Oct 25, 2010

Camp Ridiculous.

Sometimes stupid ideas turn into really fun times.

A couple of weeks ago Hannah, Nate and I were having lunch during class break at a place we have dubbed the "Noodle Palace." It is a palace because the little muslim boys who work there call back your order in an intercom system and the kitchen has a window (semi-cleanliness!).

There are muslim noodle shops everywhere, always run by little families and always dirty and delicious. This one puts them all to shame. But I digress, this post is not about the Noodle Palace, it is about the great/stupid idea that started at Noodle Palace and became a reality.

Anyways, we were eating and somewhere along the line of conversation it was decided that we would go camping on the mountain that sits behind our campus, Lao He Shan. Nate is an uber-nature person and I guess his love of camping was contagious because around 11pm last night we found ourselves at the base of Lao He Shan ready to ascend.

The thing is, it has been raining for three days. And is still raining. And was forecasted to rain all night (it did).

But we didn't care. We were going camping on the mountain by school.

Nate loaded up a pack with his 3-person tent and 3 sleeping bags and junior choir sing-a-long books. Hannah had a broken star-making machine and snacks, and I brought Peeps and toilet paper.

Most of the scenic mountains in Chi.na have concrete steps going up them (they ruin it), so we just marched our way up the mountain in the rain, stopping once in a random pagoda to take off some layers where I showed off my brilliance and put my rain jacket back on backwards and got soaked. haha.

About half-way up the mountain we stopped for our breath and decided that our camp needed a name. After a short brainstorm session we looked around and realized it was all ridiculous. We were on a mountain in a city, at midnight, in the rain. Thus, Camp Ridiculous was born.

We made it to the top around midnight, set up the tent, peed in the woods, ate tuna and crackers, and sang songs and read from Nate's journal until 3:30am.

A short two hours later we were woken up by Chinese men yelling outside our tent.

Talk about an adrenaline rush.

(no-offense, but)- Chin.ese people can be unpredictable in their behaviors. You can't really ever tell what someone is going to do or how they are going to react because logic here is um.....different and they've been exposed to less modern things and behaviors.

We were a little worried with how our bright blue tent would be greeted by the natives. Especially since we had no idea if we were even allowed to be there, just sleeping in a tent. haha.

So we sat and waited. It is a known fact that when old Chinese people hike in the morning they like to yell out. "Ahhh ahhh!" We heard the men hiking back down and yelling into the distance. Since it was so foggy, there is a good chance they didn't even see us in the rain.

We waited a little while longer, then decided the best thing to do would be to pack up camp and head back before more natives showed up. While we were packing everything up in the rain, several people walked by and we just told them "zao shang hao!" (good morning) like it was no big deal we were hanging out in a tent at the top of the mountain. Everyone greeted us with smiles and was really amused.

We hiked back down and witnessed more old people doing their morning exercises - hanging from trees and bouncing rhythmically up and down. It scared me at first because I was jumping from no sleep, I round the corner and there's an old lady hanging from the tree. That gave us a good laugh.

We eventually made it down, three-way high-faved, and parted ways.

And I just slept all morning/afternoon when I really should have been grocery shopping/doing homework/planning my lessons/hand-washing my laundry...etc.

But it was worth it to sleep at Camp Ridiculous.

hahaha. We are convening again for lunch at the Noodle Palace tomorrow. I wonder what crazy idea we will come up with next...?

Walk slow. xoxo.

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