I Don’t Know, Peanut Butter with your Spaghetti?

Well, this past Saturday is one that I surely won’t forget anytime soon.

Initially, it wasn’t much different than previous Saturdays, I woke up and got on the computer. Not a great habit, I know, but I try not to go on quite so much…I try…anyhow, the previous night I had suggested I cook us all dinner–me, Sabrina, housecleaner , and Baba.

Sorry to interupt, but Midori is singing loudly what sounds like nonsense. Got Moritz to videotape, hopefully I can put a link in my next post. Wow, she’s into this…singing “FUN-KEY” and doing disco hands. This is hilarious, especially now that Midori has explained they’re singing about blood types A,B, and O. You guys will love this video…. will put up soon, I promise.

Anyways, I had a quest to make spaghetti for my family so at noon I was off, traveling alone for my first time in China. Midori is being really distracting by singing so cutely and off tune. Sorry I’ll try to stay on topic. First I went to Walmart and got peanut butter, jelly, pocky, skittles, and pre-packaged gifts from God named Danco Waffles. Then I went to the bank to once again attempt to exchange money…and was happily surprised. There was a woman who spoke English working there, and they all knew what traveler’s checks were. I was given a form to fill out, and everyone was eager to help me. I thought I had filled it all out, and handed it to the woman. She checked it over and was nodding when she realized that I hadn’t put my address. I didn’t know my address. – Side note: Midori is now watching one of the videos Moritz just took of her and is singing along to herself – Sabrina was in school so I called my dad, asking him what our address was, to which I got my official least favorite phrase of all time: “I don’t know”. I gave the phone to the bank employee to talk to him, and then I got the phone back. He told me that he would take me another time….I’ll relay to you our conversation:

Baba: “Next time … I will take you … bank … exchange money!”
Me: “But I’m at the bank right now! I just need our address! What is our address!”
Baba: “Do you need money?”
Me: “yes! I have been here a month and haven’t exchanged any money!”
Baba: “come home and I will give you money”
Me: (improvising) “I don’t have enough money for a taxi. I don’t have money. I cannot go home”
Baba: “come home and I will give you money, next time I will take you to the bank”
Me: “I need money!”
Baba: “Come home and I will give you money”
etc

So I give the phone back to the woman, hoping she can talk sense into him, but to no avail–they hang up, and I have to pack up all my stuff and leave. Once out of the building, I immediately begin crying because I’m a very emotional person. So there I am, Asian-squatting outside of the bank with a bunch of groceries but nothing that I can produce a meal from, sticking out like a sore thumb because of my ethnicity and the fact that I’m crying. Just to disprove that cliche myspace icon, when you’re walking in the rain, people CAN tell you’re crying. Just to clear up any confusion.

So I walk for a while and grab a taxi that’s driven by the first female taxi driver I’ve seen since I’ve been here. I go to a supermarket that Sang Min told me has spaghetti, which turns out to be on walking street. I give money to a poor homeless man who’s only protection from the rain is a garbage bag, and also to a man with no hands. Here, homeless are completely ignored and seem to get no help at all whatsoever from the public. I could write a whole post about how horrible it is…but perhaps another time.

I buy spaghetti and sauce, and realize I’m running out of money. I’m right near a Benefit San Fransisco Brow Bar but I don’t have enough time or money to get my eyebrows done, much to my dissapointment…so I get lucky and steal someone’s taxi, which I wouldn’t have done under normal circumstances but I really needed to get home. My day wasn’t really going well. Oh, I forgot to mention–I got friggin clipped/hit by a motorbike outside of Walmart. Great, huh? I was accidentally on the motorbike part of the sidewalk (which is really small) and was running to the walking part when some guy hit me…I didn’t fall over or anything and he didn’t stop, but I can’t say I enjoyed the experience, and it certainly shook me up.

When I arrived home at last, I didn’t know when to start cooking. Had no idea when Sabrina would get home from school…but apparently I guessed too early. By the time I was done cooking spaghetti (without any butter or olive oil, because I forgot to buy any) and had heated up the sauce with a wok (something I would not reccomend), no one was home to eat it except for the housecleaner. She suggested I eat some but I wanted to wait for everyone else (presumably meaning Sabrina and my dad). Inevitably, the spaghetti soon was stone cold…finally Sabrina came home and it became evident that my dad wasn’t going to. I attempted to reheat the spaghetti in the wok, but there was some previous meal burned onto the bottom and it coated the first plate of spaghetti I dumped in there…so I threw away the spaghetti, the housecleaner washed the wok, and then I began reheating everything together. It didn’t get that hot and tasted like crap. I told them it wasn’t going to taste good because I didn’t have the right ingredients…while we were eating I heard them talking (in Chinese of course) about how it tasted bad…then they got out the jar of chili peppers and put it on their spaghetti and said it tasted better. I was offered some, as well as the peanut butter I had bought before, to liven up my meal.

