Friday at the staff meeting one of the teachers handed out bracelets that he had bought in Xi'an for all the female teachers. Here's the one I got.
Friday after work I wheeled my bike the mile or so it took to get to the side street I THOUGHT had the bike repair people on it. I went to a woman selling magazines, held up the detached pedal and said "Wode zixingche you yige wenti, wo yinggai qu nali?" (My bike has a problem, where should I go?). She pointed me down a street that had a guy fixing shoes...not bikes. I asked him and he told me to go to the next street over. There I found a guy busy fixing a hole in a bike tire for a gentleman dressed for work. Bingo! I was content to wait until he was done, but the guy getting his tire fixed noticed me waiting and asked the guy to fix my bike first since it would be faster. How nice! The guy came over and after a few wrong size bolts he reattached my pedal. The cost? THREE KUAI. ROCK ON. That's like...44 cents. I know where I'm going if and when I need more bike repairs.
After that I biked over to Carrefour since I was running low on foodstuffs. For the first time I really took a look deep into the fresh food (veg, fruit, meat, etc) section of the store. You can buy ANY part of ANY animal in that section. I swear. They had pig heart and ox tail and duck tongue and stuff that didn't even look like it came from this planet. It was so cool. I need to look for recipes on line. I saw some lamb chops that looked like good quality and they were pretty cheap.
There was also a Halloween section set up in the Carrefour where they usually have the "bargain buys". They had some fun stuff like a mask of a skull smoking that had "End of the smoker!" and "Smoking cause you harm!" written on the face. I couldn't find anything that I would want to use a costume, though I could not resist buying an eye patch and pirate flag because they were super cheap and everyone needs a pirate flag.
You must excuse this picture. I took it right after I woke up this morning and um...yeah. It's just weird looking.
I woke up this morning to a phone call from my taichi teacher! I explained why I had not come last week and that I would be there Monday. I hope he understood me. When I gave my phone number to him and one of the women I met among the dancers, I asked how I would know it them when they called. They said they would all call me "XiaoMi". "Mi" is the Chinese word for "rice", so I use it as my family name. "Xiao" means small. It's pretty common to call someone "small [family name]". Like XiaoChen or XiaoWang. The only thing is...."xiaomi" or "small rice" means millet. I am sure to them it's just a nickname, but whenever I hear it, I think they are calling me millet. Hehe.
Today Zeno and I went to Puxi. There was a flea market-esque thing that she wanted to go to and I asked if I could come. First we went to a North East Chinese food restaurant. Zeno is from outside of Beijing and most of my time in China has been spent in the North, so we were both craving some northern Chinese food. She brought me to her favorite restaurant and we shared a bunch of dishes, including gubaoru (deep fried pork with a sweet and sour sauce)! My favorite! I had told her and the other teachers it was probably my favorite Chinese food and none of them knew what I was talking about. I'm glad the restaurant had it, so now they know I wasn't just making it up or pronouncing it wrong.
After lunch we went to the restaurant that was having the second hand sale thing. The only thing I bought were these four shield pins. 15 kuai for all four.
They were too perfect to pass up. Plus, there are four of them and I have four classes. I figured when I have the students design their own shields I will have the students vote on the best shield for each class and the winner gets one of these pins. Zeno bought a cute cover for her transportation card that has her favorite cartoon character on it. After that we came back to campus.
I like Zeno a lot. Mostly because she makes me laugh and she laughs at my jokes. Two very important things in a friend. :-) I hope she likes me too. She lives on campus and it would be nice to have someone to hang out with in Pudong. I didn't think she liked me at first because on the day I met her I chose the cubicle next to her and the first thing she said to me was that the cubicle on the other side of the office was open. I thought she was subtly telling me she didn't want me to sit near her. Bah. I'm probably just paranoid. I just get lonely sometimes. It's hard starting from scratch with no one I know around.
On a different note, I want to know how the heck my apartment gets so messy so fast. It's only me living here! Yet my sink fills up with dishes and the floor gets covered in dust. Everytime I clean I think maybe I should go get myself an ayi, then after I'm done cleaning I think "Meh, that wasn't so bad."
Right now there are fireworks going off in the courtyard on the building next door. It is VERY LOUD.
Tomorrow I am meeting Lucy for lunch. This will be a tiring weekend! Two trips to Puxi in a row? I also need to finish preparing for next week classes. I only have about two and half out of four classes planned.
I'm getting rambly. That's my sign to end this entry.