Friday, February 29, 2008

Countdown to Beijing Return

I feel so ashamed that I have not been more consistent in blogging and keeping this thing more alive and fresh. In a way, this has become more an obligation than fun for me. I know, at first, that might sound like a bad thing, but in a way it's also good. Since I have graduated, I rarely find myself doing anything scholastic, aside from the everyday experiences I try to interpret. Along with that, I hardly write and, although I have hardly read much, I am pushing myself to do a better job. So, for me, this blog is somewhat of a writing assignment for me, much in the same way as what I previously did for one of my Anthropology courses.

Aside from that point, I have also experienced some technological difficulties. Before leaving for California, I discovered that my laptop's motherboard no longer functioned properly. As a result, I have been without my own computer for a few weeks now (oh no! kick, cry and scream!). As Eileen mentioned, it goes to show you how dependent many people have become with technology and the internet. This has been an ongoing issue for many of the teachers (including myself) at my school in China. For the first term, we made "ends meet" (such a funny expression in this context) without internet in our rooms. However, upon the delightful hint that we would be receiving internet in our rooms for this new term, we were quickly let down... but, when people are desperate for something, they find their ways of obtaining it.

So, I am here now, in what is called "B" Building of the university campus. It's about a 10-15 minute walk from our dormitory. For the most part, the walk across the university is nice. However, sometimes you can be caught off-guard with the weather. For example, this afternoon, it was quite warm, so I left without my jacket. When I was ready to go, it was late evening and it suddenly got chilly! As I mentioned in my email, the weather has been very nice so far in China, except for a few cold moments in Beijing.

I'm tempted to continue this entry about my recent happenings in Beijing, but I have tried to keep this blog in some sort of chronological order. You know, a lot happened during my remaining weeks which are worth noting.

I think my best moments were with my friends in San Antonio and the time I spent with Brian and Lily (individually -- unfortunately). I was overly flattered and felt quite appreciated by the outgoingness of Vinnie and my other friends who had two parties for me in San Antonio. These were both very special nights for me, when I got to DJ for everyone and, for a short moment, felt somewhat like a celebrity; I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I could never ask for better friends!

It was also very nice to be somewhat at "home" again when I went up to Ft. Worth to visit my family. We all had a chance to enjoy the Super Bowl, along with pizza and good fun. The day before, everyone took me out to eat for my birthday at P.F. Chang's, which was, although Americanized, still very delicious. I also had a great time with my cousin Chris, who will be attending the University of Texas at Arlington this fall. He has been a very close cousin to me (my closest), and I was very happy to help him in any way I could. After all, I was blessed to have Brian, my mom and my grandparents when I began college; at the very least, I hope I was able to motivate Chris just a little more.

Although my time in Texas was short (apologies), it made the 12 hour flight very worthwhile and rewarding! My last destination before going back to China was California. Although I visited Brian and Eileen the previous summer, I did not have a chance to see San Francisco, which was the first place Lily and I visited. Despite some hard emotional times, Lily and I were still able to enjoy some of the city, along with Alcatraz. I think we both really enjoyed the city tour offered to us by a local, which took us around the city and across the Golden Gate bridge. He had a lot of interesting facts to share with us as we passed some of the various districts/neighborhoods of San Francisco (which I would like to mention in my next entry). I think my favorite moment was when Lily and I walked from Fisherman's Wharf over to Lombardt St, where we walked down the crooked street. After that, we both sat down in a nestled stairway as we ate some of her yummy Ghihardelli chocolate. I also enjoyed carrying Lily up three flights of stairs too <3

The last of my California trip involved camping with Brian near Pfeiffer Beach, which was an amazing experience. We spent part of the afternoon at the beach, exploring different spots along the coast. Brian was really "jazzed" by an accessible rock that was somewhat out in the ocean, where the waves crashed. It was sort of suspenseful at times, because the waves would come in cycles, yet their force varied. Further back into a grove area, we found a place up on a short cliff where some people had built a swing from one of the trees. It was amazing and awe-inspiring to say the least.

I wish I could add more at the moment, but it is getting close to my curfew time (11pm), so I've got to make it back to my room now.