My attempt at making American food was a failure. Hopefully next time, I’ll be a decent cook. I have to be given credit, though, this was second time ever cooking spaghetti on my own, and I didn’t even have the correct utensils and was being barked orders at in Chinese the whole time by the housecleaner, who was attempting to help me cook spaghetti in the most Chinese ways possible.

The song Midori was listening to about blood (not her singing it) : http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgxNDQzNzky.html
Another of Midori’s favorites, which includes saying “sky high” numerous times while they claim they’re..from? New York City: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTA3MDQ3MDI0.html

The Mid-Autumn Festival

Despite the fact that today is the first day of autumn, yesterday was the Mid-Autumn/Moon Festival.

I know, I know, it makes absolutely no sense that it was yesterday. I mean, there probably was a full moon but it’s not like we could see it with all the smog. The Mid-Autumn Festival is just an excuse to eat mooncake and see family and not have school, it would seem, which is all right by me! Technically, I was supposed to go to school in the morning, but my sister didn’t have school and so I woke up at nine (which is when I should be at school) and I was supposed to get out at 11:20 for the holiday ANYWAYS…so I didn’t go.
Instead, I woke up, went on the computer for a little bit, ate a large breakfast of only carbs, attempted to install Chinese on my computer for an hour (unsuccessfully, I might add, the language bar says I’m typing in Chinese but it’s quite obvious I’m not) and then was told we were going out to lunch. So I redid my pigtails, noticed it was raining, and put on jeans, a long flannel shirt and (to my excitement) boots! It was the first occasion upon which I have been able to wear boots in Changsha, let alone a long-sleeve shirt. The other times that it rained it was still pretty warm, but it was very windy and cold (still is today) which was an appreciated change of pace.
And then we were off. Driving, driving, somewhere. No idea where. I’m still at the point with my family that I never have a clue where we’re going or what we’re doing…at least on this occasion I knew we were going to eat. Neither of my parents are home (it’s been a week and a half, well more like two weeks, of this now) and so my aunt and her daughter have been staying at our house. Sabrina is constantly doing my cousins hair. The two of them are either both playing games (on the iTouch or on Sabrina’s phone or computer) or Sabrina is doing my ‘little sister’s hair while my ‘little sister’ plays one of the mentioned games. It’s quite a system they’ve got.
Anyhow, we drive to the apartment where some family members live. We’ve been there before. We eat lunch there with some aunts, a grandma, and a little nine-year-old boy cousin that I think of in my head as “Grubby”, because, to be honest, he is. Honestly, I really don’t like him. He’s pudgy and is very piggy when it comes to food, eating with his hands and shoving food in his mouth. He’s also sort of a little brat because I think he’s the only boy on that side of the family, and the gender difference lets him get away with being a brat. He didn’t like what my grandma made for lunch, and so he sat next to me scowling and tapping his bowl with his chopsticks over and over again. I don’t know how long he actually did this but it seemed like a VERY long time to me. Finally he decided he was too hungry to be a pest so he began shoveling food in his mouth and then promptly got up and started annoying other family members. I don’t really know if they were annoyed, though, they acted sort of like “oh, well, you know how little boys are…” about it, which annoyed me even more than he did. I don’t know, maybe I just get a bad vibe from him. No way to be sure.

On a happy note, my grandma made a delicious lamb…I don’t know what the marinade was but I loved it because it tasted like something I would’ve eaten on a rainyday like that in America. It was comfort food. I complimented it heavily, and was told she made it just for me(:

We said our goodbyes and we were off, driving to yet another undisclosed destination. We came to another apartment building, where apparently the Aunt that’s been with us lives. So we went into their tiny apartment and…nothing. I thought we were just dropping by, but we stayed there for..four hours? I think. Watching some Golden-Globe-like awards show that wasn’t very entertaining. There were very few preformances and when saying the nominations, there were no video clips. Speeches were extremely brief and applause limited. Of course, Sabrina grabbed the computer as soon as we got there, she and my little sister (whom I gave the English name Annie, at her request) took turns using…logging onto their QQ’s and IMing God knows who. Sabrina looking at more pictures of Justin Bieber.

