounter with the dirtiest, smelliest washroom ever). We ended up buying matching cell phones from a cute Chinese couple who probably overcharged us despite our attempts at bargaining, all the while calling us their beautiful foreign friends. 

When we got back home, I realized the charger wasn't working for my phone, so we had to go back to see our new "friends." I worried they'd pretend not to remember us, but I shouldn't have. They apologized over and over, and I was so happy I knew how to say "méiguānxi" (it's okay) to them. I got a new charger and am now re-mastering t9 texting. 

Since we were already out, we decided to eat supper, and ended up eating at a Chinese restaurant that brewed their own beer. Of course, I had to order one and it was one of the best I've had. After spending so much time together that day, Katie, Anthony, and I joked that our friendship had reached a new level. Poop jokes (see above comment about Starbucks' washroom), chopstick skills teasing, a lively discussion about phonetics, and navigating through a protest* have a way of bringing people closer together. By the way, how do you pronounce milk? With an "i" sound or an "e" sound? 

Sunday meant reading at Starbucks, and a BBQ and game of kickball with some of the other teachers. (I grew up calling it soccer-baseball and had no idea what kickball was until yesterday! Now I know what game kids were playing in books I read growing up :). I was probably the least athletic person playing (I tripped over my own feet and struggled to kick past the pitcher) and joked that it was middle school all over again, but it was so much fun! (And kind of surreal to be playing a game while police helicopters flew overhead). 

I didn't even shower after the game before heading across the street and devouring what I'm sure has been the best Chinese meal I've had yet. Hands down! It was a tiny restaurant and we sat outside at a plastic table that had seen better and cleaner days. One of the teachers took charge and ordered for the rest of us. Meat sticks, kung pao chicken, spicy bread, a tofu and meat dish, rice, beer, and only 40 kuài later, I declared my intention of becoming a regular patron. 

*The Japanese embassy is right across the street from where I live. There has been a massive protest the past few days and it is expected to get worse tomorrow. I haven't felt endangered, but I am being cautious. 

P.S. I apologize for being a bad blogger. The two pictures above are the only two I have to post from this weekend. I took some of the protest but that was before we received an email from the head of our school asking us not to, so I wouldn't feel right posting them -- at least not right now. 


  1. Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We are all healthy, and doing our best to cultivate happiness in our life. Tell me, what is t9 texting?
    Please be careful in public while the protests are occurring. Take care!

  2. I bought an old school phone, a little Nokia haha. So t9 texting is when you type using the 9 number keys and the phone predicts your words.

  3. I'm glad you are embracing the culture! Continue exploring new and exciting asian food while you are over there! You can eat all the McDonalds and Starbucks you want in Canada...

  4. Don't worry! I'll keep exploring! I'd rather eat Chinese food than McDonalds. And Starbucks is a treat!


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