Monday, April 7, 2008


Now, it snowed here last Wednesday. My heat actually runs from November 1st to March 31st, and it snowed on October 31st and April 1st. Awesome.

But it seems like now we've finally entered spring. Just in the last two days I've seen a lot of trees budding and flowers blooming.

I went for a long walk today to enjoy the sun and warm weather (and because I didn't have anything else to do), and tried to snap a few pictures on my way.

I'm assuming that this is home-made incense out drying in the sun--perhaps because the family used all theirs up during last weekend's GHOST FESTIVAL. Which, unfortunately, is nothing like Halloween. There are a lot less costumes and candy involved, and a lot more burning your possessions (including cars and houses) to appease your ancestors.

A shot of the 70-100 or so mosques in our city.

So! At one point in the day I went over to Red Park Square, which is pretty near my home, and read for awhile. While I was doing this, a *really* old man wandered over and started looking at my book. He tried to start talking to me about it but his accent was so strong, at first I could barely understand what he was saying. Finally I realized that he was pointing at different letters and saying them, like 'M. C. B." And really, those were the only ones he knew. He kept finding M's, C's, and B's.

So finally these two young boys came over, and started laughing at him when they saw what he was doing. Finally he asked, "What, can you speak English?" They said yes, and then he asked, "Well, then what does 'M' mean?" And the kids started dying laughing again. And the old man furiously starts yelling at me and everyone within a mile radius, "These kids think they know English, but they don't even know what 'M' means!"

I was trying really hard not to laugh, and mostly succeeded.

In other news, I just ate a hot dog type of thing without properly cooking it (I just microwaved it)--which I only realized afterwards may be somewhat more ill-advised in China. Well... I've always wanted to check out the inside of the local hospital--be crossing your fingers!

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