After about three hours of being extremely bored and frustrated, I finally got to go on the computer for a half hour. Didn’t really do much but it was better than nothing. My phone wasn’t working, either, so I couldn’t have been texting any of my friends…my Aunt had tried to fix my phone but to no avail. I asked if I could exchange money and she said yes, so at four off we went.

Long story short, the bank said no. It’s a holiday. Don’t know if it would’ve worked on a normal day, either.

Then, we went to dinner, even though I wasn’t hungry at all from my huge and amazing lunch. We went to my grandpa’s younger sister’s house, picking up Grubby No. 2  on the way. Grubby No. 2 is my other nine-year-old-boy-cousin who’s not as bad as Grubby No. 1 but still bugs the crap out of me. Why, you ask? This is the cousin who must always be playing games on someone elses cell phone. Always. Always “Ni de shouji? Wo keyi…” blah blah blah (oops, forgot, translation: Your cell phone? Can I…”). And he also never sits in the car, he’s always standing really close to me and I don’t like it. Makes me uncomfortable. Anyways.

We ate dinner. It wasn’t great, not going to lie. I wasn’t hungry and the food didn’t make me want to eat any more. The kids were watching a somewhat-disturbing TV show featuring a pig in a superhero costume as the main character. That, I’m fine with. The fact that the “bad guy” is a very tall ‘pig’ (pig face, human body) wearing a Superman costume without the label, is a little weird to me. Also, the bad guy takes out this wand thing, waves it, and the scene cuts to actual Legos building into some giant monster, which then appears in animated form, and the show goes on with this creature now being used as a weapon. Freakiest part of the show was definately the pig-headed, human-bodied teacher, wearing stereotypical female-suit and ugly 60’s glasses, who had very large boobs. I think she was a blond, also. Not really something I ever wanted to see in my life, but what can you do?

Just when I thought the random, unexplained day was going to end, I was told we were going to see Inception. Now, at this point I could have fallen asleep right there. The thought of watching a movie as long as Inception…well, it was daunting. I thought it was going to be in Chinese, also (fortunately, it wasn’t).  On our walk there, we went through a side-street of the famous Walking Street (I believe I’ve blogged about that…? if not, there are flickr pictures). It was very cool, I liked it a lot. Some parts were quirky, as is to be expected with China. There was a Santa Claus hanging in a window, with the seasonally-challenged wish “Merry Christmas!”. In one of the malls of walking street, we were walking by one of many lingerie stores when out of the corner of my eye I saw Angelina Jolie’s face. I turned to actually look at the advertisement, and there she was…except I knew that the body attatched to her head wasn’t hers. No, her head had definately been photoshopped onto some poor girl’s body, along with a badly-done bellybutton peircing. Wasn’t quite sure what to make of that.

We had a lot of time before the movie, so everyone else had a second dinner of KFC, and I had ice cream (still wasn’t really hungry…). Then, we saw the movie, which was much better the second time. Finally we headed home. Got back at around 11:20, I stayed up until 12 writing a poem and Skyping with my mom…forgetting that I had school the next day. Sabrina and Annie didn’t, so they were fine with staying up late…

Sabrina told me, “if you want to go to school tommorow you can take a taxi”, which to me means “no need to go to school, since you don’t know how to get a taxi”. I was woken up at 8:44 by Vala, my teacher, calling me and telling me to come to school…(school starts at 9, I might add, and is a 20-minute drive minimum). I took a shower, got dressed as slowly as possible, ate two mooncakes for breakfast (healthy, right?) and then damn, I got my very first taxi. On my own.
Makes me proud.

