Apr 25, 2012

toot, toot.

Today was wiiiiindy. 

Which is awesome because the wind blows away the smog and we get some blue sky! 

gloriousness in the hood. 

Yesterday was a windy day in my heart so I decided not to blog. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't any anything at all," was my mentality. I was blatantly disrespected by a rude piece of crap student and that sent me wheeling from my place of contentment and stability. But I went and had a date with my BFF the treadmill and after 4 miles and a body pump class I felt a lot better. American students can be so aggressive and self-absorbed. Seeing your own culture from a place of neutrality is a wake-up call sometimes. The next time I want to go, "American gung-ho," on someone I will remember this incident when someone was unnecessarily rude to me and remind myself that kindness is more important than being right. *edit: I just received an email apology.

Lessons learned.

In awesomer news, an exciting thing happened today. I turned in my first philosophy paper in all Chine.se. Weeeeeee! I'm nervous to see what my advisor says. I'm anticipating something along the lines of, "you are illiterate and incoherent but it's sweet that you tried, crazy white person."

This paper was one tiny drop in the whole ocean of my education, but it felt good to accomplish something nonetheless. My plan is to write my short articles in Ch.inese myself, and then write my dissertation in English and pay (a millionzillion dollars) to have it professionally translated so that I have both an English and a Chin.ese copy.

In the end of all of this, I have to stand and give my oral defense in Chin.ese (not too scary) and turn my paper in in Chine.se. But, having a Chin.ese dissertation is no good to me in the states and my writing level is ions behind my speaking level, so I will write the paper in English and pay a native speaker to translate it. There are companies that do this. Though they charge an arm and a leg, it's necessary for me to have it professionally translated so my dissertation doesn't sound like a 4 year old wrote it. I might pay a student friend to do it so that I am helping someone I know financially, we'll see when it gets time to make those decisions.

Something else I learned today is that paper writing is 87% more enjoyable with a sweet lil' kitty cat in your lap. I did a scientific study...

One day my kids will mock me for posting pictures like this on the internet. 

Wanna "read" my short paper? Sure ya do!

司马谈: “論六家要旨.”
(Principles of Six Mentors)

司马谈(公元前190-110,是前汉时期的著名历史学家前汉(公元前206年)。他开始写中国历史最悠久的世界历史,“史记史记,是由他的儿子司马迁司马迁完成。他来自夏阳夏阳(现代韩城韩城,陕西),并开始作为一个农民,他的生命,但他有受教育的机会,因此他的渊博知识而闻名。他成为弟子的天文学家唐都,唐都和他杨杨何,在儒家经典“易经易经”周易“的专家。一个是他的第三个教师黄子,一个道士。有了这样的教育,他被任命为大占星家(taishicheng太史丞)根据汉武帝汉武帝 (141-87公元前)的助手,并最终被任命为大占星家(taishiling太史令)

司马谈编书纶刘家要旨的论六家要旨,是六个流行的哲学学校,儒家,墨家,辩证法,法家,阴阳的思想家和道家的主要教义概述。在这本书中,他强调,所有学校都取得了重要和有益的贡献,然而,他更倾向于亲自道教教义。这是按照一般的政治气候下皇帝盛行文汉文帝(180-157 BCE)和京汉景帝(157-141公元前)。司马谈认为,阴阳,儒,墨,名家,法家,参与到道教(道家思想)。其中,“阴阳”,从字面上看,是 “阴阳正大” 邹衍的理论。在道教文学,书 “老子” 中没有提到 “阴阳正大”,“儒学”,“墨子”,“明佳”,“发正大” 的思想。事实上,“老子” 的书就是在 “黄老” 学生点黄老。

司马谈了像 “国语” 的史学来源国语,战国策战国策, 世本或楚汉春秋楚汉春秋开始编制使用所有这些不同的来源,包括在皇家档案馆的实际来源为当代历史历史。公元前110年司马谈陪同他前往山汉武帝。泰山泰山,他打算在那里执行凤山封禅祭祀天地。司马谈病倒了,不得不留在周南,周南,他在那里去世。在他临终前,他委托他的儿子司马迁与编纂史记。

司马谈的文章:論六家要旨,” 说明了中国哲学最重要的神学在他的时间,汉朝。他的作品今天仍然是重要的。特别是对道教和阴阳的学生。

Toot! Toot! my own horn. I'm so happy I wrote a paper. 
Progress, a fabulous thing. 

