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July 18, 2011

I don’t know what kind time frame counts as the “homestretch”. Perhaps it is more of a personal landmark. What I do know is, the anxiety a jockey experiences as his horse moves into the finish is identical to my anxiety over leaving China for home. I have four weeks, and three short weekends left before I leave the land of dollar cabs and censured news for the land of the free. While I will have only been here 12 weeks, I feel I have created a life here. I have an awesome job, a budding (dare I say entrepreneurial) tutoring business (Who knew I could rock as a debate/presentation teacher), a group of meaningful and supportive friends, heck, I even have a regular street food man that knows me. On top of the anxiety I have for leaving the relationships and experiences that have had such a meaningful impact on my life, I feel a sense of urgency in the need to pack in as much of China as I can before I leave. And so, I have a running list of things I need to do before leaving China.

1. go to Huangzhou

A small city next to a big clear lake. By small I mean it in Chinese standards-population 10 million. It is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in China. On tab for next weekend!

2. Go to Huanshan

Yellow Mountain! I’m going to see what all the scenic hype is about, and why the creators of Avatar felt so compelled to cite it as the inspiration for the scenery in the movie. me and puff are going. epic.

3.One more final trip to the fake market

There are some things I still need, and a suitcase to put them all in.

4. Get a chinese medicine treatment

I think I am going to rule out cupping and any sort of chinese detox…but maybe a massage? Some acupuncture?

5. Try a scallion egg pancake

It is a really popular breakfast item here in Shanghai, and there is a woman on my street that has a line down the block for hers. It’s hard to explain, but basically it is an egg crepe seasoned with onions and spices wrapped around a thin fried wafer. They look delicious, but I am always running late so I don’t have time to wait in line!

6. Visit the Shanghai urban planning museum

Shanghai has changed so rapidly in the last few years that they have an entire museum full of pictures and architecture plans to show off just how fast it was! I would love to see what old Shanghai looked like, and how each district has changed!

7. Buy a tshirt with english writing on it

these tshirts are such gems…and I have no idea where the chinese get them. The latest one (seen by a friend) read: “wear pink condoms”….but in awareness for breast cancer. My assumption is that they just have no idea what the english says, or any concept of what is appropriate to put on a shirt. Sometimes the shirts just make no sense and read “cloudy day but I’m still delicate” or sometimes they are just strangely innapropriate “if it’s not rough it isn’t fun” (with a cartoon emoticon featured below). Between you and me, I think it is a bunch of laowais sitting in a factory somewhere creating these shirts as some sort of joke.

8. Try muay thai boxing

I really wanted to try it on a weekly basis, but I didn’t have the funds! However, they do offer a free trial session of muay thai. One of these weekends I will put my fighting skills to the test!

9. Go to Shanghai “cheap street” and antique market

While I certainly don’t need anymore communist gear, the cheap street and the antique market offer all kinds of small unique gifts from jewelry to perhaps even one of those tshirts I am looking for.

10. Visit a Buddhist temple

there is supposed to be a pretty one up north! It is definitely on my to do list. Maybe on a sunday…

11. Buy some bootleg dvds

there is a dvd “store” across from my apartment that sells dvds of movies still in theaters for 5 kuai. It also has tv seasons, and asian classics.  Its very disorganized in there, but if you spend a long enough time, you can find something good!  let me know if anyone wants me to look for a movie or tv season…especially if you are in my depot apartment next year! DVDs pack really well!

12. Go to the beach!

apparently there are some nice beaches to lay out in shanghai, while I am sure the water is relatively toxic, it might be nice to have a beach day!

I am sure there is more, it is after all, a running list. And I am open to any and all suggestions!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:17 pm

    Of course we can’t wait for you to get home but I understand how hard it will be to leave. Shanghai will always welcome you back! I’ll email my shopping list for the fake market. I deposited your $$. xoxo

  2. Caro permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:30 pm

    Buy me a bag, I don’t care what.

  3. Carly. Jen permalink
    July 18, 2011 2:47 pm


    Pls. Note. That. Avatar. Is. Not. Repeat. Not. Copied. Or. Filmed. Or. Borrow scenery. Idea. From. Huang. Mountain. Which. Most. Western. Media. Made it. Wrong. I. Do. Not. Believe. Director. Cameron. Would. Have. Also. Made. It. Wrong.

    It Is. From. Chiang jia. Jeh. Of. Province. Of. Hunan. Where. You. Should. Not. Miss. It. Before. Leaving

    I. Was. There. This past. March. Both. The.kingdom. And. Lake. Baofeng. Are. The. Indeed. The. Real. Avatar. Scene. Filming. Places. Or. Borrowed. Scenes. Shots. By. Contract

    It. Will. Be. Sultry. Hot. In. July. N. August. But. Most. Beautiful. And. Visible. Season. Up. To. The. Top


  4. Aunt Kari - the late one permalink
    July 18, 2011 4:21 pm

    How was your weekend in Bejing? Did you go? Or maybe you are there now? Who is Puff? I’m guessing Roommate and not the magic dragon or you should cut down on whatever herbs you’ve been eating. Also, what does it smell like there? Does it smell dirty? I expected India to smell terrible because of all the garbage, crowds who have never heard of deoderant and random monkeys, camels and elephants roaming the streets but it actually smelled very nice and sweet, like sugar cane. Just curious if you found the same thing there. So glad you are having such a good time. I LOVE your blog too!! And, yes, since you have been there 8 weeks and my poem gift never arrived, it will have to wait until you get home. I bought the gift ages ago…it was perfect but I just have not been inspired to write the poem. So my “late aunt” fate continues. You probably get your lateness from me. I’m perpetually late, despite valant efforts. Can’t wait to see which T-shirt you pick!

  5. July 19, 2011 6:25 am

    @caro- I am going to need to know what kind of bag.
    @aunt kari- went to beijing! loved it, posted about it! China, unfortunately does not share the same luxury of being great smelling. there are not many plants here to counter the pollution. although, the fact that there are no plants could be because of the pollution.
    puff is the strategically and excellently well named alias of one of my roommates. although, I think his name could be more appropriately deemed sesame, or perhaps peanut or maybe just allergic to all chinese seasonings. isnt that right puff?

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