June 6th, 2010
video of Craig and I petting baby tigers…
Filming what the middle school students do during their morning break (see if you can find the student that falls during the routine…and count how many times!).
Here is the video of Winston and I bungee jumping back in the fall of 2009. It was during our October 1st holiday, where we also went to the zoo and fed chickens to lions on the same day. If you want to read more about this, check out an earlier post titled “David Has an Eventful Day.”
For our 3-day weekend, some of the teachers and I decided to go to this city called Dandong, which is about a 4-hour bus ride from Dalian. What makes Dandong special is that it borders North Korea, separated only by the Yalu River. The two countries are connected by the Friendship Bridge, which is one of the few ways to enter and leave the country, and is only used by automobile traffic. While pedestrians are not allowed on this bridge, tourists can go to an older bridge 100 meters away that was bombed by the Americans during the Korean War. It takes you halfway across the river where you can see people fishing, some old/abandoned buildings, and a ferris wheel, among other things.
Another landmark of Dandong is the Hushan Great Wall (Tiger Mountain Great Wall), which marks the eastern end of the Ming Dynasty’s extension of the Wall.
Below are some pictures, and in a separate post I uploaded a video of us climbing the Wall and walking the Friendship Bridge.
There’s nothing like having the schools know its your birthday and canceling classes so you can relax.
Okay, so that wasn’t the case. The school just got a new paint job and apparently the fumes are still very potent, so they had to take the rest of the week off. Everybody wins.
The main reason for this post is to use this as a substitute for Facebook and thank all the people who took the time to post on my wall. So in lieu of wall posting back to you, I want to thank Ali, Terry, Robbie, Glendalys, Mike G, Lizzie, Rachel C, Rachel (from Borders), Melanie, Jay, Leah, Cait, Staino, Jennings, Laura, Gretchen, Christy, TK, Zach J, Lauren, Kaitlin, Danny, J-Tizz, Marrisa, Aaron, Herbie, Kari, Petra, Grace, Elle, Heidi, Sean, Meghan, Monic, Carolyn, Nicole, Sabah, Alexis, Micah, Myra (say hi to your mom for me), Casey, Ben, my BSB, Ceril, Matt, Gracie, Hannah, T-Go, D-Steck, Kristin, Cheetah and Danielle.
Thanks again and I miss you all.
So after 20 hours of flying I finally returned to Dalian at 11:30am on Feb.13th, which is the Chinese New Year’s Eve. As soon as I hopped out of the taxi and headed to my apartment building, fireworks were already going off in celebration of this year’s Spring Festival. This year is the year of the Tiger. While I was reading the China Daily on the flight to Dalian, an article explained how women born during the year of the Tiger tend to be independent, bad-tempered, wild and unpredictable (Sarah Isaac should have been born during the year of the Tiger). To find out if you are a Tiger, subtracting 12 from 2010 will give you the last Tiger year, and subtracting 12 from that year will give you that previous Tiger year (2010, 1998, 1986, etc).
Anyways, Matt, Ben, and I are good friends with this woman named Crystal, who is the owner of a bar we frequent called “Friends.” She invited us to her bar to make dumplings and set off fireworks. So after napping off my jet-lag, I headed over to Friends and was greeted by my fellow teacher-compatriots. It was a very laid-back night. We played card-games, learned how to roll dumplings and exchanged stories (I told Matt and Ben about Snowmageddon, and they recounted their experiences in the go-go bars of Thailand and Hong Kong). We stayed up til 5am, where I was woken up only hours later to more fireworks. Throughout the next day, fireworks were sporadically being shot off, with the whistling, popping, and crackling simulating the Invasion at Normandy. I can honsetly say that only after 3 days of being back in Dalian…I’m sick of fireworks. And there will be more. But, I will admit that the Chinese don’t mess around with their toys. These are just local residents setting off these things at the street corner, and they make the 4th of July look like a church service. Hopefully you’ll be able to watch the video.