Ni Hao, Jia Kai!
Hopefully this will be an adequate recollection and re-creation of ...
"they actually wear the shorts here!"
(quote is in reference to the fact that the chinese actually wear the full basketball jersey/shorts combo rather than the jersey as a top with normal shorts.) today is the big train trip down to shenzhen, a (potentially) 30 hour haul from beijing to guangdong province. whew aren't we all excited about it ;) hopefully we can all sleep for a good amount of the trip, otherwise it's going to be pretty miserable i imagine. apparently we sleep 6 to a compartment, with 3 bunks stacked on top of each other on two sides. many peanut butter sandwiches, crackers, and generally unhealthy fare stand in our way of getting down to shenzhen, but hopefully we can handle ourselves semi-adequately. we all are expert wisecrackers and sarcastic fools so i'm pretty excited for the entertainment that is to come during our long ass train ride. we'll see what happens.
yesterday was our last day of classes/our tefl certification graduation, and all of the 11 classes each had to perform something for a talent show. my college class decided to sing "we are the world" by sir m.j., and might i tell you it was fantastically entertaining. we had been kidding with this one kid dennis that he and another girl, snow, were going to have a solo bit during the performance, and both balked at the suggestion. however, during the last chorus repetition, dennis started belting out the main lines after everyone had finished (like an echo i guess?) with absolutely no prodding at all. it was hilarious to say the least. chinese kids are great--the other skits/songs/performances included a version of a high school musical song, a skit about ghosts and camping, a recitation of the jabberwocky by lewis carroll that was absolutely unintelligible, and a song called "alive awake alert enthusiastic" (sure to be a hit somewhere sometime soon hahaha). i'm going to miss my kids and snow in particular said i was her favorite and she'd miss me so that made me feel slightly special at least :D
today we went to the forbidden city and tian'anmen square, which were definitely worth visiting but the humid weather, 90+ temperature, and extreme crowdedness rendered our visit a bit stressful and exhausting. summer in beijing or even shenzhen for that matter are not for the faint of heart. i posted pictures on my flickr page of a couple different parts of both areas, and i hope you can see them in the states. the internet here is so strange--i could upload the pictures but then they won't load when i visit them, so some might be repeats if they even show up at all so i apologize if either of those are the case. (i also uploaded some pictures of the clearest day we had in beijing, and oh-my-lanta was everything looking beautiful. i was absolutely smitten with china that day, and if you see the clouds and the greenery in a few pictures i think you will see why. :D
we all are very much looking forward to getting settled in shenzhen, getting cell phones, keeping in touch, and beginning teaching. we found out our locations and grade levels today upon our return to the hotel, and i will be in the futian area living near my friends molly, anne, chelsea, aaron, and adam and teaching primary kids. i'm very excited and certainly hope i am up to the task.
side note: our amazingly entertaining chinese teacher, yu lao shi, is seeing us off at the train station, so that should be good to see her. she's also going to come visit shenzhen sometime later in the school year, hooray!