Sunday, April 27, 2008

The weekend.

Apparently removing oneself from one's comfort zone can be somewhat rewarding. My weekend went fairly well, beginning with exams on Friday (most of which went pretty well, although I had to fail several students and several others opted to fail themselves). I am now a full-blown teacher, having issued exams, taught classes, graded (some) homework, and the like.

Afterwards, two students took me out to dinner at a place near the school. The food was awful (salty brown-sauced pork bits with a poached egg and rice), but the company was not.

Saturday, I went shopping with Evangeline and her friend Jenny. They diligently took me to every shoe store in the city, as I mentioned in passing the possibility of wanting new shoes. I did not purchase any, although I did spy many shops I'll return to later.

(I hate shopping with others; I like being able to think at my own pace, and feel guilty making people wait for my decisions. I generally end up not buying anything, which is good I suppose.)

They took me out to dinner (another free meal!) and I ate seven divine courses of regional cuisine including sweet duck bits, sliced raw yams and Hawthorn berries, tomato and egg soup, fluffy tofu orbs with mushrooms, and this odd dense flavorless bread which we dipped in the equivalent of vanilla pudding.

(There are many fireworks outside right now?)

Then I went out with Terna to the western bar, followed by the western club, followed by my oh-so-un-western firm mattress.

After being awoken again by accordion playing, I met up with another student (see a trend?), Eric, who took me to a huge huge huge many-block street market, where many things I had little use for could be found. It was exactly what I needed to know existed, though--a veritable black market for goods that could be found for more expensive elsewhere in the city. Afterwards, he introduced me to two regional foods: a fried dumpling filled with sweet mashed beans (good and odd but good) and some sort of warm wheat and brown sugar sludge, topped with candied cherries. I only ate half of it--it was filling, and I didn't want to be filled up by that. Eric described it as "something we never eat in Tianjin, but we have people who are new to Tianjin eat." Uh, ok.

We then went shopping (that is pretty much what people do here), followed by a fantastic Sichuan meal (with fish! and tofu! and chicken! and many spices and the most interesting peppercorns I have ever eaten!) and GO-KARTING. Which was only 3 minutes long, but it was a fantastic three minutes. Also, I found a gym that is only 500RMB for 6 months. So. A good day.

Tomorrow I must purchase a boat ticket to an undisclosed location. Wish me luck.

More pictures have been erected.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

You went go-carting? Awesome.

And best of luck with that "undisclosed location." =)