Here's hoping for blue skies, non-aggressive students, and a merciful advisor as he grades that thing. 
And a kitty in my lap 24/7.

walk slow. xoxo. 

Apr 23, 2012

work, sunshine, NK's, tofu.

I'm having one of those, "This is not real life," days. 

I've spent the last 3 hours at my computer switching back and forth between wanting to reach through the computer and punch a student, and wanting to call some and tell them I love them and am so proud. 

I'm slow going on inputting their grades (the semester ends in 3 weeks) and some of them have their panties in a wad. It's funny how a student who flies below the radar and is invisible all semester suddenly emails every two seconds over 5 missing points at the eleventh hour. I need to work on not being so sassy in my work emails. I told someone today that inputting their late grade was, "not on my list of urgent things to do." 

haha. Four years in Chi.na have made me a merciless monster. 

I had all this time to play catch-up on my work because my teacher-less class was cancelled this afternoon. I had the wherewithall to text a classmate before lugging myself across town to find an empty classroom again. My classmate responded our teacher is, "too busy to take class." This means that with all the hullabaloo of the year, I will finish with a whopping 9 credits. After an entire year. What a joke. 

An hour ago, while I slaved away at my laptop, hunch-backed and caffeinated, my door slung open and my American neighbor, Mike, came barreling towards me in a sweaty ball of excitement. "I got the deal! I need a hug!" 

Mike is a genius when it comes to hustling in the import/export world. We live about an hour from the city where practically every cheap piece of junk in the world is made, Yiwu. Mike takes regular trips there looking at products in the markets and thinking of ideas of how to get businesses in America to buy the two cent junk. Well, he's struck gold, apparently.

He had been talking about these plastic bag water bottles for a few weeks and has just heard that the Red Sox and Yankees want 10,000 each. That's an export home run. 

I gave him a congratulatory squeeze and he ran out of my room just as quickly as he came charging in.

I turned back to my computer and made eye contact with Mushu who was woken up from his nap on my desk, "Where the heck are we?"I asked him. Then realized I was talking to my cat again and got back to work, thinking to myself that I am so happy to be able to see all these sides of Chi.na and business in Chi.na. I'm happy for Mike. 

In other news, it's sunny and 85degrees...my 'hood...

The NK's made the most of our great weather and drank all weekend in the dorm common area, which I was happy for so I could do my laundry without them making creepy faces at me while I wash my undergarments in the public tub. (sidenote: I think eight North Koreans could fit inside one of my size L Hanes.) 

Another weekend source of excitement was editing a paper that will make its way back to Kim Il Sung University. The NK's are mostly teachers at the university who come here to take Chi.nese, engineering and science classes and then take their knowledge back to the motherland. I kind of got giddy about holding a paper that would be turned into someone in North Korea. That's cool. (my idea of "cool" is a little unconventional). I thought about writing my email on it and seeing if anyone contacted me, but then decided against it. I have my own cranky American students to deal with. 

Vegetarianism/training is going well. I found this great snack - shrink wrapped soy sauce dried tofu. SO GOOD. I eat the whole package in one sitting (hmmmm....portion problems?). This is the reason my salt intake has quadrupled in the past week. My protein is on par, but sodium is through the roof thanks to this lucious stuff...(oh well, can't win it all)...

While we are (I am?) talking about food, I have had a realization the past few days. I have SO MUCH ENERGY. Like, so much. I have to run or else my energy is too much to handle - like my insides are jumping around. This eating clean thing is legit. When you fuel your body with good energy, you have energy. It's easy science.

My posts have become so random and weird. Reflective of my life.

Ok, my work break is over.
Catch ya later if my students don't mutiny their turdfaced teacher.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 21, 2012

ticket to the next adventure.

Today I was asked my by neighbor to visit Sri Lanka this summer. "Please visit us in the holiday. You can bring your cat," were his exact words. 

