Maria Holland

Girls’ Day Out

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

By 3 o’clock this afternoon, it had already been a long day. I met Karolina, Magda, and Eunjeong (the girls from yesterday) at 7:30 because they wanted to go to the hospital for their health examinations. I managed to get them there (an accomplishment I’m pretty proud of), but they only do health examinations on weekdays.

We just started walking and going into interesting-looking shops. We found a couple of DVD places – one was expensive enough to maybe be legit; another was really sketchy, hidden behind a curtain in the back of a shop. So far I’ve bought seasons 1 & 2 of Psych, the old old old Pride & Prejudice, and Sunshine Cleaning, and all of them work well.

One of the best finds of the day was a qipao shop with tons of gorgeous qipaos (which are the traditional, form-fitting silk dresses of China). We oohed and aahed over them and even tried some on, but they seemed a bit expensive. We’re going to comparison shop and then hopefully buy in bulk to get them cheaper. It was so hard to walk away without one, though . . .

The other amazing store we found was a huge Xinhua bookstore. Their English-language selection was particularly impressive, which works for me because those books can also function as Chinese-learning. I bought a copy of Pride & Prejudice (probably abridged) and a selection of O. Henry’s short stories, both with English and Chinese on facing pages. I also bought a book of 101 classic fairy tales in Chinese with pinyin and pictures, and a book on English idioms with sample converstions. Ha, actually upon looking at it maybe the selection of phrases isn’t that great – they’re all just a little bit NQR (Not Quite Right).

After doing laundry (which, due to the chronic inefficiency of all interactions between China and myself, took three trips up and down the stairs), I went dancing again! This time, I brought my new Polish friends. We got there earlier than either of the two times I came by myself, and danced almost the whole time. It turns out that many of the men, at least, are dancing laoshis (teachers), and they are getting us into shape! We did the cha-cha, the rhumba, the Viennese waltz, and two American dances “cowboy” and “seaman”. I should have killer calves and toned arms after a year of dancing twice a week for several hours! At the end of the night, the women told us that we should buy dancing shoes, so Karolina and I have another adventure ahead of us. Especially me . . . I discovered that my feet are at least European size 43 and most stores only stock up to 41 :(

Magnum flavor of the night: Belgian chocolate. Absolutely delicious :)

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