Crossing Streets, Donna Klein, Stinky apt, Washing

Trip Start Aug 13, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Hunan,
Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

    I rode the bus by myself for the first time today. It wasn't an extremely difficult task, although in getting to the bus stop, avoiding the fast, honking cars on a busy street with no traffic lights or signs to give pedestrians a chance to cross was, in fact, quite the challenge. There were white lines to indicate a pedestrian crosswalk, however, it was up to the pedestrian to decide when to walk into traffic. It was impossible to wait until no cars were coming because cars were always coming. There's an amazing amount of trust one must have to cross the street-- one must trust that the cars coming up fast will take note of the pedestrians and press down on the brake. At this particular crosswalk, there was a fairly high median in the middle of the road for pedestrians to use when crossing the street, however, it is so high and there are so many fast cars that it's so dangerous to try to step down too quickly. Also, it was raining today so I was really afraid I was going to fall into traffic and get hit by a car. Luckily, I made it across the street and back to the school safely.
    Although I rode on the bus back alone to the school, I actually had ridden the bus with Donna (the older woman from World Teach) to Wal-Mart. Somehow as we were looking at various Chinese goods in the Wal-Mart, we lost each other. It was actually the same Wal-Mart that we went to earlier-- again, it was really interesting to look in because its so different from the Wal-Mart in the U.S. I wanted to take photos but I thought it might we weird if I did. I bought a few things--trash can, dish towels, cough drops-- and walked around a lot. The Wal-Mart is located in a huge building-- a mall, I think--- there are a lot of smaller stores all around it and I looked around a little bit before heading back.
    When I finally did get back from the Wal-Mart, I talked a bit with Donna, who told me that she had just left-- and we went to dinner together in the school canteen. Today for lunch and for dinner also, we ate in the teacher's lounge, which wasn't too bad. They had this huge vat of rice and maybe 5-6 different meat/vegetable dishes, loaded with chilies, of course. There were also a couple of soup options. During dinner, Donna told me a bit about the vegetarian/vegan cookbooks that she has published-- Donna Klein is her name. She said that she's going to make one based on her experiences in China. It was cool to talk to her about it. After dinner, we went with Lon and her mom and this administrative Chinese guy to look around the school. He showed us his office, where we sat for a while, talking about the school. Lon and her mother acted as translators for me and Donna. When we got back to our apartments, Donna called Rodger to see what time we'd be meeting tomorrow and he said he was in Noah's room so we went there and talked for a bit. Poor Rodger-- he has so much to do. Both Noah and Donna have issues with smells in their apartment-- Donna's kitchen and bathroom smell like stinky tofu and Noah's wardrobe closet smells like dead animal. Noah tried to get me to trade apartments with him but I refused. I actually have a lot of newer stuff up here and it's nice to walk a bit to get up here.
    I still haven't unpacked yet. I still can't believe that I'll be living here for one year. This morning, I washed my comforter because it smelled bad and I nearly broke the washing machine. The comforter was a little bit big for the washing machine-- during the spin cycle, the cover was flapping open and it sounded like it was going to break down. Hanging it up to dry was an even more difficult task. I hung it on the string that I had tied up yesterday-- but it was so big, it dragged on the floor, so I took a chair from the living room and draped it over that. It's still not dry. It wouldn't have dried faster outside though-- it's been rather cool today, which is nice. I wore jeans and a button up shirt and actually felt a little bit cold. I hope the horrible humid heat doesn't come back. So tonight, I hope it's a little bit warm as I will be comforter-less. Speaking of, time for bed!

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