I'm pretty sure quarantine officials would not welcome Mushu's presence on a Sri Lankan holiday, but his offer sparked my wanderlust again. It's been 2 months since returning from India and I'm itching to go somewhere. Somewhere exotic and new.

But then I reigned in my wandering spirit. One adventure at a time. (says my bank account and my sanity.) 

The FedEx man called this morning, (speaking Chin.ese makes life so much easier) and I met him at my school gate for the ticket to my next impending adventure. 

Once I realized what he was bringing me, I ran to him.

Thank you, Mr. Postman for my Great Wall Half Marathon race packet!!!
I cried when I opened this thing! 

I squeeled then hugged the FedEx man. It scared him. All 4'10" of his Ch.inese self. (if a 5'10" redheaded stranger squeeled and hugged me, I'd be freaked out, too). I like to think these outbursts are good for international relations. :) ha. 

Entrance ticket to the Great Wall section that the race is held on,
and lunch coupon (I've heard rumors it's Subway!) That's reason
enough to finish in the time limit! (8 hours). 

I'm kind of peeved that I ordered a L shirt. I thought
it would be Ch.inese sizes, but it's American sizes. So I've got a big ol' dry fit (!) shirt. It's ok, I'll
wear it around with proud, saggy shoulders and all. 

This is really happening. 

Maybe I should book my tickets to Beijing? Sri Lanka will have to wait in line. There's an adventure waiting list. First thing's first...

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 20, 2012

here, fishy fishy.

I woke up this morning for some conference calls and baby kitty bug was not happy that my attention was not on him...

Then I headed to class to find this on the door...

This sign should say, "Going to school in a developing Communist country was a huge mistake, no wonder you are so frustrated," but in reality it says that my class has been canceled and moved to NEXT YEAR.

We've already had class for 8 WEEKS. Lord help me. I'm going to die at age 40 from all the stress going to school here has inflicted on me.


Ok. Moving on...one last look at the BARRED CLASSROOM DOORS...

I did not have enough time to go home and change and get to the gym before I had to leave for the 1.5 hour bus ride to work, so I sat in Starbucks and drank a frappucino and read my Kindle for 3 hours when I should have been in class. Not a horrible thing to be doing, but it felt like such a waste when I was mentally prepared to go to class then work. I could have gone to Walmart and then home and back again, but I was in heels and still don't have a bike. #slavetopublictransport.

I had two more observations that needed to be done, so off I went to Zhejiang Media and Communication University to sit in on a tutoring session and have a meeting afterword with some students about thesis and life....

I needed more than just a frappucino in my belly to make it through the evening's work, so I stopped at a convenience store for an ice cream sandwhich. I'm eating my feelings today. And I don't care. Because I have to go to that dang class all over again and I sit on the bus for 8000 hours for work and get paid less than my students at their jobs.

I'm so whiny. Someone slap me. Preferably, with this fish ice cream sandwhich...

Work went well as it usually does. I like my job, so I've got that going for me on this day of blahhhhh...

Teaching American students is hard because they have so many feelings. Chin.ese students generally don't question teachers and are taught to keep quiet and do what they have to do. American students feel like they have rights and a voice and if they are not happy with a program or class, feel as if they should voice their opinions and share their feelings. If an email is not sent fast enough or detailed enough, they feel they have not been treated fairly or with justice because it is all about their education. It has been so interesting to go from teaching all Chin.ese college students/adults to all American graduate students. What a different world of opinions and voices. I'm happy I can be there for my students when they need an ear, but man all these feelings are exhausting to manage! (when not my own...)

I love having my voice, so I relate to my American students on most levels. But it is fascinating to recognize the differences between student cultures - and to see my own culture from a different perspective. My reaction to my canceled class was, "This inconveniences me so much! This is such a waste of my time!" Yet the Chin.ese students are like, "Oh well..." I think the Chi.nese are just used to harder times than we Americans.

I'm home now and after catching up on the latest episode of Survivor, I think I am not angry any more about my canceled class and can go to bed. (Going to bed angry about Ch.ina experiences gives me nightmares! True story.)

