Right, so I’ve undergone about four days worth of serious overeating. I mean, it’s nuts. We Westerners think we’ve got it bad because at “the holidays” we eat too much… but usually just one day. Spring Festival is insane… just non-stop gorging for like a week. I mean the Chinese tend to eat a lot on any given day… but this is bordering on dangerous.

Thursday I met Serena down by the school for 11:30. I wasn’t sure if it was 11 or 11:30 I was supposed to meet her, so I went for 11. Then when she wasn’t there at 11, I began to wonder if maybe it wasn’t Friday I was supposed to meet her…

Thankfully she showed up at 11:30. We had agreed to grab lunch and then head to Dalian. With all the restaurants in the area closed, Serena suggested we go back to her Grandmother’s and grab a bite there. I had pictured sort of a ‘tea with gram’ idea… but we got there and about 3 generations of Serena’s family were there to greet us, and stuff us until we could barely move. It was great though.

We then grabbed a shared taxi to Dalian and spent the afternoon randomly shopping around Victory Square. I had no luck finding any Western food to cook for my party tomorrow, so now I’m likely just going to grab a bunch of food at the local restaurant and pass it off as my own – gotta love Chinese gulibility, last week I had my C6 class convinced that I was married to six different women and had 10 kids.

But what the day lacked in Western food, it made up for in DVDs. I managed to buy a handful of new movies (including Garden State and I Heart Huckabees) as well as the first four seasons of Stargate SG-1, my aunt will be so proud. The best part is I got about 5-6 movies and four seasons of a TV show for around $15 – I love China. I mean, I know I go on and on about DVDs like they are better than electric underwear… but really.. they are so cheap and my only source of entertainment. I can hardly bare to watch more than 5 minutes of CCTV 9, the only English TV channel. The shows are always about the amazing world of pottery or some such crap, and the news really only talks about how awesome China is, how well it’s doing and what cool country’s dignitaries are in China to support China’s One Country (aka Taiwan is not a country) policy.

Anyway, so after shopping Serena and I were at a loss for something to do, but as we were cold, more food sounded like a reasonable time killer (we didn’t have to be at Xinghai Square until 7:30 for the fireworks). We went to this big Japanese noodle place which was quite good and I treated Serena to her first ever Sushi experience. I mean, really… I could nearly hit Japan with a stone from here and she’s NEVER had Japanese food (OR Korean!). The food was excellent, but we were still stuffed from lunch.

We grabbed a cab after dinner and hit the park just before the fireworks started. Xinghai Park is right on the sea, and is quite beautiful. It was all lit up for the occassion (or I assume it was just for the occassion) and the fireworks were fantastic. I’ve photos and such, but I’ll post them along with the party photos from tomorrow.

Yesterday was a bit of a blah day, mostly involving The Shield and Stargate and my first dumpling cooking experience. I bought some frozen dumplings from the supermarket and was a bit worried they’d be difficult to cook – nope. Easy peasy.. and hao chi!

Today I went with the Matthews next door to Annie’s, a woman we work with, house for lunch. Annie is actually Serena’s aunt. Anyway, Annie fed us until we were all about to burst. I thought we were getting a ‘how to make dumplings’ lesson… but it never happened – maybe it’s a bit of a secret.

Now I’m just trying to decide if I’m motivated enough to clean up around here, or if I want to try my hand at practicing drawing (increasing my knowledge of visual arts was my new year’s resolution) … or, more than likely, I’ll just watch more TV… gawd I’m lazy – and soon to be very fat I think. Thank god for the 120 stairs I have to climb every day…

PS: My friend Eric told me about this cool correspondance Chess site called – if anyone wants to play, it’s free and my username is Acidhartha.

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