Monday, November 26, 2007

Put on your red shoes...

A post is pretty long overdue here--so much has been happening! For now I want to talk about three weekends ago, when I took a trip to the Big City for my friend's birthday.

I took a Santana (read: car) to get there, and as always, it wasn't without incident. At one point we came up on a huge crowd of people standing in the road. We stopped, and they all started shouting and banging on the windows. As it turns out, a man had just gotten in an accident and was very badly injured--he was covered in blood.

We all got out of the car, they put him in, and he was rushed to the hospital as we got on a bus. It was disturbing--I think everyone knew he was going to die. I hope he made it, but I don't know how likely that is.

The bus went to the hospital and dropped us off to get back in our original car (well, our original car, but with a little more blood everywhere). And we continued on to the city.

I'll just give you the highlights, the first of which is the school dance that three friends and I attended that night. First of all, my friends all told me that they weren't going to dance. But anyone who knows me knows that I don't put up with things like that. So when the music started, sure enough I had them all out on the dance floor, and we were having a great time.

However, then the slow dancing started. They all sat down, with all kinds of excuses--they didn't know how to dance, they were shy, etc. Well, almost immediately a girl asked me to dance. I danced with her for about a minute, and then said, "Actually--can you help me? Can you teach my friend how to dance?" She reluctantly agreed, and I had a teacher for one of my friends.

This happened two more times, though, so all my friends had teachers, and ended up having a blast. It was nice to be in one of those situations where I knew how to be the hero--where I just knew how to help my friends have a great time. So many times I feel like that's all but impossible here.

Then, the next highlight was the next day at the SNACK FESTIVAL 2K7.

Which apparently was going on. They had foods from all over, including Hong Kong, Japan, and India. I had rice cooked in bamboo, Japanese tofu, some type of... other... Japanese... thing... involving eggs, Shanghai dumplings, and some other interesting types of rice and teas.

I opted out of some of the *most* interesting foods (pictured above), as I was about to take a three-hour bus ride.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Road Work

What would a place be without its evil geniuses, hatching plots deep in the city's streets? You're right; not much of a place at all.

Thankfully, we've got 'em in droves. Doesn't this look like something you'd see at Universal Studios? I bet Batman would love to break up this party.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Big Chill

So, at this point, writing this as my heat is on and sunlight is pouring through my window, it's hard to even think to write about just how cold it was Before. Before my heat turned on on November first, that is.

I guess I'll let pictures tell it for me.

This is pretty normal night-time attire. Fur boots, long underwear, jeans, shirt, sweater, fur vest, coat, scarf, fur hat. Well, sometimes not the hat. But I wore all that more than you'd think.

Wait--you thought this post was about things Before. So why the pictures of snow?

Well, it actually snowed the night before my heat turned on. Awesome. This is part of the truly beautiful view from my window.

This is another part of the view out my window. You couldn't really see it in the other picture, but this mosque dominates the view here from my desk. It's really delightful just to stare out over the city--it's really a beautiful place.


Did I mention that I was in Hong Kong for a few days?

What a unique place. Unique, and exhausting. It seems like every time I tell people here that I was there, they are SO jealous. To try and describe why it would be a less than ideal place to live, I tell them that if you see your friend on the street, while you're still walking you tell them, "Oh, goodess, I'm so busy but I'll give you a call sometime, yeah going to be late gotta go!"

Whereas here, if you see an acquaintance on the road, by the time you walk away you know that their daughter-in-law's brother is going to be married in a few months, as well as their general feeling about various ways of cooking lamb. I don't know. It's just very different, a much slower pace here.

However, I will say that HK is a great place to visit. There are so many beautiful and interesting things there. And my city... maybe isn't. But to live in? We win hands-down.

As far as what I was doing in HK goes, I was seeing Scott, one of my best friends from high school, and staying with a family from near where I went to college. And it was really good to be able to spend time with him in a foreign country (though, admittedly, very unusual), and the family made me feel so at home. It was a really good time, that left me exhausted, but in a different way, entirely content.