As today is my first day off... i took a leave of absense from mania of china and decided to have a lesuire day
got up VERY LATE at 10.20 (i woke up twice before that because of noises outside)
did a washload, replied to some e-mails regarding pandas etc (will be explained later) then i finally booked my flights and train tickets for the next stage of my trip. going to book accom this evening.
then at about mid-day i packed up my belongings and went into teh city centre to my favourite starbucks again. wandered around for a little while because it was sunny today unlike the ENTIRE of this week. ALthough i suppose you can't see the sun, it's just warmer - it's always grey outside so pretty much every day i have looked out my window, guessed the weather, gone outside and found it is much warmer/wetter/colder than it first appeared. So today i was in t-shirt but also took coat and jumper. luckily it was a t-shirt day. on t-shirt days the chinese girls put up their parasols to protect them from the sun.... i being a 2nd rate sun slave rolled up my sleeves and found a prime position to chill at starbucks.
n.b. when i say sunny - it's still not as sunny as you lucky bums in england. as in. MADE NO DIFFERENCE to my skin colour, but felt reasonably warm. the fact that my sister is peeling makes me sick
i read my book for a while and laughed at 'strange' chinese activities such as chinese school photo (all children OBVIOUSLY doing the peace sign), fat american men with chinese wives coping 'adequately' woth the 3-way language barrier between -man-wife-heritage-, enjoyed a nice rasta man who came and sat by me in jamaica shirt and beanie (although he was definately white and looked very jewish), speaking of race - saw my first black person! considering i get stared at like i am from a COMPLETELY different planet i wonder if they get more attention? chinese attitude to race is very interesting. In england we barely notice it.. or if we notice it (for example in ethnic areas of a town) we would never behave differently: chinese people LOVE it (slash kind of hate it). I get stared at by absolutely everyone. i don't think i could live here for that very reason.
after starbs i went to the market. got a fake cartier watch for 3 pounds, he wanted 15... i said NONO MY HOMIE. also got a couple of gifts and a fake chanel walet (it's pretty hideous - as in, a good fake but very WOW LOOK AT ME I HAVE A GIANT CHANEL LOGO) the chinese bros love the obvious designer gear though and it was only 3 pounds again and i left my nice new purse from jean at home so have been hiding cash in my bra or in teh safe in my apartment. therefore the only opportunities people will have to steal from me are a)if i get taken to hospital and changed from my clothes b) decide to get naked in the street
in the case of (a) i would be more concerned for my health
(b) concerned for my sanity
(c) not concerned a all about my loss of around twenty pounds
i also got some plain dark pearl earings - they insisted they were real pearls and yet sold them to me for a pound... perhaps not? and a pretty jade bracelet that i might give as a gift because it's beautiful
i walked past some more boutique type shops on the way out of the muslim quarters market... popped my head in
found the worlds most perfect dress. as in.. never seen anything like it and can't describe it. it was beautiful
i was very tempted.... looked at price 889 pounds. i'm sorry?!?! that's a chinese persons annual wage in many cases
could have cried
but mr u is going to put me in touch with a tailor who will make me some silk goodies for cheap.
ermmm.. came home. had dinner. the maid made (ha) the assistant who was in the house at the time translate for me in english the fact that 'i eat with chopsticks liek an expert'... yayyy... i will be rocking wagamamas when i get home.
if you have me on facebook which i am sure most of you do i have also put up some pictures. not many because most of them are on my camera and i don't own a camera lead anymore. if i don't buy one out here i will just have to buy another memory card, wait til i get home, borrow ellie's lead and then spend a week and a half uploading the pictures.
so the only ones up are ones i have taken with my phone.
tonight i think i will continue my 'day off' --- do some more washing, book hostels for beijing and shanghai and then hei-fi (british speaking assistant) showed me a type of software they have here in china that lets you watch ANYTHING for free... first thing he brings up, GOSSIP GIRL. so... i might just finish off the season and go to bed because i have to be up in the morning....
I AM GOING TO THE PANDA RESERVE!
i will see Dave and Marie and also the 21 year old couple and pet some panda cubs. pretty much weeing myself with joy.
i'll let you know how that goes.
TOP OF THE MORNING
(shown as though on his t-shirt)
I AM NOT
(obviously you are not wwwww or black? i am deeply confused)
and, as i won't see a t-shirt tomorrow i will just pop another one in now
"christ in botanical gardens"