Friday, February 13, 2009

love is...

A cute bento box filled with animal shaped rice:

Adventures in Bentomaking is one of my new favorite food blogs. I wish I had a kitchen so I could make all kinds of adorable bento lunches, but for the time being I'll just live vicariously through Pikko's posts.

Happy Valentine's Day! It's weird, this is the first year I haven't been hyper aware of the holiday. My parents own a flower shop so for as long as I can remember Valentine's Day played a huge role in my life. As a child it meant baby sitters for a whole week, when we got old enough to watch ourselves it meant TV dinners for a whole week, and when we were old enough to drive it meant working at the flower shop for a whole week.

Walking around in Shanghai today I would have totally forgotten that it was Valentine's Day at all but then I spotted a woman selling roses on the street and it sparked my memory. I figured I should treat myself to something, y'know, a sort of self love version of the holiday, so I booked it over to the DVD store and bought the second season of Gossip Girls and three new movies (The Reader, Changeling, and Madagascar 2). I was surprised that Valentine's Day wasn't nearly as hyped up as other American holidays have been (like Thanksgiving and Christmas), but I didn't mind too much since I have yet to find my Korean Valentine. I wonder how Easter in China is going to pan out.

friday the 13th

Friday the 13th isn't scary or unlucky here in China, but since I'm still very much American at heart I couldn't help but feel an itty bitty flutter of nervousness when Romy scheduled our flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai for the superstitious date. As luck would have it, we were so exhausted (and totally slightly broke) from traveling, so we switched our flight to the 12th and avoided flying on the unluckiest day of the year.

I saw some incredible things during my four weeks of travel through South East Asia. It was the most different and exciting vacation I've ever taken, and while I had an awesome time with Romy and all of the friends we met up with in Cambodia and Thailand, it felt so good to get back to Shanghai, to my little corner of China.

Classes begin on Monday which means I need to start lesson planning some time before then. I'm trying to hold on to my vacation for as long as possible, so I'll probably procrastinate until Sunday night and then whip something up for each of my classes. I also need to go through my GoogleReader (I have over 600 unread entries from all the blogs I subscribe to) and get caught up with everyone out there in BlogWorld. I've missed you all and can't wait to read about what you've all been up to over the last month. Hopefully I'll be able to write a few stories about my travels over the next few days.

Physically I'm back in Shanghai, but mentally I'm still relaxing in a hammock on a beach in southern Thailand.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

thailand: surf, sand, and sun burns

I'm alive and very badly sunburned (or is it "sunburnt"?) in Thailand. Tomorrow is my last day and I'm spending it learning how to cook 10 different vegetarian Thai dishes at a 5-hour long cooking class. I can't wait!

Romy and I will be stupidly spending the night in the airport which we both realize we will regret, but our flight leaves so early in the morning we couldn't bring ourselves to justify spending any more baht (Thai's currency) on a hostel for only a few hours of sleep. We'll arrive in Hong Kong around noon and we'll be there for three or four days, we haven't decided yet. My only real Hong Kong traveling goal is to go to Hong Kong Disney.

I'll be home (weird, Shanghai is now my home) on February 14th for sure, also known as Valentine's Day for all you Americans out there that celebrate that very American holiday which is not such a big deal here in Asia. Funny, I'm kind of looking forward to going back to China. Is it possible I'm starting to actually feel that I belong in the PRC?