I've been practicing the old 'act how you want to feel' adage and so I am going to act grateful and content. Then maybe tomorrow I will be grateful and content. Or at least more so than today.

Here's hopin'. I can't eat ice cream for dinner everyday. :0

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 18, 2012


Who ran 120 flights of stairs and a 5k in a row yesterday??

This girl...

(when I showed that picture to my training partner she asked, "are you really going to post that on your blog?" YUP.)

When I came home I felt like Mushu...


Who's gonna be ready?

This girl.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 16, 2012

nerd alert.

Today begins the summer quarter at school. (Mid-April to Mid-June).


I have two classes this quarter and I think I only need to take 2 more classes next Fall. (not entirely sure due to never being told anything concrete by my university regarding anything).

Being able to see the end stretch is fabulous. I'm so over classes in Chi.nese. I just want to study Chin.ese and research/write/publish my dissertation! Those two things sound like so much fun to me! (nerd alert) but actually sitting through class and not understanding is border line torture.

I showed up to my class today and found 4 other people sitting around a table with my advisor at the head. I thought the class was taught by someone else, but then my advisor explained that our teacher went to Europe and has no time to teach this class so he is not sure how we will continue. This is a great example of the Chin.ese education system. Our teacher has no time for us and doesn't even show up to class or give us a heads up/alternative assignments. I am really hoping that it turns into a self-study type of a situation so I can get the credits without sitting through 3 hours of listening to, "we Chin.ese people....-insert generic blanket statement-" every Monday. (seriously, every class has this element of, "we Chin.ese people and those foreigners..." It's amusing or annoying; depending on the day.

My advisor introduced the class - "Philosophy of the Tang and Song Dynasties," to us (on behalf of our invisible professor). I find these two dynasties to be very fascinating - as they were the epicenter of arts and creativity in ancient Chi.na. The greatest Chin.ese poets stem from this time period and I recognize cultural beauty in this period that is seemingly absent in modern/post-Mao Chi.na.

I tried to take notes and follow along, but after about 2 hours my brain shut off and I started making lists in my notebook. I listed cities I want to live in, (Chicago, Seattle, Asheville, Monterey, Boston), qualities that my future city must have, (bikable, safe public transport if not bikeable, local produce markets, seasons, Super Target), I made lists of potential names for my future children, (Darcie Ann and Phillip David), and I practiced writing my name as "Dr." I listed things to pray for during each mile of my upcoming half marathon, (sister to find friends in LA, grandparent's health, classmates and students, orphans, etc), and I made lists of positive attributes of my body, (strong legs, good hearing, great feet arches). Just when I was running out of list ideas, my professor called me out of my daze, "Jesheecah..."

"Yes," my head jerked up and smile plastered on my face.

(him speaking Chin.ese) "You do not understand this class, but you will in time."

I paused, trying to figure out if I was being ridiculed or encouraged.

Then, he smiled and nodded his head kindly.

I let out a sigh of relief. Encouragement.

I was so thankful for that. He is so reasonable and understanding. He sees clearly my shortcomings and is willing to work with a slow growth process. I may not be smart enough or at a Chi.nese level enough for what I am attempting, but my advisor is willing to have patience with me as long as I am moving in the right direction. It's inspirational, really. He's a good man and I am thankful. Being reasonable is such a great human quality.

I took some stealth pics, wanna see? My advisor smokes a pipe and teaches at the same time...(he's the one on the left)...

My new word notes, pre-list making...

I'll let you know if my teacher ever shows up. Ha.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 15, 2012

happy 100th birthday to Kim Il Sung and I'm a Vegetarian.

The North Koreans gave me a headache all morning.

And when I came back after being out for hours - running stairs at my friend's, at the gym, and a Wal-mart run, they were still at it. Banging chairs, clapping, hollering, and singing off-key in unison. The amount of beer outside their doors is amazing. But all I can think of is how those calories could go to better use feeding their people.

