A Box Of Goodbyes

So, Thursday night was the big farewell party at The Box for all the peeps that work(ed) as English teachers at Neusoft (a Dalian university). The term has ended there, and some of the key players in the Dalian social scene have left. Most significantly are Dean (Canadian), Dan (British) and Derrick (Canadian). Next term all teachers starting with the letter ‘E’ will be asked to leave as we move systematically through the alphabet.

Though all are cool guys, Derrick’s the one I’ll miss the most, as his blog (www.maskofchina.com) has become a staple of my routine, as has asking him random “how do you say this in Chinese?” questions. Honestly, he’s been a constant source of information about China, and his blog was one of the key sites that finally sold me on coming to Dalian (which, despite the damn cold winter, I don’t regret in the least).

The party was also a bit of an opportunity for Mandy to see that I do actually have some friends. Oh, and I got to play on a stage again… the sound system was a bit tough, and the noise-level of the crowd ruled out most the songs I planned to play, but it was fun.

The Players (sans me): Tim, Dan and JP (I am pretty sure, as I wasn’t actually introduced to him).

We held in until about 3:30 a.m. and then headed to Justin’s (via a cab ride filled with Justin’s drunkin’ sobbing about how much he was going to miss his friends) where we managed to catch about 3 hours of sleep before having to wake up so Mandy would make it to class on time.

Lean, Mean Dean and his stuffed toy tiger.

I was fortunate enough to get this weekend off (after swearing to Mandy about a week ago that I’ll NEVER EVER get another weekend off). It was great having a few days in a row with no classes, but I’m certain it’ll come back to haunt me when I have to make up a bunch of days of school in the sweltering sun of summer. The weekend was basically just spent doing next to nil with Mandy. Oh, yesterday we met up with Karen and her ex-boyfriend, He (prnounced: ‘H-uh?’), for lunch. He’s (I know that looks like he (hee) but it’s not, ok) parents own a KTV in Jinzhou, so we killed the afternoon drinking beer, eating popcorn and fruit while singing our hearts out. I never thought I’d say it, but I might actually miss KTV when I leave in nine weeks. That’s right folks, it’s official, Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger spent more time together than I have left in China.

Oh, and on that note! Vanessa’s coming to China! She messaged me the other day and told me it’s all bought and paid for (can you have one without the other?). Though I think she already holds this title, she’s cementing her claim as “friend I’ve travelled most with”. Between visiting me in China and stickin’ out four days in a car across Canada with me… it’ll be a tough spot for her to lose. I can’t wait to show her around Dalian, and as the plan stands, head to Shanghai for a few days where we’ll catch our respective flights to Canada and Australia.

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