Nothing really new happened these past few days. Brittany let me use her computer to call Gary via Skype. I thought if cost a lot of money, but it turns out its only .02 a minute to landlines and cell phones. If you call another person through Skype, it’s free. It was nice to hear his voice, because I miss him so much. I got to talk to Vin too which made me so happy.
Tuesday night, Junior, Brittany and I had plans to go get coffee. When we arrived at Coffee Folk a few of Junior’s Chinese friends were there. They wanted to sit with us and talk (they love to practice English), so we moved to a bigger spot. We played cards and drank our drinks. The 2 girls had what looked like Chocolate Milk, Junior had a Pineapple Drink, Brittany and I had Vanilla coffee drinks, and the other guy had ice cream with peaches and kiwi. Mmmm! I mentioned that I wanted to go shopping and get Barb a birthday present, and the next thing I knew, we were shopping. One girl locked arms with me, and then she was holding my hand. This is very common in China, but it is very uncommon in America, so it was a little odd for me.Then, she started petting my skin and said “ooh! White!” I didn’t even know what to say, so I just laughed.
The other girl bought me a necklace that I was looking at, which was really sweet, but unnecessary. I tried to say no, but her will was greater than mine. It was cute, after all.
Then, they wanted to go to KTV (just hold on…). We quickly told them it was getting late and we needed to go home and get ready for class the next day. They pleaded, “Just one hour?” I asked if we could just go out for dinner on Friday night. But they were headed back to Nanjing, and this was their only free night. Okay. What’s one hour?
KTV is a karaoke place. Like a lot of places in America, there isn’t a whole lot for young adults to do, so this is how they like to spend their time. I picture a seedy bar, with a ton of people, but it wasn’t at all like that. Our group (6 of us) went up to this room by ourselves. There was a huge television where the words to the songs and the music videos were. They had English and Chinese songs. I didn’t want to sing, but I was forced so I picked “Pink: Get this Party Started.” Everyone else sang these beautiful songs, but I broke the mold…. in a bad way. Lol. We drank tea, and clapped as people sang, and I must admit that I had a pretty fun time. It’s definitely not something I would want to do every day, but the evening was fun. I tried to ask how much we owed them, but I was chastised. It’s not Chinese tradition to have others pay. If they invite you to do something, they will be responsible for it. Um. Ok. It feels really weird. I’ve been defying a lot of their traditions (like tipping). I just don’t feel right about it. But they insisted, so what was I to do?
I feel really bad, but I can't remember their names. I'm horrible with Chinese. I've already asked Junior, but he hasn't replied... they're super sweet girls :)
Wednesday, I took a walk by myself to this beautiful lake nearby. I had a sort of creepy incident with this old man. He was staring at me (which is normal) and he tried to talk to me (which is also normal). I told him I didn’t speak Chinese and he made some gestures I’m too embarrassed to even say on here. I handled it just fine though. I shooed him off and kept walking. But he rode off a little (on his bike) and then pulled over again to talk to me. I got out my phone and pretended to be talking to someone.
I wasn’t scared because, well, for one… he was on a bike. For two, there are so many people around that it would be hard to just grab an American girl, especially since I’m such a spectacle in the first place.
The lake was gorgeous. There were tons of little fish you could see just beneath the surface of the water. Old people were exercising, and children were running around. There was this little baby with bells on his shoes. It was cute, because my mom used to do that to me. I ended my evening talking to Gary again, but he has to work the next 2 mornings, so I won’t be able to talk to him.
The grass, as I mentioned before I think, is cut by hand. That's why it's sort-of fluffy in some spots.