A Travellerspoint blog

It's Always Sunny in China...

but where is the sun?

This morning Joe and I got up before the sunrise to absorb the Chi from the trees before they start photosynthesis... but then Joe left w/o me because I (I wanted to capitalize that to EMPHASIZE it, but then I realized that it is already capitalized anyways) I was taking too long. So I went back to sleep. A few hours later Joe came back up stairs wondering where I was. I told him that if I left him every time HE was taking too long... and I left it at that (self explanatory). We cooled off, and then Linda gave us directions on how to get to the good hospital. Joe's glue wore off and his finger was split open again, it wasn't bleeding, but it needed to be held back together by something stronger than a bandage if it was going to heal. Then her friend who she was meeting for something today told her that afterwards she was going to the hospital to do something, and Linda had to drop off her stomach x-rays for research (the doctors here have never seen anything like her case and they want to look at her exam papers from England for clinical research); so she said she could come with us. At the bus stop we discover that it was going to be over an hour bus ride (even though it was in the same city... these cities are huge), and I decided that I really didn't need to go with them to the hospital. Luckily just then Jason was passing us by on the way to Wal-Mart (they have those here, and McDonald's and KFC), so I followed Jason around Wal-Mart for a bit before we headed back to Linda's (I would have done it myself, but I've only been here a day now, and I don't speak Chinese, so I really didn't want to have the slightest possibility of being lost).

On the way back we stopped at the art museum and Jason showed me his favorite painting. It was of this little old woman sitting on one of those foot high fold out seats in front of a Chinese shuttle board. Your first impression of the black and white painting is that it must be a couple hundred years old, or at least a painting of a woman who lived a couple hundred years ago. And then you see it in her right hand... she's talking on a cell phone.

Another humorous anecdote Jason told to me on the way home:
What do you call a person who speaks 2 languages?
- Bilingual
What do you call a person who speaks 3 languages?
- Trilingual
What do you call a person who speaks 1 language?
- English

I thought he was going to say American, but I guess since Ivy told it to him she changed it around to be a little harsher in his favor (their nice like that to each other). I did hear this joke again a little later in the trip, and the Chinese person telling it to me did change it to American for me (but I interrupted the punchline and I said "Amerikajin desu!" to say, yeah, I've heard this, and yeah, I can say it in Japanese!

Then the rest of the day I attempted to catch up on blogging at Linda's. So, to fill in the time, I shall show you some pictures!

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The tall buildings behind the buildings on the left are the apartments in Linda's complex.

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Now the tall buildings on the left are the apartments in Linda's complex.

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These are pictures of the courtyard between the apartments in Linda's complex (the first one is the area around their swimming pool! But they don't open the pool or fill water into the fountains until May, even though its 25 outside (77)!

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Her living room and balcony. (All the paintings are from DaFen.)

When Joe got home he was kind of upset because the doctors pretty much laughed at him when he showed them his cut. It wasn't bleeding, so they didn't see the need to stitch it up. Then he disappeared for an hour that I didn't really notice b/c I was busy on the computer. But when he came out and was ready to go out for the night, I noticed something on his finger. "Let me see it" was all I had to say. He willingly held up his finger and I saw a ball of thread stuck to the edge of his cut. Then I saw the thread weaving in and out of his skin. He stitched his finger with the $2 sewing kit we bought in Colorado for the hole in his pants. He thought I would be really really mad, and I was, but I just let it go and told him that I didn't care what he does to himself as long as it doesn't affect me. (Does anyone else believe me when I say I let it go?)

That evening we went out with Jason to see Ivy dance, but when we got to the square outside the art museum we went to earlier that was between Linda's and DaFen... we didn't see Ivy. Eventually we found her in another group off a ways taking lessons. She was dressed in the cutest black short sleeve top with pink trimmings and a matching skirt. She also had on real hard toe dance shoes. We didn't mean for her to see us, but after one person sees 3 white people, everyone turns their heads to see what the excitement is about. She came over to us and said that she is an advanced student, so she could skip this class because it was only beginning dance and she was only there to help demonstrate the proper hand motion. I thought we were going to see her doing traditional Chinese dancing, but it was salsa! When she took us back to the square there were about 40 people dancing in a roped off section of the square, all doing the same dance to the music. There were some variations between levels, but you could tell that they all had taken lessons. When the music changed there would be a little confusion and shuffling around, but then they would all conform to the right dance for the music. The next song was a waltz, and everyone started turning and spinning and rotating through the section in a counter clockwise revolution. Ivy kept trying to get us into the ring to dance, but I didn't want to, even though it was 8pm at night and there were hardly any street lights there. We were in the dark, and nobody was looking at us, and I liked to keep it that way. But when the waltz started playing, I felt that it would be harder for me to mess that one up, so I gave in and Joe and I started dancing outside the ring (isn't it the boy who is supposed to be the difficult one?) Then it turned back to salsa music, and Joe dragged me into dancing. We took lessons (on youtube) when we were living back in Ohio, but it had been a while, and I was fumbling following, so we both tried to lead. Eventually we took a break and watched Ivy and Jason dance, and Ivy was fantastic! Jason... well he wasn't as bad as my senior prom date.

Then this flamboyant Chinese man of about 50 comes up to them and takes Jason away! He started doing the man's side of the dance and was trying to get Jason to follow him! It was the funnest thing to watch too because the Chinese man was so graceful, and Jason had 2 left feet. Eventually when Jason seemed to get it the Chinese guy took him by the hands, and he started dancing with Jason like he should dance with Ivy, except the man was still dancing the male side so Jason could still sort of follow along. Now we were getting a bit of an audience going, especially this little kid of about 2 or 3. He just kept starring up at us with wide eyes, never blinking. Ivy told the little boy "Say, 'Hello Ghost!' Can you say it?" Ghost? Ivy explained to us that when the first white people came to China, the Cantonese thought that they were ghosts because of their pale skin. So the actual word they still use for foreigner is gwailo, meaning ghost.

That evening we came back to Linda's and backed our things. Linda was supposed to have another Couchsurfer coming in tonight at 3am, but he canceled. This was only after we had already been told that we could stay with Ivy. So Linda was kinda surprised when we told her we were moving, but we didn't want to be rude b/c Ivy had already set up the guest room. She only lived about a 5 or 10 min. walk away, so it wasn't that bad at all. Right now her brother's family was also staying with her, so she told us that when we leave in the morning to go and buy our train tickets, not to worry about getting back in because her sister in law and baby nephew would be there durning the day to let us in. We got to meet her sister in law and nephew when we came over, but the brother works the evening shirt so he wasn't home. The nephew was not excited to see us and he kept hiding behind his very pregnant mother. Eventually Ivy dragged him onto her lap next to me and started rocking him like crazy trying to get him to say "I love you" in English b/c that was the only sentence in English he knew. The boy burst into tears (hopefully from the rocking, but he wouldn't be the last baby we've made cry just by existing). Then we stayed up pretty late on Ivy's computer printing out what trains we should buy to get to Mt. Tai, otherwise known as Taishan.

Posted by - Rain 00:53

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