Kumquat Trash Ice..mmm, yum

Once again, my computer has repeatedly decided that WordPress is not it’s friend, and so here I am at school blogging during my imprisonment in the library. Now I can’t remember when exactly, but the other day my sister and I went to buy curlers because she decided to curl her hair. Oh I believe this was…Friday? Saturday perhaps? Anyhow, after buying some medium-sized pink ones, we decided to stop at Lucky’s Cake Shop, a nice “sophisticated” cake and drink shop. I got…well, to be honest, I have no idea what it’s made of or what it’s called, only that it’s extremely good. If you’ve ever had Mochi, the outside is basically the same but there’s no ice cream inside, only cake? and uhm, cream? Perhaps. Anyhow, I ate that and ordered a drink with it, since Sabrina was getting a mocha. I decided that ‘Black Currant Bubble’ sounded like Bubble Tea, which I like, so I ordered it. Really it was like a Shirley Temple with something other than Cherry flavor…it was delicious. Like, really really good. While looking at the list of drink options, I wrote down a few because their names amused me: Kumquat Trash Ice, Mint Ice Rule, Plum Fruit Vinegar, Peach More Fruit, Roses Brew Yogurt, Mango Ice a Sand, Nuts Coffee Ice a Sand. So…you can see what I was choosing from. Most of these were under the chic label “Fashion Drinks”, which was news to me. I had no idea that a drink could be fashionable, but it seems they can. Sabrina’s “ice mocha” (literal translation there, she said bing, I know these things) had no ice. One of the things I really don’t understand here is the fact that no one uses ice in any of their drinks…I made a fool of myself at one resturaunt when they served cucumbers with ice and I thought the ice was for our drinks. I grabbed a cube and dropped it in my orange juice and everyone looked at me funny, then started laughing. I hadn’t seen the cucumbers until then, if you were wondering.

Also, when you buy a drink from a “fridge” here at a store, it’s not the same temperature as in America. It’s warmer, so that when you hold the drink it’s slightly cold and when you drink it it tastes only a little chillier than room temperature, which here is generally hot. When you buy ice cream (packaged, of course, drumstick equivilents) it’s always a little warmer than normal, so it’s much more cream than ice. Chocolate’s never a good idea in these cases, always melts and is very sticky.

My First Horror Movie

My unspoken plan to never watch a Saw movie was ruined when the PE teacher didn’t show up, the principal said “why don’t you watch a movie?” and a boy who calls himself Monkey decided to put on the last 1/3 of either Saw 4 or 5. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I am a totally sheltered child as far as scary movies go. From an early age, I had an extremely overactive imagination, causing even the slightest scary moment to give me nightmares for weeks. This tendancy to be extremely frightened very easily made my parents not allow me to watch anything scary, a rule that I’ve always been perfectly fine with. Come to think of it, I don’t know if that’s even a real rule. I just don’t want to watch a scary movie at all. You must take into account that before today the scariest movie I had ever seen was Coraline..and that’s animated. When I saw that I literally came out of the movie theater shaking, and throughout the whole movie was incredibly nervous and was sending nervous vibes (Mom: “are you okay?” the whole time). Anyhow, before I realize what’s happening, three people have to choose one of them to sacrifice and be electrocuted in a bath tub and… well I’m not going to even talk about the rest because I don’t want to think about it! That movie was horrible! There’s a part where two people are having their arms sawed through and Moritz was LAUGHING! HOW COULD YOU LAUGH AT THAT? I didn’t look when all the cutting was going on…I hid my face and dug my nails into Sang Min’s leg (cause he wasn’t being very supportive of me at first, either) and kept asking “is it over? is it over?” By the time we had to stop the movie (didn’t quite finish) I was shaking and almost in tears….I guess now I’ve seen what, 3 and a third R movies? Thank God I had “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris and a free period immediately after, so I cheered myself up. Just finished the book tonight, I think it might be my new favorite by him! I’ve sort of put off reading ‘Through the Looking Glass’ for now, Alice was a little too random for me right now. Next on my list? Well, I’ve got the entire chronicles of Narnia…

