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Friday, July 16, 2004

Today has marked the end of my work in Chengde and thebeginning of my journey to the south of China. Wakingup around 6:00 this morning, my day began meeting withDragon Lady down at the school hospital. She treatedmy to a nice breakfast. It was a boiled egg, stirfried green beans, meat wrapped in dough, egg plantboiled in chicken broth, and porridge. Not too badthough I really was not hungry. After leaving there,we went to the school, and I simulated a mockinterview with them. They did not perform very well asmany of them were extremely nervous. I can tell whichones have the best chance. Tried to give the othersgood advice but who knows if they will accept it ornot. At one point, I felt like Simon off of AmericanIdol when I told the poor boy that if he did aninterview like that then he did not stand a chance atgoing to Singapore. For a moment, it looked as if hewould cry. After three hours of interviews, my headhurt and I was more than ready to leave. Theheadmaster paid me my 1000 Yuan, and I scuttled homein order to pack my bags. Nancy met me at my apartmentwith two newly patched and repaired bags. It waswonderful. We went to lunch and ate sweet and sourpork then she went back to pack and I packed both ofmy bags as well as possible. Sticking my backpack intothe other bigger pack, the bag is quite heavy. Notvery good for one shoulders or back either as it is anold Chinese army bag which Mr. Who let me barrow.Heading down to the street corner, Nancy and I metthen headed to the train station and started towardsBeijing. It must be said that Playing Cards are one ofthe best inventions of all time as it allows a personto pass hours and not even realize it. I taught NancyRummy, and she helped me teach the people across fromus Spades. We had a wonderful time. Getting off thetrain, we headed towards my favorite hostel but onceagain the damn thing was full. We had to settle on theother one. We walked down to the grocery and gotdrinks and pastries then walked to the other hosteland watched movies. She chose Monster but did notunderstand and was slightly horrified. After half waythough, we felt tired so came back and crashed.Tomorrow will begin the twenty six hour train ride. Itsounds quite horrible. Talk to you later,Christopher


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