I swear CNN should film this crap. Forget interviewing an anonymous defector, get inside this dorm and tape the real deal. Intoxicated, loud, obnoxious, skinny, beady eyed NK's are my neighbors. (can you tell I'm feeling a lot of love for the international community tonight?) I just want some peace and fairness. If the Americans were to throw a 4th of July party we would be shut down, but those isolationist turds were allowed to party (and freak out my cat) all day. This is unfair treatment of students. Someone should pass out tylenol when students move into this dorm. "You're gonna need it for the NK holidays."

I know I should have a well of compassion somewhere within me for these people. But all I can think of is that they have no common courtesy. One day I'm going to blast, "Born in the USA," at 2 am once they fall into their drunken stupors. And then give them some rice or something.

Anyways. My NK induced headache did not help my afternoon workout. I met Jess at her apartment and we ran the stairs in record time. Only my mind started to go down the path to negative town really fast and I never recovered.

I have gained about 4 pounds in the past 2 months since India. Basically, I just gained back the weight I lost in India. Which is fine, because that weight loss was most likely diarrhea-induced and not true fat loss. But with the half-marathon only a month away, I do not feel at my fittest and I am nervous. Every time I work out I feel....big. This is very different from a few months ago. I know it is mostly a mind issue. That my body is strong, has made amazing improvements, and should be loved and cared for. But I want to make some changes to my routine so that I can amp up my performance factor and my confidence heading into this race.

I want to feel like this the whole time...

The change I am making this month is fitness and nutrition related. I've been about 80% vegetarian for about a year now, but I am planning to go full-monty for a month and see how it feels. My mom recently sent me pot roast slow cooker packets and I gagged. (sorry mom, love you). I knew after that that I am ready to make the switchfrom 80% to 100% veg.

I'm not going to get all reachy about it - I believe that eating meat is a fine thing to do, that people (especially in developing countries) need the meat of animals to sustain themselves when there are not other protein options available because of crop availability. (explaining vegetarianism to an average Chin.ese person is funny. They think if the pieces of meat in a dish are small, they don't count. haha). And in India I thought to myself, "someone feed that damn cow to these hungry kids!" (I'm very culturally sensitive 100% of the time;) )

But I do have other options as a middle-class first-worlder and I personally feel stronger with less flesh in my body. So I am testing the vegetarian waters for a month - just to get my body running on clean energy before the race. I might eat meat again after the race- I might not. And I probably won't post it either way, but I like to journal my training thoughts, so these are going here today. :)

I just really want to feel strong and powerful when I hit the Great Wall next month, and I can't go in there feeling the way I do now. Nothing changes is nothing changes, so I'm changing my eating. (I'm also watching sugars, but you don't need a play by play of my nutrition, booooring).

Everytime I go to Walmart I am encouraged in my vegetarian endeavors....

That is seriously gross and sad.

But then I was leaving the gym tonight and was reminded of my own hypocrisy when I saw this billboard for fried chicken at McDonalds and was like...I WANT THAT NOW.

I broke a deal with myself and settled for a 50cent ice cream cone.

I almost included this nightshirt in the deal because it seemed too good to pass up.

But I saved my 5$ for another day. I'll need it for imported lentils this month. Maybe I'll share with the NK's.


walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 13, 2012

a trip to the veggie market.

Every few days I walk to my neighborhood veggie market to barter with the best of 'em for my sustanence.

Piles of seasonal produce lay on the dirty floor and dirty counter tops. I've stopped counting the rats. I listen to the old people talking to find out what green peppers look best and if I should buy my eggs at the market or in the grocery store. Eavesdropping gives me all the info I need to know on the produce of the day.

Yesterday for about 3$ I walked out with this loot - a carrot, bell pepper, red onion, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 6 eggs, and a kilogram of strawberries.

Yum. I love my veggie market. Dirt, rats, no health standards, and all. It's all part of Ch.ina life.

Though I sometimes dream of Publix. Sigh.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 11, 2012


Every day around 8pm I start to watch my phone.

I know that in the next 30 minutes my mom will call. My friends even know the schedule. If my phone rings during this time some friends have been known to call out, "Hi, Mom!" Our routine is dependable and well-known. For the past 3 years she has dialed a Penny Talk number on her way to work to reach her daughter in Ch.ina before her day begins and as mine is ending. Every workday morning. For 3 years.

