So today started with a trip to the Coffee Beanery for breakfast (I wasn't in the mood for more eggs). Then I went to Decathlon (a sports store near me) to buy a new messenger bag/purse. I only brought two bags with me. One is my laptop case and isn't really good for a purse. The other has Mao's face on it and would make me look like a BIG TOURIST. I don't even know why I packed it. My new bag is very cute and has lots of perfect little pockets. I'll post a picture once I take one.
Then I went to Carrefour to get some laundry detergent and fabric softener. I paid the big bucks to get a brand I knew (All). My clothes need to last me all year and I don't want them to fall apart cuz I bought a really crappy laundry detergent. If I have time tomorrow I will probably brave the washing machine.
Guess what I had for lunch today?? Grilled cheese! Yum! I bought a tiny tiny tiny block of cheese and some bread with my other groceries (which included duck ramen, peanut butter, soy sauce, and a chinese dessert similar to moon pies). So when I got back to my apartment I cut up the cheese and cooked myself up a nice grilled cheese sandwich. It was very tasty, but tasted like most American food I've had in China. Similar but not exactly the same. The bread was a little weird. For a sliced loaf of bread my choices were "American egg and milk salty bread" and "American egg and milk sweet bread". I decided to get the sweet bread.
Anyway...after lunch I got on the bus to go see Lucy. For those who don't know, Lucy has been my penpal since I was in middle school. We have been writing to each other on and off for the last 10 years. We have never met face to face....
We met in the subway station in front of the science and technology museum and had a big hug. She was wearing the gold butterfly necklace I sent her what feels like a million years ago. We took the subway to the river. We sat by the side of the river and talked for a while. We talked about jobs and life and college and men and travel and all sorts of stuff. We walked around some more. She got some hot pot as a snack (which she shared with me ^_^) and I bought some bubble tea. We walked around a very western area and then went to a park where we sat and talked some more. She also called her father and had me talk with him a little. He seems very nice! She gave me a cute little purse for my cell phone. I'm so stupid. I should have brought her a present from the US, but I was so freaked out packing for myself I didn't even think of it.
We went to a restaurant where Lucy treated me to dinner. We had some beef with onions, potato balls, some vegetables with cashews, and rice. I asked Lucy if we could go to a Chinese restaurant because I was too nervous to go into one by myself. It was also nice having her there because at the school canteen I don't know what I was eating! She was able to tell me what everything was. It was very good. I especially liked the beef and onions.
After dinner we parted ways. She gave me directions on how to get back to the bus line I needed. I feel more sure of myself with the subway here now. She invited me to come to her home in Guangzhou for the Autumn festival (which is in the middle of September). I'd love to go, but I'm a little nervous about the idea of meeting her parents. I hope they like me if we meet!
Meeting with Lucy was a really cool experience I never thought would happen when we started writing to each other 10 years ago. It was also nice to have someone to talk to. I've been pretty lonely in my apartment. She said she wants to introduce me to all her friends and take me out dancing. I'm excited to go! I just wish she didn't live so far away. She lives on the other side of the river. Huh...kind of ironic that I now think of her being on the other side of the river as being far away when there used to be an OCEAN between us. Anyway, I'm just really glad that we hit it off in person and I look forward to getting together with her again!
I am trying to reach out in the area to other expats. I posted in an expat forum about wanting to meet up with other craft people (knitting, etc.) I even offered to teach people how to knit. The only responses I got so far was telling me about a group that meets during my work hours and a guy sarcastically asking if I was his mother. :-P Oh well. I'm keeping my hopes up.
I've written a lot and I'm very tired! So I'm signing off for now!
米凤冠 (My Chinese name)
雪飞 (Sproffee in Chinese)