At the English Club office in downtown Urumqi this evening having a beer with my friends there. This has been home away from home for the 2 years I've lived in Urumqi. Its non-commercial, and has a simple idea - members meet on Saturdays from 4 to 8pm and the goals are to speak in English and make friends. Usually about 50 people are there. Hardly any westerners go, but I've met a very wide range of locals at the club from all walks of life. That means that if I have any little problems or need help as a result of not being good at Chinese language, its very easy to get assistance. If anyone reading this is travelling trough Urumqi, get in contact and I'll bring you to the English Club, as they are always keen to meet new people. Usually we go out for dinner after 8pm and split the bill at a Chinese restaurant so its a good opportunity to meet and mix with locals with no communication problems.
Another mild winter day today with strangely warm temperatures, and I hear the same thing is happening with the European winter.
A sunny day today. This winter in Urumqi, my third, is a non-event in terms of the very cold weather of the past 2 winters. Everyone keeps saying the really cold weather will be here any day, but it hasn't arrived.
I can't decide to get the train over to kashgar to stay in the Seman Binguan hotel which I've heard is empty, or the bus to Turpan near Urumqi to walk around in the ancient ruined sities of Jiaohe and Gaochang. Meanwhile the winter holidays slips by as I unwind from the last semester of teaching, so I'd better make a move soon. I want to be back in Urumqi by the 18th February when the Spring Festival (Chinese new year) begins and the whole country is in full holiday mode.
Still learning about this website. I wanted to edit the entry I made yesterday, but when I tried to delete a word, the whole journal entry was deleted.
I see that 9 people have looked at my page so far, so Iwonder when I'll get my first message.
Found where to view my page but the introductory one wasn't there. I use internet places, and also Yahoo has been slow the past few weeks due to some cable breaks in the sea, so we'll see if this message appears on the page.
The weather has ben warm recently, which means the streets are extra slippery as the ice and snow melts a little. Its the beginning of my school holidays, and the school where I live in central Urumqi is strangely silent with the students all gone. I hope to take off in a day or two myself.