This is one routine that helps me maintain my connection to my family, my home, and myself. Sometimes all I need is 10 minutes to rattle off to my mom what is going on to see recent happenings in a new perspective. I love our routine and it is one of the most special parts of my life in Chi.na. I honestly don't think I would have made it here this long without my nightly 8pm checkin.

This afternoon I got a package from my mom. So today I got not just two phone calls, but a humongo Christmas-size package full of the good stuff - chia seeds, work out tops, kitty treats, my contacts and a tons of other goodies. I am ecstatic about my new belongings. Things that make life more confortable are always welcome in Chinaville. Our phone calls are priceless, but a few earthly things are nice too. (If I had to choose between stuff and phone calls, I'd take phonecalls in a heart beat).

And I'm not the only one in my household stoked for our gifts from America!

Thanks, Mom!

Talk to you tomorrow!

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 8, 2012

i want a cadbury egg.


For some reason the Easter bunny didn't bring me any candy this year. :)

Happy Easter from Chinaville. Land of no secular Easter tradition, just the peace in our hearts and homemade celebrations.

walk slow. xoxo.

naming, shopping, running, life-ing...

I'm having a funny few days up in here.

I received an email from a Chin.ese doctor, friend yesterday:

Hi, dear Jessica, I got some English names for my boy from a website (http://www.babycenter.com/). My boy's Chinese name is Tong Jia Wu, the names I choose are

Javan, Javae, Javad, Javaid, Javain, Javar, Jav,Javere,

Dravid, Dravon,Draven,Dravis,Dravin,Dravyn

Jev, Jeven, Jevian, Jevin, Jevon, Jevyn, Jef.

haha, It is quite a long list and I totally have no idea of their meanings.

Could you help me choose a name have "good feelings" and better sounds similar to his chinese name ? Thank you for your time and happy weekend!

Ummmm....those names are....interesting? I think I'm going to tell her, "Jeff" or "Jevon." Those are the only ones that I think are semi-normal? Names are so interesting in different cultures. And I take the responsibility of giving someone a name seriously. It's their identity! I feel a closeness to my Chin.ese name (ke xiao mei), so I always try to be serious when giving an English name.

Also, yesterday I was having my Saturday dinner with Michael and he handed me a notebook and said, "Write everything you know about Easter." Um, ok? He wanted to know about Easter but didn't want to talk about it. Then he wanted to know if Easter came from the word, "Eastern" and therefore is somehow related to Chi.na. No, I told him, not everything comes from/has to do with Ch.ina. Ha. He was mesmorized to find out that Jesus was not white and did not come from the "West." "Where did you think he came from?" I asked. "I don't know, somewhere where the white people believe in him," he said. Theology 101 is needed up in here.

Besides naming babies and clearing up Biblical history for the sheltered locals, lately there has been....

Lots of kitty snuggles...

...shopping for new clothes because my spring clothes don't fit! This store is a treasure box. It has samples of American clothing from Chi.nese factories that are used to show the companies, but then can't be sold on the floor. I bought a BCBG dress for 10$ and a shirt with a "Ross $15.99" tag for $6. And the owners are really nice and don't haggle me and my friends. I am a loyal fan/customer. If you live in Chi.na and want the address, let me know!

And running. Lots of running. I like to take pictures of myself after workouts. I'm weird. This one is epecially funny to me because I think I look like I am missing teeth. But the beauty of it is that I was so happy after completing my 8 miles on the dreadmill! It was my longest run on my half marathon training plan yetand I was so nervous that my mind wouldn't be able to handle over an hour on the treadmill. But my brain and body worked together (so imperative), and I got it done, and faster than I expected!

Running distance is such a mind thing. I never got it before, but I think I'm getting it now. It takes two miles to feel good about running, then around mile 5 I start to smile - like pysically show happiness about running, then around mile 7 I feel like a baller - unstoppable and free. At mile 8 I need to stop or my hips will give out and I start thinking about what to eat to get protein in my body fast, usually a tea egg from the convenience store. It funny that in the past I just never got to mile 2 to see that nothing hurts as bad as mile 1. I always quit before it got easier. What a good life lesson.

