9.15.10: I AM AT THE BEACH…. ALL BY MYSELF! Today is my day off. We’ve had a few super nice days in a row. Two days ago, Monday, on Brad’s day off, he wanted to come to the beach in the afternoon so I absolutely obliged. It turns out it is right by Huawen College’s campus. On Monday when we came I thought I was going to have to go back yesterday (wow, it really was yesterday. It now feels so long ago.) for work so I tried to memorize what I was doing. Brad had been told by Cheny to get off the bus after the mountains had ended so he relayed that to me. He also made a point to show me the bus sign when we got off and then also told me that one time he made a mistake and got off the bus too early. It made for an long walk but he still got to Huawen none the less. (He has to teach there on Sundays.) Since we had to wait for a while to catch the bus to return, I also noticed a number of banks across the street. This was all key information for my return solo adventure.
Okay. I CAN DO IT BY MYSELF… right?? I hung around the dorm in the AM and waited for Brad to get back from the morning college class. Poor guy, he has to double down on his classes today. Teach the college kids in the AM and the middle school in the afternoon. Yesterday he did too since I had to teach at the primary school. We went to lunch together and had a nice time with some fellow Americans from BYU. Brad went off to the middle school. It was time.
I decided to bring along Brad’s bathroom towel instead of mine since his is orange and mine is white. Mine would have a much higher risk of getting stained by the dark sand. Besides, he offered.
So I got to the beach ALL BY MYSELF! I bought water ALL BY MYSELF! I found a place to sit ALL BY MYSELF, and then I sat ALL BY MYSELF! Hmm… I didn’t want to get bored so I brought some casual reading that was left for us in our room by Madam Jiang, the riveting Common Knowledge about Chinese History. I also brought something else. I was so proud of myself for this… my new netbook with the go-go-gadget long battery life to play some favorite ENGLISH tunes! I put my (Brad’s) towel out and placed my book and water beside me. Then I opened my computer and pushed the play link on my i-tunes playlist. Two guys in jeans and white t-shirts, under an umbrella, and a good enough distance away so I was sure they couldn’t hear anything turned around and stared. I turned around too to see what they were looking at. Whatever it was I’m sure it was exciting because they were turned around for a while. I saw a guy walking this way. Maybe it was him. What?
I so enjoyed my time at the beach. It was beautiful and the music was so fun. I never got to the book. Next trip, I’m sure.
9.15.10 PM: Brad wanted to take a trip for a few things so we went out. On the way down the campus to the bus stop we realized that neither one of us had a camera. First time that has happened since being here. We joked that something H.U.G.E. was obviously going to happen.
Brad played a fantastic game of pantomime with a lady at Carrefor who was able to play it right back. It was definitely the most impressive game I’ve seen him play yet as he does do it often. Most store workers don’t understand and just giggle and shrug instead. Not this lady; she was ON IT! She helped us find a perfect hotplate (it even had some directions in English) and a tea kettle that would work with it. The Chinese government did a GREAT job with her assignment!
On the way home we traveled down a road not yet traveled (not the first time) to find something to eat. It was flashy and bright so we thought there was bound to be something somewhere soon. There were in fact many places to eat, they just happened to be all fish places. I saw the famous tanks with the live fish soon to be fish food. The places were packed; they just wouldn’t be further packed with these two brunis (sorry, wrong continent).
We walked on.. and on. We came up on a CFY – Care For You – restaurant. I actually have seen a couple of these around and have peeked in their front windows before. I’ve since wanted to try one but didn’t know we had one close to us. We went in. We were led upstairs and sat down at a table and left with a menu to check off what we wanted. We looked around. There were large shallow pots in the middle of every table. WE WERE AT A CHINESE MELTING POT!!! Awww – it made me ink! We also didn’t have a clue what to order as the menu was in Chinese and no worker spoke English. The manager stepped up to the plate to try to help us (She had a white shirt on and everyone else had on green.) but couldn’t either. They all just laughed at the confusion. Fortunately there was a large group of people celebrating at the table right next to us and they knew English very well. Brad told them they could all be Americans and they laughed. At least it was a happy atmosphere! We told them some things that we wanted and they checked the appropriate words. We still had to order fish (we chose shrimp and crab) but at least it was dead when it came to our table and we cooked it. Shout out to the Butlers on the Toogoodoo who showed me what shrimp look like when they come out of the water and taught me how to peel a shrimp with the head still on. Who knew then I would actually NEED to know that info and teach it to Brad! Well, I declare! (That was for you, Elloree.) On that “shout-out” note, we ordered crab because the people at the table behind us had it. If Emily Richardson hadn’t taught me about her famous crab pasta I wouldn’t have recognized it! Thanks, Em! Great Success!