I realize that my blog has basically turned into posts about my mundane daily life. I promise I’ll write some more prolific posts eventually, but in the meantime, Kimfucius says…I’m going to continue boring you with my day to day life in Dalian!
Last weekend, Margaret and I hosted ten of her sophomore writing students at our apartment. This was our first batch of girls that we invited (next are our civil engineers, and my chemical engineers), and we weren’t really sure how it would go. All of them sat squished together on our sofas and politely sipped on their fruit smoothies while asking general questions about what we think of China. The copies of Time and Newsweek laying on our coffee table (brought from the US) piqued their interest, as did Margaret’s Chinese books, and her accordion sheet music. Conversation with the girls was pleasant, and I think they enjoyed seeing our apartment. Awkward lulls in conversation were solved by the whirring of the blender. None of them had tried smoothies before and when we asked if they had used a blender, they said they usually used a blender to make soymilk. Several girls asked for seconds, so that was a good sign! (I wanted seconds too…mmm tropical fruit…yogurt, strawberries, banana, papaya, pineapple!)
They brought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers which continues to fill our apartment with a wonderful Spring-y fragrance. It’s been fun to watch them bloom. The weather outside has also been delightful.
Tomorrow is the the beginning long weekend for the a Chinese holiday called Qing Ming Jie (清明节), or Tomb Sweeping Day. Early in the morning, people go to visit their ancestors’ grave, clean the grave site, and make offerings. There is a vendor near our apartment selling huge bundles of papers that are burned as offerings to the spirits. People also give food, drinks, incense and decorate the grave with plastic flowers. I’m not sure which day the actual holiday falls on, but we have Monday and Tuesday off from work. However, there’s a catch. We have to teach Monday’s classes (that we will miss due to the holiday) on Saturday. Womp, womp. That means that I’m spending Friday night in my apartment lesson planning for tomorrow’s classes. The bright side is that I’m hoping to take a day trip somewhere near Dalian on Monday or Tuesday to spend some time outside enjoying the beautiful Spring weather.