So, we went to Shanghai this last weekend and that was an amazing experience and quite the adventure. Shanghai is about a 13 hour drive from Weihai, so we took a sleeper bus there. Did you ever see the third Harry Potter movie? The bus was JUST like the Knight Bus-it seriously had three rows of bunk beds on it. And, because This Is China, we had to take our shoes off as we got on the bus. We left at four, I read for a couple of hours and then I curled up and slept the rest of the night and woke up around seven, as we were entering the city. The only down fall to the bus was that I was at the back, right by the potty, and it smelt something fierce every time someone opened the door. And yes, because TIC, the potty on the bus was a squatty potty. Have you ever tried to pee on a moving squatty potty? No? Well, let me tell you, it is IMPOSSIBLE to make sure your pee gets in the potty! I had to pee so badly, and finally decided I would have to use the squatty potty, so I went in, and before I could even assume the proper position, I almost toppled over because the bus driver decided to make a u-turn. I was cracking up the whole time because of how utterly ridiculous the whole situation was, but I eventually piddled, and I didn't make a mess of myself, so I called it a success.
We did a lot of walking in Shanghai, but I got to see a lot of cool things, like the Yuyuan gardens, which are these beautiful gardens that are built around traditional Chinese Pagodas and Coi ponds. Right outside of the gardens is a dumpling shop that apparently has the best dumplings in the world…the line was around the block. It reminded me of what an In-N-Out line looks like during lunch hour. The line was moving pretty fast, so we decided we would get some and they were AMAZING! I'm pretty sure Chinese Dumplings are my favorites. We also learned how to take the Metro in Shanghai, which was a crazy adventure, but we had it down by the end of the first day. I got to see the Chinese Acrobats, which you seriously would have loved. The whole time I watched them, all's I could think about was the excited noises you would have been making because of how cool it was. If they every come tour the states and come to a city close by to us, we are totally going. Saturday, we went to a market where they sell tons of knock-off brand names. It was easily 40,000 square feet and filled with everything you could possibly imagine. And, this is the kind of place where you barter with them. It was kind of intimidating at first, but I got to be really good at it by the end of the day. I got a North Face fleece for 100 RMB, which is about 17 American dollars, which I bartered down from 700 RMB. I also got a pair of TOMS and a pair of Rayband sunglasses, so that was really cool. Do you want anything in China? I'll totally use my bargaining skills and get you whatever you want.
We took the sleeper bus back to Weihai on Saturday and got back in on Sunday, where I proceeded to sleep forever and plan for teaching. As fun was it was to go on our adventures, I was surprised how much I missed my students and how excited I was to come back and teach them.
Well, our first day back after vacation was insane. I had a child throw up on my table in the middle of my lesson. I froze for a split second as I tried to register why there was a puddle of puke there, until I made the connection that it belonged to the little girl who was still retching. I literally picked her up and pointed her towards the hall and said, GO TO THE BATHROOM (Chinese teachers do not believe in trash cans; they think it makes their rooms look dirty) and banged on Erica's door and yelled: "WATCH MY CLASS!" before taking off behind her. We made it to the bathroom, where the poor dear proceeded to lose the rest of her lunch as I rubbed her back. All's I could think of was that I was glad I had cancer, because I could stomach the puke, haha. I then took her to Kelly before going back upstairs to help Bryan clean up the puke before getting my class back.
The second group came up later, and after going through our rotations, I was excited to see my homeroom come into my room. But, I found out that three of them had all been taken to the teacher because they felt sick! Walter, Joe and Jacob were all feeling ill. So, there is probably a bug going around, which stinks because all of my favorites are getting sick. Sad day.
Oh, remember how I wrote about how we've started going down during meals to say hi to our kids? Dana and I decided we would bring our food down with us and try to eat with them during lunch the other day. We found a table (and the tables are the kind with the seats attatched to them) next to Joe and Travis and sat down and started eating and talking with them. Dana made the tiniest shift in her weight to ask Travis something and all of a sudden, THE TABLE STARTS GOING OVER! My dumplings started sloshing on the floor, my arm came flying up to try to counter balance it and Dana's leg was flying up. We somehow caught ourselves before everything hit the ground, but our kids all saw and started laughing SO HARD! Travis kept on saying: "SCARY, HUH?" and Jessie came over to help wipe up our table. It was so embarrassing and SO funny; I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. Pretty sure our kids think we're the weirdest American's they've met, but they still think we're cool, so that's fun. Woo!