Fall is Definitely in the Air and Other Random Thoughts

I’ve been watching the progress of the coming Autumn for several weeks now, hoping that the weather would continue to be nice. I think that I can safely say that Fall has arrived in Shijiazhuang! In a matter of days, wild winds began howling down the streets of the airport, whipping all the leaves off the trees. The few trees that hadn’t changed colors yet are doing so now. We are suddenly surrounded by red, orange and gold leaves. The wind blew off the pollution, which was particularly bad over the past few days. (Literally if you went inside of buildings it looked as though a smoky haze was filling it up – I almost wondered if the school was on fire at one point.) I’ve gladly pulled my scarves, hats and gloves from the bottom of my suitcase. I’ve been wearing them around work and the airport, to the delight of some of the girls who work at the Russian Restaurant, who seem very interested in my fashion (or lack thereof? Who knows!). By the way, they are named Katia, Nasdja & Svetla, although Chinese, they all have adopted Russian names!!

While I am on the subject of names – Most Chinese people who have contact with English speakers like to choose English names. Well, many of my students have chosen their own names, and quite colorful ones too, like Eagle, Wind, Cloud, Fish, Nemo, Shrek, and I am not kidding here, Seamen. I have heard of girls choosing names like Cherry and Strawberry, which I actually think are quite cute. So what would I choose if I could? Freckles? Red? What about Moon? or Water? What would you choose? I’m going to talk to my students about choosing a Chinese name, it’s only fair, right?

Today DH and a few of his friends went into the village to buy another bike. The one he had just couldn’t go on any longer. The chain had broken, the pedal never stayed on and the handlebars nearly fell off. This time he bought a military style bike, or at least the style we see the local soldiers riding, and hopefully it will last a bit longer. Many of the guys here have opted to by second-hand motorcycles. (Kind of like motorized dirt bikes). They go maximum 50 mph and often are in need of some kind of repair, but for ~ $80 they seem to be enjoying them. Of course they can only use them at the airport since they cannot be licensed or registered.

I’m still very satisfied with my CWB – Catching Wind Bird – bicycle. (That is what it is called.) Although rusty it is still operating perfectly.

I’m going for dinner at the Mongol’s now. I am going to have Jo Moo Go (fried mushrooms and so awesome!!!!!!!!) and Tsa Jya Myen (or noodles with a soy sauce). I’ve officially had my first round of Hep A vaccine so I am now fearless!!! (Just joking..) Tomorrow I will tell you all about Hot Pot, a very enjoyable meal, especially with a big group of friends.

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