I considered entitling this entry “Take It Easy” as I’ve got that Eagles’ classic stuck in my head… not anything but the “Runnin’ down the road, tryin’ [not] to loosen my load…” line… as I seem to have developed a bit of food poisoning.
I’ve tried to narrow down when exactly I faltered in my tight routine of safety towards food… and then I realized I had not really been sticking to one. So, best I can figure it was either the raw oysters Sunday night, the undercooked kebabs last night, or the fact that I use the tap water to brush my teeth. Trust me, all these habits have been rectified.
It’s a shit (gufaw, gufaw) way of spending my little vacation between semesters… but should I survive, you can bet I’ll be a bit more careful with what I ingest.
So, it’s Tuesday night (I love writing the time as it always makes me remember to change the Blogger auto-date thing, as it’s always about 14 hours off). Tom left for Inner Mongolia (via Dalian) yesterday and between sobs of sorrow, I nabbed his room. It didn’t take me to move all my stuff across the apartment, and I’m quite happy about the change. I’ve got loads more places to pile crap in this room. I’ve got an extra table, a bench… more floor space… luxury, I tell ya.
I was originally told that Emma would be arriving yesterday, but have since discovered that she’ll actually be coming tomorrow. I admit I do have my concerns that she may be a 65-year-old Latvian, what with Future School’s attention to detail.
Also, the temporary Chinese roommate who was to arrive Friday is also coming tomorrow. It’s like a science to these people, I tell ya.
So, anyway, enough about loose movements and unknown roommates… happier topics abounded this weekend. For a series of going-away parties, they were actually quite joyous. That’s right, I used joyous, what of it. Saturday I, now a seasoned train-rider, went to the train station to grab a ticket to Dalian to meet the crew for a night on the town to say goodbye to Brian, Joanna, Andrew, Christie and Josh. I got there extra early, not wanting a repeat of last week’s lateness. After a mad search, and a flummoxing conversation with some Chinese people, I managed to find out where to buy the tickets. Confident, I walked up to the ticket person and said, “Yi ge Dalian.” A stream of Chinese flowed from her, but no ticket. So, cocking my head, smiling coyly… I again said “Yi ge Dalian…” While elbowing this old lady trying to butt infront of me. Now it was the ticket woman’s turn to smile … and again spout Chinese, but no ticket.
With a look of sympathy mixed with a complete lack of patience she shouted for a cute girl in a train-station uniform to come over. The girl simply said, “It’s late.” Not having many options, I said, “Mei wen ti (no problem)”, got my ticket and returned to where I had seen a couple hundred people waiting to get on trains.
After a bit of waiting I begain to realize that the track directly outside where I was standing would be the one going north, the opposite direction of Dalian. After another 10 minutes of wandering, I returned to the crowd, somewhat defeated. I decided to try the “Information” desk… Showing her my ticket, I’m sure she very nicely told me where to go – unfortuantely, my Chinese… her English. After some goofy, over exagerated miming with an old guy a young lady in the crowd came over and tried to sort out what was going on. Gambling, I cautiously asked, “Do you speak English?” And the sweetest voice answered, “A little.”
To cut an extremely long story long, I met up with the Dalian crew in Zhongshan Square about 15 minutes late – with promises from them all that they’d be sure to tell me the meeting time was an hour earlier next time.
I was a bit surprised to see our Teacher Trainer, Allison, and her husband along for our gathering, but by all accounts I had heard that she was a lot of fun and wanted very desperately to live down that “Teacher Trainer” title. We headed back to Lorna and Andrew’s flat where we killed a case of beer, a bottle of baijiu, a bottle of Korean soju and some rum. As we were getting ready to leave to find a KTV or some other equally inebriatedly-fun place to get more booze, Allison stood up and promptly let gravity take her back to the floor.
At the time it was sort of a slapstickish moment… but I just got off the phone with Vanessa and she told me that not only did her ankle break, it broke in three places and she’s got pins in it now. Apparently she might be heading back to the UK as soon as possible. I can’t believe we broke our trainer. Even more interesting will be how the new teachers get their training this Thursday and Friday.
The rest of the night was all taxi rides, rushing to find a bathroom (making me wonder if I got this bug that night), drunken duets of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” and more taxi rides.
I crashed at Alan and Vanessa’s, as they promised after I very drunkenly and seriously asked Alan, “Tell me man, where am I going to be more comfortable sleeping tonight?” Having seen the bench-like couch at Andrew and Lorna’s… Alan confidently said his sofa was better. And at the risk of offending Andrew and Lorna, I agree.
Sunday we lazed around their place until the middle of the afternoon, when we headed down to Victory Square to meet Andrew and Lorna for some DVD shopping. Heading back to Australia, Andrew wanted to grab a few last minute copyright infringments at the $1 price-tag. Never one to pass up an opportunity for DVDs.. I also grabbed a few.
I got back to Jinzhou just in time to find out there was no water to take a much needed shower, and head off to the school for my second farewell party. Tom, Momo, the Matthews and myself joined with most of the school’s staff and we headed over to a hotpot restaurant for some food (incl. the raw oysters). After dinner we went to a local KTV – I think I’m actually getting better at this. I’ve always hated karaoke beacuse I have always found it really hard to find my singing groove when I’m not playing the guitar along with it.
Ok… from left to right: Daniel, Maggie, Momo, Summer, Olivia, Zach, Annie, Matthew & Matthew, Mary, Me, Tom, Doris, Matthew Hao and Helen.
It was cool because we had the Chinese people with us, so we had a number of Chinese songs being sung as well. It also didn’t hurt that I was, somewhat non-coincidently, seated next to Maggie… whom I’ve developed a huge crush on, you know, the type of crush that you only get on completely engaged Chinese girls… we’ve all had those right?
So… if you managed to read all that in one sitting – kudos to you… that was a hefty entry. I would make them smaller and more frequent, but some days it is a right pain in the ass to get on here. I literally just sit there hitting the refresh button repeatedly for 10-20 minutes. Oh, one thing I keep meaning to mention, everyone knows you can click the photos and see a bigger version right? I add this HTML code every time, it’d be a damn shame if no one was using it.
Oh, one more note. Sorry if you ever see glaring speeling arrors or omission of information… I usually notice it, but for all the trouble it takes to get to the Blog Posting screen to begin with, it is 10x the trouble to get to the Edit function.