Besides life, I'm working and writing a huge paper that is due in a few weeks for my Philosophies of the Qin and Han Dynasties class. It's all in Chi.nese, so its taking some time to even figure out how to start. Blah.


walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 4, 2012

sun and spots.

The sun is out, and so are the tourists along West Lake....

And my back has been hot-cupped to pink, spotted perfection....

Good day.
Hope yours was, too.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 3, 2012

Qing Ming.

I want to go everywhere in the world.

Just not today.

Today I wanted to sit in my dorm with my cat and drink imported wine while reading my Kindle. I wanted to wander around with no destination and eat fruit from street vendors. I wanted to walk slowly down the sidewalks instead of having to hurry somewhere.

So that's exactly what I did.

Monday (today) - Wednesday is a public holiday here in Ch.inaville. The Qing Ming (tomb sweeping) festival is upon us again. Chine.se people return home and are supposed to literally sweep the tombs of their ancestors in order to pay their respects (and other superstitious honky I can't remember). The holiday is sometimes referred to as, "Chi.nese Halloween," but I don't agree. Nobody gave me any candy all day.

In past years, I have taken these coveted days off and travelled - seen a new corner of this land. This year, I am giving myself time off from life. All I want out of these three days is amazing workouts and lots of coffee/wine dates with my long lost friends.

Things are starting out just as I hoped. Today I met a friend for coffee and we wandered around for awhile. It was so nice to just...exist, and the weather today was fab. Three weeks ago I was in 4 layers and long johns. Today, a tank top and light sweater that I took off! Whooohoooooo for Spring!

Spring also brings us pineapple on a stick! Sold for 30cents on the street outside fruit markets. H-e-a-v-e-n. Yum yum yum. I love knowing what fruit we will get in what season. I know the year calendar now of Chi.nese holidays and cultural nuances that go along with the timing of those holidays. Pineapple/Qing Ming season is fab.

After fruit, it was time for the electronic market where my friend wanted to look for a new computer case. The electronics market is a swirl of knock-off everything. And we got to see one of the latest trends here in Chi.natown...dog dyeing. (sp?) Rich people dye their dogs ears and tails. This little guy even has on sneakers and a denim get-up. Ha. I just hope the dye is safe for dogs! Most of the pet dogs here are little poodles. There are laws about how big your dog can be (not big).

After leaving my friend, I set out walking home (I HAVE to buy myself a bike soon so I can get around faster, but I am still mourning the loss of my yellow one...). I stopped into a Pho restaurant for this glorios bowl of deliciousness....vegetarian pho.

Pho makes me remember my grad school summer in California when we would walk down the street to get Pho because no one had cars to go anywhere else. ha. This bowl was just what I needed to fuel up for the long, slow walk home.

When I returned to my humble abode, I found that Mushu was enjoying the nice weather as much as me! Love that fluffy face.

It's been a great first day of Qing Ming - intentionally relaxing.

Happy Tomb Sweeping Festival. Or Halloween.
Someone send me some twizzlers.

walk slow. xoxo.

Apr 2, 2012

stairs sunday.

There's 49 days til the Great Wall of Chi.na Half Marathon.

Today was "Stairs Sunday." The endorphin packed day of the week where my training partner and I run the stairs in her apartment complex and then talk about our (lack of) butt muscles for 30 minutes.

We run up/elevator down to help save our knees for when we're 90. Because Jess is in shape and I'm a slug, I end up taking photos of myself while waiting for her elevator to return to me on the 16th floor. I get lots of beauties like this one that prove when your heart rate is 800/6700 it is impossible to smile...

I finally caught up to her (a miracle) and showed her my beauty shots for a sec while we chugged water. "Document me!" she said. "You're too freakin fast!" I gasped through shallow breaths while snapping this blurry shot of the machine herself...

Wore my Boston shirt for you, Dad! Marathon Monday is 2 weeks away!

Then I ate an 80cent ice cream float from McDonalds. Because if I'm going to die on the Great Wall in 49 days, I want to have enjoyed all of life's little pleasures...

Happy Stairs/Palm Sunday.


walk slow. xoxo.