Last week a 4'10" bundle of fun from Ameri.ca came to visit. My friend Cammie lived in Hang.zhou for 4 years and left at the end of last year. Lucky for those of us still residing here, she spent her hard earned teaching assistantship $$ on a plane ticket back to the Mainland!
One of the highlights of her being here was her bringing her wanderlust spirit. One of the things she had on her "to-do" list was "go on a trip!" I laughed at her about this because, she was already technically on a trip jsut being here! It is true though, that living abroad makes you want to explore all the crannies around you and we were happy to help her out with that request.
Rather spontaneously, last Wednesday, Seneca, Hannah, Cammie, and myself found ourselves on a 2 hour bus to a place called Qiandaohu (thousand islands lake). We booked ourselves a hostel and packed our umbrellas since it was a rain saturated forecast.
The girls had to wait for me to get off work and bus back downtown, then someone who won't be named forgot their passport and had to leave the bus station to go back home and get it. After all was said and done, we found ourselves rolling into a new city sometime around dinner time.
After checking in and hushing Seneca's relentless recount of the horror movie "Hostel" we found a family who owned a shop and was willing to cook us dinner. They even moved a table outside for us since the odor of smelly tofu was so rampant we couldn't stop coughing.
After a vegetarian dinner (for Cam) we went back to the hostel, broke out our canned wine stash, and sat around for hours laughing about the past and present and sharing fears that our futures won't be as awesome as our present. (so good to know I'm not alone in this sentiment).
Early the next morning we head of on our scheduled boat tour around the huuuuge lake and toured various islands. it was rainy but still beautiful. It was the kind of rain you can still see through, so we were able to at least enjoy ourselves. We rode a shady cable car (haaaaate) and fed a ton of huge carp.
Of course, because this is Chi.na, everything was overrun with awkward kitschy tourism. (is is possible to find a hill with a path, rather than cement steps in this country?!! Because it's been two years and I still haven't...) But alas, we were able to laugh at the randomness of it all and enjoy the scenery for what it was worth.
A funny part of the trip was that for some reason (language perhaps, haha) we were always somewhat off on the time our tour group had to be back to the boat. Our tour was in Chinese, which was not an issue for us because we either could a.) try hard to understand her or b.) not care. Most of the time we were too busy hanging out to listen, but when it came time for instructions, we were always getting the time wrong. haha. This was humorous to the boat staff who would watch us play cards from the outside windows as we waited for the rest of the tour participants to arrive. ha. They passed out orange stickers to the tourists and didn't give us one because the guide said, "I can't lose you." haha. I told her we wanted those stickers too, dang it! Just because we didn't look like everyone else doesn't mean we can't get a cool sticker, too! haha.
Anyways, we had a lot of fun on our 24 hour vacation. We laughed a lot. We reminisced a lot. And we made new memories. It was nice to know that even after people leave they can return to Chin.a and our friendships remain in tact. People here are forever intertwined because of the extremeness of the experience. (as with other life experiences).
The crappy part is that now I have to miss Cammie all over again! :)
Here's some photo evidence:
Walk slow. xoxo.