Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012

Today I went to church! Elizabeth and Fred Crook picked me up in a taxi and we navigated the 45(ish) minutes to a fat, tall, green-glass plated building. Church was held on the fourth floor. The fifth floor was a weight lifting gym, so Sunday school was staccato-ed by the crashing of dropped weights. There were so many babies and young children running around! I haven’t seen many young people or old people for a while, mostly just people in between. After church we went with a very nice Australian couple to a Tex-Mex restaurant.

I have been reading some very remarkable books lately, and I would recommend “The Scholar of Moab” to you all.

Azaa, my Mongolian friend, is convinced that there are ghosts that live in the dorm room. Late at night on the weekends she hears knocking on her 6th story window. Other girls say they also hearing knocking late at night.

I told her we would do a ghost banishing spell with Gregorian chants and candlelight. I think that freaked her out enough, and she would rather have the ghosts than my makeshift witch coven.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 20, 2012

During art class, Sage and I learned how to paint in a more Chinese fashion. Our art teacher (featured in the picture below) kept repeating the artistic equivalent of “go with the flow.” On the right is the painting created by our art teacher, on the left is Sage’s and my creation. Our teacher was happily confused by the elephant I added.

Dad and I had an excellent trip to visit Bao in Nanjing. We dined on fine cuisine prepared by Bao’s parents, including Peking duck burritos, egg and tomato mix, and coconut milk. We traveled to several historically significant spots, one of which was a tomb where nobody knows where the body was actually buried because the body (before it was deceased) wanted to prevent tomb robbers. We also explored the Nanjing Massacre museum, which resembled the Holocaust Museum in D.C. in general layout and how information was portrayed.

Stirling and Bao walking through a canopy of trees:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012

Disclaimer: Xi’an will come in a later, more detailed post.

Today we ventured to an outdoor antique market selling everything from desks elaborately painted in gold and red, to toddler sized porcelain vases, to Mao statues that creepily resemble Joseph Smith statues. One vendor hawked a small mountain of rustic swords, while nearby another merchant peddled teapots shaped like elephants, flowers and pumpkins. Everything was obviously “recien envejecido” (recently made old) but it was still interesting to go along, and occasionally purchase, part of the show. One particularly interesting stand sold hand cut puppets. Each puppet was made of a single flat piece of parchment (or maybe leather) with miniscule snips and cuts to create swirls, or textures. Some of the puppets even had mobile knees and elbows. When held up against the light they glowed, and acquire a nearly life like third dimension.

After the market, I went across the street to the grocery store for dinner.

  • 2 oily bread patties filled with thickly shredded carrot- 2 yuan
  • 1 five leveled (raspberry goo, vanilla ice cream, chocolate chunk, brownie segment, vanilla again, all dipped in chocolate) ice cream- 2.5 yuan
  • 1 medium sized carton of fresh strawberries- 16 yuan

My dinner added up to 20.5 yuan, equal to about 3.28 dollars. Wow. Sometimes, I skip the strawberries and get a jianbing instead (3.5 yuan) which then makes dinner 8 yuan, approximately 1.28 dollars. Or sometimes I get a tanghulu (3 yuan) instead of a jianbing, which puts dinner at a total of 7.5 yuan, 1.20 dollars. Will I ever again be able to handle the “cheap” out-to-eat alternative of a single thing for a dollar? Probably not.