Making American School Look Good

Well, yesterday we all went to get our permits for living in Changsha. Apparently I don’t need one, so I honestly have no idea why I went…we just sat around the whole morning. Not that we don’t do that in school….at least I got to play Pokemon SoulSilver, although I’m stuck in this one cave (I always get stuck in caves) and it’s made me so angry I don’t want to play until I’ve looked up a guide online on how to get out! Anyhow, the real reason we all wanted to go was because Vala promised us we could go out to lunch! So NO SCHOOL FOOD (this truly is a cause for celebration). She told us we were going to a buffet….apparently a “Brazilian BBQ” buffet.
Now I’m no expert on Brazilian food, but I’m fairly sure that was not it. Sure, some of the meat MIGHT have also been served in Brazil…but chicken wings? They were very American-style. At the resturaunt there were many Chinese-favorite-fruits (such as watermelon and dragonfruit) and Chinese-favorite-desserts (mini tart-resembling items that vary in flavor and texture). I got myself some mini Eggrolls and some Chow Mein, and told Vala in America that was considered Chinese food. She became very confused. Moritz said that Germany considered that Chinese food also, and we laughed. They also had horrible excuses for french fries, a weird version of chicken nuggets which were on mini skewers and had sesame seeds in the batter (very delicious, if I do say so myself) and ice cream that looked Vanilla but was really citrus. There was a delicious Lichi-Strawberry juice, which I combined with Grape Soda to make…well, it was fabulous. Let me tell you that. Overall, the food itself was okay but not great, although still much better than school food. Man, today the school food was so bad I could only eat rice…the options to have with your rice were this flavorless I-don’t-know-what (it literally is like a slimy, yellowish slice of bland), overcooked oily eggplant with bones (usually the ‘meat’ is 75% bone, 20% fat, and 5% meat…if you’re lucky) and mysterious-orange-slices-that-aren’t-oranges (in oil, of course). There is so much oil in our school lunches that most of them appear to be served in a broth, if not soup. Makes American school food look, gasp, appealing! Sometimes. Thinking about Cal’s school food makes me want to barf too, but for different reasons. At least the meals there are recognizable…

Speaking of American school, my PE class last year was pretty lame. Although many people failed, it was because they put in no effort at all whatsoever and were thus punished for their lack of effort. I thought the girls in America who do the barely-a-jog-shuffle (as I call it), which is where you move your arms up and down and slightly bend your knees to appear as if you are jogging when really you’re just walking, are everywhere here. Literally every single girl in my PE class does not run. Or even attempt to look as if they’re running. It shouldn’t be too hard, I mean all our class consists of is everyone running one lap, then the boys playing basketball and the girls badminton, which they can’t even all do at the same time because there aren’t enough rackets. So I sprint, of course, and make everyone look bad. Especially two days ago when I forgot I had PE so I wore flipflops…the guys get to start running before us, so usually there’s a giant gap…let’s just say I went barefoot and beat a good number of them, despite my extreme disadvantage. I enjoyed myself.

Well apparently I have to go because we’re leaving the house THIS SECOND to go to another not-completely-disclosed location…I’ll be sure to tell you about more of my adventures as soon as I can!

We Crazy Americans, Saying the Opposite of What We Mean…and Find it Funny!

Well, life is not something I’m about to pretend I understand, that’s for sure. This week has been…well, you’ll see. I’ll tell you all about it.

I stayed in the hotel Sunday and Monday nights, to my surprise. No one had bothered to tell me we were staying for two nights, so I was kind of unprepared…no chargers, no clean clothing, a dead iPod and an almost-finished book. The Tongshenghu Hotel is supposedly five stars, but Sang Min and I have yet to find a real reason as to why it’s five stars…I mean, it’s very elegant looking and all, but the rooms are just as nice as a good Westin or Holiday Inn. Well, maybe a little better. But not much.

Anyhow, I had gotten angry at Sang Min that day (Monday), so my phone was unusually quiet and my fingers the rare non-tapping (texting). Of course, the minute I’m dropped off at my new hotel room, my father tells me “we want to have dinner with your Korean friend..your boy ….classmate.. call him and tell him…we have dinner tonight! at hotel!”. Which, of course, is the last thing I want to do. Besides that fact, my phone was out of money and so I couldn’t call or text anyone, which I had just told him…. So I sat in my room fretting for a while, then decided to take a shower. A little after I had gotten dressed, my dad comes and knocks on the door, saying “your classmate and teacher are here! let’s. go!” and so, looking pretty funky and with a bad zit breakout, I followed my dad. I hadn’t put on any makeup or put any effort into my appearance, because I didn’t think anyone besides my family would be there…so I walked, zits a’blazing. 
And there they were, Vala (my favorite teacher) and Sang Min. My mom and sister walked in the hotel entrance at the exact same time we entered the lobby, perfectly timed. We walked up a set of stairs I hadn’t really noticed before, and went to a restaurant that I had no idea existed (apparently this hotel has multiple?). Upon sitting down, we were served cold tea from a hot-liquids container. Sang Min and Vala sat at opposite heads of the table. Clockwise, starting from 9 o’clock, it was Vala, Mom, Dad, Sang Min, Me, Sabrina. All of the nice places to eat in China apparently have armchairs for you to sit in? Which is comfortable but a little annoying because they’re so bulky and if you put your back on the chair you’re either slumping or much too far away from your food to do much eating.

