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Dre J.’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 Dec 2009

Location: Beijing, China

MapOH BOY!!! Lots to talk about, sorry i've been absent for a lil bit but things have been a bit hectic here seeing how we only have a week left in Beijing. Depending on when you read this i should have pics up of what's been going on in the past weekend. Lets see...right, Friday. Friday China's most renowned Calligrapher came to speak with us and show off his skillz. His teacher was the same teacher to the last Qing Emperor, and writes in a very royal style of writing that no one else does anymore. He himself is of the royal family. In fact him and Han Bing are related and belong to the same royal family. But he was really good. I didn't understand a single thing he said for the two hours he talked but just being there and watching him was good enough for me. Some kids were being very American, and by that I mean extremely disrespectful, and that was pissing me off, but other than that it was a good time. After that Colin and I went and grabbed some grub on the Korean street and waited for Steve and Caitrian. When they got there we headed out to the Silk Market for some final gift shopping. I always like going there. No one else really does but I find it very funny to be harassed and f--k with the shop attendants back. I cracked Colin and Caitrian up one time because we were walking through this purse and bag section and all these women where pulling out Louis Vuitton purses and asking us "Want Louis Vuitton?? Real! Look so pretty." (now say all that with an asian accent) So I would say to them, "Oh ya this color looks so good one me! How did you know I would want one?" They would just shut up and look dumbfounded. It was funny. Any time they would ask if I wanted to buy any girl thing I would do that. But I got a new piece of luggage, some Jade chopsticks, and a few trinkets for peeps. Oh I got some really nice Calligraphy paper too. I was running low on paper so I thought I get some nice stuff. I'm kinda sad, Tuesday will be my last Calligraphy session. I hope we have Calligraphy in Xi'an. In fact, I'm going to email Omar right now. (Omar is the director of the Xi'an program. He's a cool dude) But ya, after the Silk Market we all got something to eat and then tried to get home. It was traffic time, so we stood outside (it was very cold even by my standards) for a long ass time. No taxi would pick us up because we live in Wodaoku which is on the other side of Beijing from the Silk Market and it would have taken forever to get to BLCU. Since they get paid by mileage and not time its not worth it for them. So we had to take the subway back which we were not please about. Not only does it take a long time but it was going to be crowed as f--k. And sure enough it was. Its soo packed that just to get on you have literally push people as hard as you can to squeeze on before the door closes. If your not quite in, a worker will come over and push you until the door can close. I took a pic of the stairway leading to one but I didn't have enough room to move let alone take a pic on the train. I do fine since I'm twice as big as most the people on the trains so people don't f--k with me. Plus I'm white. But n e ways, i ended up taking a different train and a different route than Colin, Caitrian, and Steve. The quick was is to take this certain train, but its always the busiest and fullest. So when it came time to get on those three squeezes on and I just hung back. I wasn't going to try and get on. So I took the next train going the opposite direction. It was just as full but I would only be on it for one stop. I transferred to another train that takes 5 min longer but is extremely less crowed. You didn't have to push your way on, you weren't even touching a person, there is lots of room to move. So I took the longer but by far the most comfortable route. That was quite the ordeal tho getting home. I honestly can't remember what I did that night tho. (this is 5 min later) Oh I remember. Colin and I went and grabbed a beer and some meat sticks then came back to the room and passed out mad early. Saturday I went to the Ming Tombs with some peeps. That was nice. It was a nice day, kinda chilly but sun was out. My perfect winter day. I mean, we didn't see much, and what there was to see wasn't all that, but just being there was a treat. That was enough for me. Others weren't as appreciative. Complaining it was cold and we didn't see much. Babies. I had a great time tho. I passes out on the van ride home which was good cuz I was tired. When we got back Colin and I went and got some Muslim food. Colin then took off to a cafe to do some homework. I came back to my room and sat down for 7 straight hours and knocked out my capstone research project. I still have to type it but that was a huge relief to have gotten it written out and all my research and ideas nailed down. I'll need to do some minor tweeking but its good to go. I was informed that I will be presenting on Thursday. So there is a good chance I'll be last to present cuz everyone but three peeps and myself are presenting on Monday. That would be pretty sweet tho, wrap up the program with my speech...bad ass. But now i'm just chillin. My plan for the day is to either type up my capstone or to research and try and write my film paper. that has to be just as long as my capstone (12-15 pages) so either one is just as important. They are both due on Friday too. What to do...what too dooo? Well I think that's it from this end. I might not be around for a while since I have these papers, a presentation to prepare, an econ final, and two language tests which are not going to be as good as I would like. So lots and lots of studying to do. Its make or break time. I always pull through when I need to so i'm not worried, but there is lots to do still before i'm able to reach that point. So until next time...zaijian!!