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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Thursday: Friends and Food!

Today has been a nice and relaxed atmosphere despite cleaning, packing, and preparing for my journey home. It was a little hard to wake up this morning though after getting to bed so late yesterday. Dragon Lady gave me an early call in order to escort me to the class as I could not find it yesterday. Little does she know that I rarely loose my way to a place twice in a row. She kept trying to give me these milk tablets, but I was not quite interested in them as I am skeptical of taking medicine from anyone other than Laura as she is one of the few people with whom I would trust my life. The class went farley well. The students are starting to improve their ability to think on the spot. However, they take the class all day. After I leave, they get three other teachers who help them prepare for this interview. Most of the teachers also come to my classes and take notes. One of the superficial things which I have noticed among the younger children is that they are a lot chubbier than their twenty something counterparts. They also tend to have more acne and be a lot taller than the young adults which I meet. It is a little strange, but when you see the junk food stands outside the classroom, it is not difficult to figure out why. Most of the kids also exercise less as they tend to spend their time surfing the net or playing computer games. Of course, they eat better and more food than the current young adults. It is all part of the generation which they have labeled the Young Emperors because they get whatever they want. Finishing my class, Dragon Lady and I headed to lunch, but she got an emergency call from the hospital, so she had to leave. This left me eating some very expensive deer meat by myself. It was delicious, but I would liked to have had some company. After my meal, I took some pictures of the staff then went around the city and took a few
more photos. Mainly of the belly talkers or fortune tellers, chess players, souvenir sidewalk salesmen, and other beautiful and unique places. Afterwards, I went and had my photo made at the film shop to give to my students. I then went and met with Laura. She helped me find Medicine for my journey to Tibet and info on Sichuan. She is very excited and nervous for me. We talked for awhile then I came home and did some packing and cleaning. Walked around the city and bought some traditional music and other objects. I came home and packed some more then Nancy came. We talked about the journey and what she needed to bring with her. I gave her my bag to take and have it repaired for me in the morning while I am teaching. She left then I met Laura at the street corner. She and her husband took me to an amazing diner. Another huge ten course meal. This time without all of the beer and whiskey. The dishes were primarily Sichuan in style to help me prepare for the journey. We had Tofu in a tomato base with peas and beef. A lot like Chili. We had a nice chicken broth soup with pork balls, small chunks of tofu wrapped in leaves, a Sichuan chicken dish with scallions, ginger, red and green bell peppers, and many other spices. Amazing. Along with this water chestnuts in tomato sauce, sweet sticky dumplings, egg plant, watermelon, and a doughy rice with sugar and rolled in cinnamon and ginger. It was fantastic food. We talked and played a lot of games. Her husband loves ancient Chinese literature and kept telling me all of these folk tales. They do not get to go out very often, so I think that they enjoyed it. We were going to take a long walk afterwards, but it was raining, so I caught a ride home. I am now getting ready to do some more packing before I go to sleep. Talk to everyone later,


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