We had a good meal. Conversationally it consisted of everyone talking in Chinese and ignoring me mostly…I’m only addressed in English, despite the fact that I can understand different sections of their conversations.. My dad told me that I speak Chinese well but Sang Min is much better, but there’s not much I can do! Sang Min has lived in China three years now! I can’t compete with that…anyhow, all went well. Apparently (Sang Min told me later) they remarked that since they made me eat spicy food, my skin would probably get worse…which it did.. Thanks a lot mom and dad.
Anyhow, after dinner my dad insisted we ‘go on a walk’, so we did, down to the sports center of the hotel, which isn’t attached. Really, I think my family is one of the most spontaneous groups of people I’ve ever met…most of the time when we do things or go out, I have no clue what we’re doing, and I’m not quite sure if they do either. Because when we got to the sports center, my dad told me “I like tennis” and before I knew it, I was being given tennis balls by a trainer and I was hitting them with a nice racket…surprisingly, I wasn’t too shabby. Sabrina and Sang Min took a couple hits (wow, sounds like we’re all stoners…), then we were whisked away to the ping pong room. We all played a few games, except Vala. Sang Min had a stomach ache, so he drank some hot water in a beer glass (everyone uses beer glasses here for non-alcoholic beverages…it’s very off-putting). By the time we were done, it was pouring rain outside, of which there was no warning. We waited while my dad got the car, and then the night was over.

The next day at school, I finished my book which Sae-a lent me, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I recommend that you all read it, the book is quite amazing, although not for those who cry easily, like me. Unless, of course, you’re in an area where you aren’t embarrassed to cry…I cried a few times at home and unfortunately during school..luckily not too bad. It’s very brutal, though, so be prepared. That book gave me a new perspective on a lot of things, and I honestly knew next to nothing about Afghanistan prior to reading it.

Just a side note, as I’m typing this I’m doing so on Word because WordPress isn’t loading, still. I politely asked Sabrina not to watch TV while doing her homework, which she agreed to. I thought this would make her homework process speed up, maybe just turn off the monitor and work? Alas, no, she’s doing even less homework than she was while watching, I’ve been on here for almost an hour now and she’s still on the same page. How many photos of celebrities can one look at in a sitting? Zoe, some help here? Haha…oh wow, I just typed “lol” but then deleted it because this is a serious blog! With serious stuff! 
Oh man, I’m starting to talk like I’m IMing someone…great.

Incase you’ve wondered, I’m aware I haven’t uploaded any pictures as of late…before that was due to being at the hotel, and then laziness, but now the part of my connector that plugs into my camera is smushed. Not sure what I’m going to do about that, any suggestions? We’ll see.

I’ve started washing my face! Wow, that sounds pretty disgusting…but I mean, like regularly and with official face-washing things. We’ll see how long this lasts, so far it’s been three days. Three days down, many many more to go! I relish the thought (not.)
Damn do I miss being sarcastic. I had heard that the Chinese don’t use sarcasm, and I didn’t realize that other countries don’t either…whenever I’m sarcastic (I slip sometimes, but I can’t help it! That’s my main way of being humorous, besides impersonating people) the only person who laughs is Karina, who’s from Mexico and lived in the US for three years. The others just look at me really oddly…for instance, yesterday, we were walking from the Beautiful Prison to class. To get there, we have to pass these two bathrooms that are absolutely disgusting, smelling like a combination of….well, I’m sure you can guess. No need for me to describe. Anyhow, the smell just gets worse on the hotter day, so as we pass I turn to Guilia and say “don’t you just love that smell?”, laughing.
She looks at me very confused and says “No! It’s disgusting!”
Which makes me face-palm (when you slap your hand on your forehead), and I tell her “nevermind, I was being sarcastic”. She still looks at me oddly, “in America sometimes we say the opposite of what we mean in a way that everyone understands and it’s funny”. I then use other ‘famous’ sarcastic phrases, like “I’m not being sarcastic at ALL”, and no one seems to get it, so I give up. For now, I have a slightly cynical sarcastic voice saying in my head all the funny things that I would say out loud, but no one understands. Oh well. Just one more thing to love about home.

