Thursday, March 25, 2010

some facts about china

today i got this about some numbers and facts about china. take a look.

The Numners Behind China
Via: Online Schools

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the great chiangmai t-shirt exchange

if you have ever visited chiangmai in thailand you know about the night market. the night market is pure awesomeness. they basically have an entire street lined with little carts that sell everything: t-shirts, purses, wooden games, magic tricks, dvds, wii games, watches, lamps ... and on and on. you name it, it's there. they especially have a ton of t-shirts that range from funny ones to downright crass. in fact, when our teammate jude was 5 and learning to read he really liked the t-shirt with the mcdonald arches on it that said "Mcs@#$". yeah, oops, not a good place for a kid to be learning to read. but they're not all bad. in fact there are so many clever ones that we decided this year at conference to have each team member draw the name of another team member and then have to buy that person a t-shirt from the night market. this is what resulted (we're all acting out our shirts):

my t-shirt said "teamwork" and pictured a silhouette of some guys kicking the poo out of a guy on the ground. very clever.

but the bestest (yes, i used a word that even my chinese students don't use) one went to sonny. kami bought him this gem:

no explanation needed. he was very embarrassed to be seen in this shirt and many people thought he was a really big fan of michael. ahh, poor sonny. everyone thinks he's a big m.j. fan. but hey, who isn't?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the ladies of china basketball association (wcba)

on thursday we took a road trip to anshan, a city about 4 hours away on the train, to see our friend katie play in the wcba finals. she's an american who is playing for the henan elephants (they are really far away), and the finals just happen to be kinda close to us. so we decided to road trip and take along with us some of our students to watch the game.

here's a few of my observations.

1. riding on a train is even longer when you sit near the door and everyone is blowing smoke on you. ahh, give me more second hand smoke!
2. two of the girls we took hadn't ridden the train longer than 1.5 hours before and had never left the province. so they really had a swell time.
3. sam really likes watching basketball. she was so excited that she was shaking. although, she didn't really understand that we just wanted to cheer for katie's team. we'll work on that.
4. katie is much taller than the rest of the chinese players.
5. during timeouts the fans nearest katie's bench would blow these annoying horns as loud as they could so that the team wouldn't be able to hear the coach. it worked.
6. chinese people need some tutorials on sports watching. they always cheer at the wrong times. whenever the home team had the ball it was dead quiet. why not try and cheer up the team?
7. while it was dead quiet, i was able to yell, "airball" over and over again. no one around me understood what i was saying, but it drew a lot of stares. at which point, sam said, "dad, don't do that!" ahh, sam, this is the start of your dad embarrassing you for the many years to come.
8. this was our second time watching katie play in china. i was surprised at how good some of the girls actually played. when i play basketball with my students, i'm like michael jordan. so my idea of chinese people playing basketball is not high. but these girls were pretty good.
9. in the end the henan elephants lost game 2 of the finals, which puts them down two games. they play today, if they win, they keep playing. which the league hasn't even scheduled yet. ahh, china, you never stop surprising me.
10. if they lose, katie and her husband, todd, can go home. i think they won't be too sad to lose and go home :)

so that's my trip. we took the train back to siping and got home at 4 am. then i had a chinese class at 8. surprise to everyone, i actually went.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

saturday is really monday?

so today is saturday but according to the school it really is monday. sound confusing? welcome to my world. whenever we have a holiday the school gives us some days off, but then we have to make them up. why give us a holiday then? is it really a holiday if we have to make it up when they take away our weekend?

because sunday was the lantern festival, we got monday and tuesday off. not really though, because today we had to make up all our classes like it was monday. then next week saturday we have to make up all the tuesday classes that we missed. it's so crazy, i think we should just have class on monday and tuesday because now i have to work on saturdays. i used to try and figure out why they did that, but now i just do whatever they tell me to do.

i guess they really shouldn't tell me i have a holiday. they should just say that classes are on a holiday delay. oh well, happy monday everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

fireworks rock!

as a pyromaniac, i live for fire and things that go boom. this year was my first time in 5 years to experience the entire length of a chinese new year celebrations. on the eve of chinese new year the fireworks began around 6 AM and continued until 3 AM the next morning. around 10 PM on the eve of the new year, the place got lit up. fireworks were going all around our building. i've never heard or seen anything like it before.

the party didn't stop on new years day. for the next 15 days, fireworks are "legal" for all residents to use, so everyday from 6 or 7 AM till the wee hours of the night, fireworks could be heard. on the 15th day of the new year (according to the lunar calendar) the chinese celebrate the lantern festival. this evening includes setting off even more fireworks to end the festivities. so to celebrate we went to the market and bought a plethora of fireworks. it was awesome!

that's a photo of us shooting off some roman candles at sam and rach in the apartment. as the fireworks came out of our roman candles we were yelling harry potter-isms - "alohomora!"

at the local park, they set up a display of lights to celebrate the lantern festival, very similar to a christmas lights display. apparently they hadn't done this in siping for a few years, so this was the first time in a long time that they had this display. i went and froze my buns off. there is a ice festival display in harbin (5 hours north of here) which is during january and the temps are well below zero there. i figured if i can't handle single digit temps, then there is no way i'll ever be able to go there.

the festivities are finally over and we can get back to life without fireworks all day long.