09.07.2010 - 11.07.2010
Hey, I don't know if I can fit everything in here, but I need to go over my Friday-Sunday adventures.
Friday was extremely strange. We went to a temple/museum for a school field trip, and it was kind of boring because I have been to Chinese temples before, and this one was less cool, and the tour guide only spoke Chinese. I kept zoning out. I felt kind of rude...anyways, after that, a bunch of people went out to eat with Olivia's family. The restaurant was a combination of a country club, zoo, Vegas, mini-golf, and an amusement park. I don't even know how to explain it AT ALL. There was seriously an amusement park behind the restaurant (which was outdoors). Some lady taking tickets at the amusement park tried to charge us 75 cents to go to the bathroom, and then other people told us we couldn't go in unless we paid money for the amusement park. It was really confusing. The restaurant was buffet style, and there was a big diamond-shaped field in the near the food. We eventually found out that weddings are often held there. In the middle of the field, there was a carriage with a fake horse attached, and there was a (real) woman singing in the carriage. In front of the field, there was a stage where people later sand karaoke songs including "Hey Jude" and "Don't Know Why." Behind the field, there was a fake waterfall with a piano on top of it. Behind the waterfall, there was a huge ferris wheel. I promise this was real life and not some bizarre dream. OH and there were also caged birds between the restaurant and the amusement park. Really, really weird. We ate dinner, and in the middle of dinner, Olivia's mom asked if it was okay if some little kids came and sat with us. We were so confused because we weren't with any little kids, and there weren't even any around. We said okay, and some small 11-year-old girl randomly showed up and sat by us. She was adorable, but her existence just added to the weirdness. Then, we met a Russian woman and her baby, and I used my one Russian word ("Privet"...probably spelling that wrong). She lives in Harbin. We ended up speaking with her in Chinese. After dinner, Olivia's parents all gave us really nice books that are apparently the Chinese equivalent of Shakespeare. I probably won't bring them home though because they're heavy and I don't know how to read them anyways. That was basically all that happened on Friday.
Saturday was weird too. Everyday is weird. I went to a lake with my host family. In the car, I was with Yitong and her friend Tian Tian. She (Tian Tian) likes American music, so we listened to Justin Bieber for a little bit. It was a two hour long car ride! I'm not sure where we went, but it was definitely outside of Harbin. Once we were there, we went on a boat ride. It was scenic, but I was really tired and literally almost fell asleep. Afterwards, my host family told me I could go rest in some hotel that happened to be where we were. (Sidenote--this event was some sort of military family gathering). So I went to the hotel room (they had a key for one) and took a two hour nap. When I woke up, Yitong, Tian Tian, and some other lady were in the other 3 twin beds, sleeping. I eventually got up and we all went to eat lunch, but I barely ate because I felt really sick of Chinese food. Then, we drove home in the rain. We didn't go straight home. We went to Jessica's 16th birthday party. It was lots of fun! Her parents even got her a cake THAT SANG. After the party, I went to see Knight and Day (Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz) with Bekah, Maggie, Yitong, Tian Tian, and Maggie's sister. Tian Tian told me that it had English subtitles, but it did not. It was a little bit ridiculous because I didn't understand all of it. I'm pretty sure the plot was just really empty though regardless of the language. The action was decent. My favorite part was when the intense looking African-American woman spoke in dubbed Chinese. Amazing.
Today is Sunday. I attempted to make cookies with Yitong. I soon realized that I wasn't going to find vanilla extract at Carre Four (grocey store), so I bought a cookie mix instead. We then went to my family's 2nd apartment (???) and my driver got out and got a MICROWAVE OVEN from the house and put it in the trunk. I was sitting in the car, extremely confused. Finally, we went home and Bekah and Tian Tian came over. We realized that we didn't have an oven or a cookie plate. We put the dough in a plastic container (which Yitong said was okay...Bekhah and I were skeptical) and cooked it in the microwave. We burned the cookie and made a small hole in the container within about 5 minutes. We tried again and created a gooey, yummy thing that resembled a cookie. Then, Bekah and I played Slamwich and listened to Counting Crows on my iPod. In a strange, twisted way, I felt very American. Then, we all went out for Russian food. I had fruit pizza and a strawberry smoothie. I only had one slice of pizza, and the pizza was really small. That and large quantities of strawberry flavored juicy goodness filled me up very quickly. I think my stomach is shrinking. I have school tomorrow, and I'm not even sure why I just wrote this whole thing. Hopefully I'll write again soon.