Thanksgiving Chinese style
Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
101Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Coldest day here so far--the temps were in the high 30's F this morning and never climbed much past 50 F during the day. It was nearly dark when my last class ended at 4:50 but I spent the remaining light reading in my favorite coffee shop, trying to get through F-Scott Fitzgeralds' work "This Side of Paradise", which is a bit tough for me to follow the story, but the descriptions of life on campus 100 years ago were interesting to me. They used to jump in cars and go on road trips back in 1912 apparently
I stayed till well after dark and headed toward my part of town through the cold dark rush hour traffic with cars and throngs of people riding unlit e-bikes and pedal bikes going all directions like schools of fish with little outside lights to see anything except my own weak head light. I'm used to it so it's not too scary, just strange. How more people don't get killed around here I will never know. I cut across a neighboring college campus on this particularly dark tonight, not many streetlights in China; slowly and silently crossing the big campus, between the trees and walkways; students would silently appear from nowhere, like ghosts. I was going slow enough to miss them, many walking straight down the streets meant for cars. The campus without lights was most eerie on a chilly humid night.
I landed at my ATM, hoping to get some cash for the weekend but refusing to spend my last 500 yuan that is in my account
Friday Nov 25th: After my wonderful Thanksgiving all alone I got up early and grabbed a cup of coffee at the Casa Miel before rushing back home to meet my driver for the long scary trip to the Xincheng campus. Traffic was much lighter than normal and we arrived 30 minutes early. I showed up to my class and all my students were already there and practicing their singing. They seemed to enjoy showing off for their teacher and sounded pretty good. After teaching for a few hours the driver took us back but this time went through Hangzhou from west to east instead of the highway we usually take. The route was much more interesting and I finally got to see parts of the city that I have never seen
Xiasha is technically part of Hangzhou, but it is an Island of a new university city approximately 15 Kilometers from the main part of Hangzhou. I didn't even know it was possible to ride a bike into the main city, but now I know that this is possible. Tomorrow I plan to take my folding bike by taxi to the old Mingtown Youth Hostel where I plan to meet up with my friend Brian from Boston and another friend Shane from OZ and his girlfriend. I barely know these folks but we met on different internet sites and have become good friends. My good friend "Vincent" works for Mingtown so I will get to see him as well. I plan to go bike riding around the back side of the lake to get some fall foliage pics then meet up with the others for a dinner tomorrow night. I will probably stay Sunday and do some more riding, before returning to Xiasha on Monday. This is my first planned trip since I moved here (The Suzhou trip was more like a school field trip.). My main expense will be the 10 dollar cab fare to get there and a 10 dollar per night space in a Mingtown dorm (hope my snoring doesn't piss everyone off too bad).