WordPress still doesn’t seem to work, so I’ll email this to my REAL mom, and have her post it. Hope you’re all having a great day! (not sarcastically)

Spagetti

Sorry I haven’t posted for a week, school was boring and gave me no inspiration, and then when I finally did have something to write about, wordpress wouldn’t work on my laptop, due to my sister hogging the internet watching Korean TV shows on her computer while doing her homework, as usual…my favorite thing, I assure you. Seven minutes to load one internet page? It’s great, I assure you. Just peachy.
Anyhow, school is very dull. I don’t feel like I’m learning too much about anything besides myself…all of the courses are middle-school level. Right now I’m typing this during my two hours of free time during lunch, whilst trapped in the Beautiful Prison called “Chinese Culture Library”. I believe I’ve told you about it before…anyhow, my weekend was pretty fun, so I’ll let you know about that. Saturday morning my sister had school, so I stayed at home on Subeta (this nerdy virtual pet site I’ve been obsessed with for a few years now…) for the whole morning. I knew we were going to “Happy Birthday Grandma Lunch” (as my father called it) but had no idea what time, because I hadn’t been told. Luckily, I thought to put clothes on, but didn’t shower or anything. My hair was in a messy, dirty ponytail, and my bangs were sticking three inches away from my forehead, because I had brushed them to show my sister and someone on Skype how funny it looked. Sooooo basically I looked like crap? and then my mom comes in, pulling a dress over her head, and says “Let’s Go!” (one of the ten English phrases she knows). Freaking out, I take a few minutes to pull all of my hair back into a ponytail, which it does verrrry reluctantly, and aided by a headband, I manage to make it all lay relatively flat on my head. The downside? I now look like some sort of ugly bird. I put in my fork earrings, a touch of mascara, and we’re off, Sabrina jumping in the car still in her school uniform. Lunch was good, with a lot of Dad (I think)’s family. Then we went back home and Sabrina and I were left to do nothing because when asked what I wanted to do I said “I don’t care, it’s up to you”, so apparently that means “Dad will play tennis, Mom will play Mahjong, Sabrina will watch Korean TV on her computer, and you can scream in your head because the internet’s so slow!”
So I called Sang Min and he and I walked around Sabrina’s school and the little stores nearby. I got stared at incredibly, as usual, and for the first time in my life saw a woman tell her toddler to poop on the sidewalk. Which he did. And I had to walk by….
So now I know why it always smells like a dirty bathroom. Because the ground IS a dirty bathroom.
So that was more fun. He left, I went home for dinner, and then we decided we were going to go to a movie. We were going to see the Expendables, (which I didn’t realize because the Chinese name translates into some awkward weird title) but that was sold out so we saw Shrek 4 in 3D. It was all in Chinese, no subtitles or anything, but I understood some of it and found it quite funny, actually. We didn’t buy any food for the movie (“too expensive” Sabrina told me, even though *I* wanted popcorn and *I* wanted to buy it for *myself*, but whatever) so we had lollipops and dried mangos… good stuff. We were going to see another movie after Shrek 4, but they were all sold out.
Sunday morning I was told we were going to “Mother’s hometown”. Nothing else. It was really hot so I put on a sort of…skimpy outfit. It’s not too bad by American standards, and I guess it was fine cause they let me wear it, but still very summer clothing. No one told me we were going with a ton of family members to meet a bunch of other family members, because it was my Mom’s Uncle’s birthday. So…yeah. Sort of awkward, but surprisingly I didn’t get as many stares in the country as in the city. A nice change. In the historic area, I got these pretty earrings and a little glass-blown pig, that I saw the guy make! I took a picture, will upload when I’m at home. I went shopping with Sang Min later that day, we went to the supermarket and bought string mozerella cheese (oh man, it was amazing) and spagetti sauce and shampoo. And then we went to his house and we made spagetti! Let me tell you, that was the best spagetti I have had in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever gone two weeks without real spagetti ever…I mean I tried some here before but it was crap, and this was realllly good. We bought Tomato-Basil sauce, which was also delicious. It overall was a very good weekend.

Alas, this post wasn’t very funny either…sorry to dissapoint, I’m very tired. Almost fell asleep during class a few times today…we spent the night in the Tongshenghu Hotel last night because our apartment doesn’t have water…the bed was nice, but we had to try a bunch of different hotels and we drove around a ton and checked in really late. The first hotel we tried, I should have taken a picture, it had a sign that said “No fireworks, pets, watermelons, or taken away items allowed”.