Happy Memorial Day!

It’s Memorial Day, the quintessential Monday holiday, and the unofficial kick-off to summer. I hope you’re kicking back…like this guy, pictured here.

A lot of people lounge around the streets in China- on the back of wagons, on park benches, on little plastic stools….but this guy took his afternoon nap to the next level. This corner, which I’ve passed hundreds of times, had never been subjected to any piles of trash or old furniture. It’s not even really close to any major buildings. As you might imagine, it made for quite a confusing and interesting sight. I also find it funny that he took off his shoes. As if he was going to preserve the quality of the couch?

Anyway, I just got back from an amazing 2-day trip to Zhangjiajie, in the Hunan province. It was my first trip to Hunan, which is where my paternal grandmother was originally from- and I learned why that side of the family likes such spicy and salty foods so much!

Zhangjiajie is probably more appealing to the masses, however, for being the inspiration to the fictional backdrops of Avatar. For example:

In the last two days, I set foot on some of the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever seen, and visited what seemed like a surreal world. A lot of walking, hiking, and riding of cable cars was done. A lot of avoiding Chinese tourists was also tried, but alas it was inevitable to be drowned in the masses of matching group hats and portable microphone headsets. Still, it was an amazing trip. Pictures to come!


I am so lucky in that, within a month of my arrival in Guangzhou, I’ve already had a visitor from home!

I’m also lucky that she’s an explorer, so we got to see a bit of the city which I haven’t yet seen.  After meeting up with her family one morning for an excursion to the leather market (see: jewelry market, but with leather) and a hearty cantonese lunch, we stumbled upon some sidestreets which led to a complex maze of alleyways.  Were we in the ghettoes of Guangzhou?  Maybe.  But it was fun.  Thanks Tammy for coming to see me!

Happy Friday!!!

On topics completely unrelated to the photo above, I am going to a hotpot dinner with some friends tonight!  The weather has finally been cold enough for me to acquiesce to a hotpot dinner.  And, we have a field trip on Sunday to Zhong San(中山) that I’m looking forward to- I plan on trying lots of regional specialties, including the famous Roasted Shiqi Pigeon.  Hot pot and pigeon, a good weekend to look forward to indeed.