The day started out rainy, but the sun came out in force around noon, like the voice of God commanding us to have a good day. So we did.
Aleid came back today so I got to her! I went to lunch with the Dutch group – Diederik, Aleid and her boyfriend, and the two new guys from yesterday whose names I can’t spell yet. They spoke more Dutch than usual, but it was okay because I understood my first whole sentence of Dutch! It sounded something like “eine lange tunel” and meant “a long tunnel”. I know, right?
After lunch I went to register. It took like 3 minutes for me to get a new stamp in my student card. I guess I get to do another semester here!
Back at home checking the news, I learned that the US men’s hockey team beat Canada on their home ice. It put me in the Olympics mood – the winter Olympics mood, the Olympic hockey mood – so I pulled up the movie Miracle on YouKu (the Chinese version of Youtube, just with less respect for copyright laws). Man, it was crazy to hear those Minnesotan accents again!!
Miracle just whetted my appetite for all things icy, so I pulled up the other winter Olympics classic – Cool Runnings! What a great movie – both of them actually. They sum up all that I love about the Olympics. Yes, I love watching my countrymen push themselves, and win, but I love a good underdog story as well. Go Jamaica!!
I met Deni and Paloma for dinner; we went to Furong 3rd floor, which just opened today. As Deni said, Furong 3rd floor is not a cafeteria – it is pretty much the pinnacle of Chinese food. Or something. At least they make a pretty mean fried noodle.
The real food came after dinner, though. My two precious avocados from yesterday were destined to become a bowl of guacamole, and I enlisted the help of my Latin American friends in the preparation. It turns out guacamole is roughly universal in the Spanish-speaking world, but I learned a few tips from Mexico. The addition of olive oil was delicious, and apparently leaving the pit in the guacamole helps stop it from turning brown.
We made a bowl each of pico and guacamole, and took them downstairs along with the bag of Mission tortilla chips lovingly imported by my parents, and had ourselves a fiesta. We were joined by Carlos, just back from Spain, and a few beers from the convenient snack booth downstairs.
It reminded me of good times back at TU, when chips and various dips comprised approximately 1/3 of my diet . . . We hung out for several hours, snacking on chips and talking. Topics included Spanish grammar, the sociology of American TV, and the best local Chinese restaurants – also just like back at TU. (Not.)
Before going to bed, I would like to mention two things that happened today that I believe indicate an important transition in my life from adolescence to adulthood. That’s right, I started wearing an analog watch and I have used up an entire tube of Carmex. If you think these things aren’t a big deal, then you don’t know me. I’ve been wearing the same style of watch since junior high – $19.99 digital Timex with stopwatch and alarm – and, in fact, wear it so religiously that its exact outline, buttons and all, is imprinted on my tanned wrist in blinding white. I’ve been wearing a digital watch for so long that, to be honest, I’m not that great at telling time. But my watch broke and there’s no JC Penney in the neighborhood so I’m going to give it a try – a a watch with HANDS instead of numbers. I think I’m going to look really classy all the time now. Or, you know, just be late to everything.
As for the Carmex, I’m just really proud that I managed to use one tube until it was empty without losing it or sending it through the dryer. In all my 21 years and who-knows-how-many tubes of Chapstick or Carmex, I don’t think that has ever happened. Is it sad that I’ve been really excited about this day – the day when I could get no more Carmex out of the tube – for the last few weeks, as I’ve watched it get thinner and thinner?