First, as a shameless plug, my article is up at China-teachers.com. Because Roddy, whom I love, is wonderful.
Anyway, I've determined I should say something today other than strange sayings from Nanjing. The big highlights of the journey are going to be more meaningful if you've ever been to China.
The trip to Nanjing was quiet. Why? Because the bus driver didn't honk his horn during the entire trip. Oh, wait, once he did, when another bus almost crashed into him. But that was at the end of the trip, right as we were pulling into the bus depot. I can't describe how confusing this was to me, except to explain that on the trip back (which cost less, I have no idea why), the driver was honking every twenty seconds. Which I know because I timed it.
One of the other really odd things that happened was that, upon answering the question, "Which country are you from?", the response wasn't an immediate, "Ah, Canada's a very beautiful country." I don't mean to sound so nasty, but I get asked this question a minimum of five times a day, and this was the only time I didn't get that response. Instead, I got a thoughtful, "Hmm... Canada is a very... big... country."
Hmm... Other highlights:
I went almost the entire time without seeing another westerner. Since Nanjing has a fairly famous university exchange program, I was expecting to see someone. I finally ran into someone Sunday night when I was right down by the university, and almost chased after him just to say "Hi." I refrained, because who wants to explain why they're so crazy?
I spent the entire time walking, so my legs are extremely sore. I hit three museums, four bookstores (and only bought Chinese Language for Foriengers books), and the same very bad coffee shop twice. (You'd think I'd learn after the first very bad coffee, but I was so hoping if I ordered a different coffee, it would be better.) I did eat in an actual sit-down western style restaurant twice. I know, it's sad. I go to this big city in China and I want to eat western food. But it's been three months since I've had anything that wasn't either KFC (with a definite Chinese feel to it) or Chinese food. They had lasagna. Real lasagna, with cheese. When I told Paul, he wanted to kill me. It's hard to explain how much you miss the food when you're away from home.
I had awful apple pie, but that's okay.
Hmm... I took three rolls of film (my father will be happy), I bought some very nice postcards and souveniers, and realized why I hate travelling alone. (I'll get into that later -- and it's not for the same reasons Paul does.)
Oh... and I found vodka. I'm saving it for Spring Festival. Everyone else in Jiangyan can go home and hang out with their friends and family. Paul and I are going to watch Last Samuri and Return of the King on DVD and drink vodka.
I have so many other thoughts I want to share, but they're all jumbled up in my head right now. I'll probably be posting again before the end of the night.
And, my mom's package arrived while I was gone! I'll pick it up tomorrow afternoon!
And all was right in the middle kingdom again.