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China Blog redux

I figured that since I don’t have many posts at the moment, and none that are naturally lighthearted, I should post a previous blog entry that I wrote in my travel blog that documented my summer in China from the summer of 2009. This post is one of many, but is the concluding post from the trip so I feel that it is a fitting repost for whatever reason. The trip was an…experience to say the least. Highlights include the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Swine Flu quarantine (yes, I got quarantined for 5 days because some ass who sat behind me on the plane over got sick), many Jade and silk museums, and an earthquake (see below). So here is the final entry in my travel blog from my summer trip to China:

THIS TRIP ROCKS MY WORLD (LITERALLY)

I’m sitting in an internet cafe just outside of the “Old City” inLijiang. It’s this great city up in the mountains of western China, and about 8.5 hours from Kunming.

It’s been awhile since I last posted and I just want to get out that the earthquake that many of you have most likely heard about didn’t affect us in any major way, it just interrupted dinner. We are all fine and only felt a tiny shake, but enough of one to make the title of this entry relevant.

I am getting ahead of myself, however, since events occurred even before that. Firstly, since Mt. Tai and that trip we have all graduated from Tianjin University and got our diplomas and such. It’s pretty cool actually and I’m glad I have it. The exams weren’t difficult and I think we passed with flying colors. We are definitely glad to be out of the university…but at this point I’m missing it. Almost as much as Facebook actually, which is COMPLETELY BLOCKED in all of China at the moment and a huge hassle. If you are trying to reach me on fb…send me an email instead so I can actually reply.

After graduation we went out to Hank’s again because we had to celebrate Marcella’s birthday, and because we wanted awesome food again. It was great, of course, and we met Hank and talked to him a bit. He’s now “Uncle Hank” to us, through his permission. After Hank’s we went to KTV which is karaoke and tons of fun. We were going to go to this one incredibly nice place right near Hanks but they tried to confiscate “beverages” and so we bounced. I personally wanted to stay because the experience is worth more than a bottle of liquor, but it wasn’t my birthday. We went to this other place instead that wasn’t half-bad and had a good time.

We are now traveling around Western China and our first stop was in Kunming which is a “small” (really big but small-ish when compared to cities in China) city in the countryside. We took a cable car up a mountain and got some nice pictures of the whole city from up there.

That night we went to dinner and I got to experience my first earthquake. I actually didn’t notice it at first until someone else mentioned something but then I saw the chandeliers swaying and felt the ground moving. It was absolutely surreal and something that you can never prepare yourself for. We just chilled outside for a couple of minutes until it stopped and continued with our meal.

The next day we woke up early and we headed onto a bus to come here to Lijiang for a two night stay. We stopped in Da Li for lunch and a tour of the Three Pagoda temple which was really beautiful. It was based at the foot of a large mountain that had clouds covering the top and everything looked amazing. Some great photos were taken there and a milestone occurred. I had my first squatter…as in, squatting while going to the bathroom; talk about a workout *whew*.

We hopped on the bus for another 3.5 hours and got to Lijiang without a hassle. Except for the damn couple sitting in front of us who I swear are vampire cannibals. They seem to be eating/sucking each other’s faces off at every opportunity and take things beyond the level of PDA; we all want to sock them in the face at this point. When you can hear the slurping, things need to lighten up a bit. Lijiang is a great city that starts off not looking like much. We walked through some alleyways lined with shops (like Jerusalem or all of Mexico) for 30 minutes until we hit the center of the old city. It’s beautiful here with warm lighting on the wood structures that lights everything up in a great way. I’ve restrained myself from buying anything because it’s all insanely overpriced but I’m having a great time.\

The most hilarious thing about the old city as that as you hit the biggest courtyard you turn left and…there he looms, the one and only Colonel. Yes, literally on the edge of the old city in plain sight. It’s hilarious but also inviting because so far I’ve eaten four bowls of rice today with some potatoes. I kind of get turned off from the food when they give us a fish…seemingly plucked out of the pond, smacked on the head, and placed in the bowl with soup. It’s an entire fish that looks completely unchanged from its more livelier days. It’s been a nice night though, and I’m glad I found this internet cafe because I am finally figuring out my living situation for school and then Facebook shuts down preventing me from quickly conversing with people. But it’s time to go back to the hotel because we have a somewhat early morning tomorrow. I’m also exhausted from sitting on my ass all day (I don’t know how, so don’t ask).

OH! So here’s a little tidbit. I have a new top 3 favorite book. It’s called The Last Oracle and written by James Rollins. It’s make a great movie, but it’s an incredible book. I read 400 pages of it in the last two days just because I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. I suggest it to anybody and everybody because it’s just so damn good.

But it’s time to peace, so keep it real. Until next time…

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