Becoming Territorial

Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, September 16, 2007

In order to legitimately claim that I've been having a bona fide Asian experience, a night of some serious KTV was in order.

An eclectic group headed to Yang Yang for dinner (a delicious Lonely Planet recommended restaurant). Some fish soup, a shrimp omelette, some veggies fried in pig fat, jiaozi (dumplings!), and yet more qiezi (eggplant galore around this land) and we were successfully conquering a severe language barrier --> a guy from Japan, a guy from Malaysia, a girl from Korea, and four Americans.
The KTV building is by far the most posh establishment I've stepped into yet in my time here. KTV is an acronym for Karaoke Television, an astoundingly popular outing for contemporary China. Our room was number 865, if that gives you any idea of how behemoth this building is. Marble floors, top shelf liquor, leather furniture, and wickedly amusing 1980's Pop Music make this a thrilling event in its dullest moment. Something we hadn't anticipated was the inability to find songs that all of us knew -- seeing as we were all from different countries practically. Would you believe that the first song we ALL knew was (drumroll please....) Winter Wonderland. Pretty fascinating, no?
There was a wealth of off-key renditions performed, including some Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Beatles, and myriad Japanese pop. The night was lovely.

Unfortunately our time was cut short, as we have an 11 pm curfew in our dorms 7 days a week (padlocking us out and leaving us to the streets if we don't make it). As someone who has never had a curfew in her entire life, this could take a little bit of getting used to.

Upon getting home, I spent two hours on the toilet, which I didn't think was humanly possible until last night.
It stemmed the realization that I'm in China... and I need to really start pushing the "Qing ni bu fang weijin zai wo de cai" (Please don't put MSG in my food) plea and perhaps also cut back on my street vendor consumption.

Today I took it easy, we went to a coffee shop (an anomaly over here) to study. It was an impressive Starbucks replica, with low lighting, comfy couches, froofy coffee drinks, and Jack Johnson playing (on repeat). With a menu entirely catering to Westerners (in regards to appetite and pocketbook), we unabashedly ordered strong java, sandwiches, chicken, and spaghetti! After 4 repeats of In Between Dreams, three hours of studying, and two hours of procrastinating, we decided to bail out.

Sidenote: After successfully wearing glasses for the past five years of my life, I managed to break them the very first time that I left the continent on which my eye doctor lives. Bummer.
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