Sunday, June 1, 2008

All is well.

I didn't move, after all--the apartment was low-ceilinged, carpeted, old-applianced, and in a weird part of town. So, I was assertive and said, "I think I'll wait for the apartment I was told I could move into in the first place."

(Now, of course, I'm contemplating staying here, because although Terna's apartment does have a fully functional kitchen, it too is small and in an enormous, funky old building. It's kitschy in ways I appreciate, and is in a good location, but I'm starting to think I've become comfortable here in this apartment. It's large, clean, and mine. I'm devising some techniques for making a kitchen-ish on the back porch.)

I then stuck to my original plan--to travel to Beijing with my teacher friend Vincent. I was running late for the train, and we missed it, but then decided to take a private car, which was only 20 yuan ($3) more for each of us. (Yes--to have someone drive us in a nice car the two-hour, white-knuckle, driving-on-highway-shoulders trip to Beijing, it cost us 60 each--about what, 9 or 10 dollars?) We went out for awhile--I think it was more my idea than his, but he complied. After staying in a way-too-expensive but two-bedroomed hotel room, we departed for the Great Wall.

I wish I had a stretch of time that would allow me to trek across the entirety of the Great Wall, because really, it's quite cool. Being in the mountain-ish-es, climbing up stairs that have been there (although replaced several times) for centuries, enjoying the fresh air and physical exertion and rewarding views--I really felt happy to be there. (Photos are up, but few in number, owing to my dead camera battery.)

I miss my sewing machine.

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