There are sandstorms in Harbin. Which means that you should probably keep any and all eating utensils by an open window. I can guarantee that they will stay clean. At least most of the time, which you know, is really all that matters. I mean, when you think of it, you're not even eating most of the time.
But this aside, I got back from a "whirlwind" "adventure" in "Zhejiang provence." I say "whirlwind" because there weren't any whirlwinds, "adventure" because I already knew where everything was, and "Zhejiang provence" cause I thought adding quotes made it looked "better." On my escape from the salty North (seriously, pretty sure I saw a road-side stall that was selling potatoes, salt, and pineapples - you don't need much else to make a traditional "Dongbei" dish), I got a chance to visit some old friends, make some new ones, and eat a lot of tasty food. But the most important thing is just that: "things."
I should explain "things." Things are what make a trip to China interesting. They're the things that make you stop in your tracks and think "wait...wtf?" As a student, Harbin, sadly, has few, if any, "things." Shanghai, a bustling metropolis has a lot of things.
- A girl with a fuzzy white/pink hat that said "Black Rebel." (She fit the part to a T)
- Someone following me around in a bookstore with a camera and then being ambush-interviewed about my reading habits. "So. I see you're in a bookstore. What's your opinion on books? Have you read them? If so, did you read ones with words? Did you understand the words? What are your favorite words? Ok, now repeat this phrase in Chinese into the camera. Yeah, it's ok, we don't know what it means either."
- It is perfectly legal to be paid in coupons in China, especially if you work for the government. When I was first told this, I was like "dude, that's awesome! $2000 to the grocery store." And then I thought "Man, you know what's also great, $2000 to ANYWHERE."
- I went to a Thai restaurant that consisted of a group of Thais (or maybe Puerto Ricans, I honestly have no idea - one of them looked like Roberto Clemente, no lie.) who sang and danced to the Beatles and Justin Beiber. I took part in one of the renditions of... I don't remember, as I was too busy trying to not embarrass myself in front of a restaurant of Chinese people.
- "Japanese-style meat patty" Cheetos are surprisingly edible. (Trust me on this one.)
- I got my first massage in China. Yeah, 5 years, first massage. They clean your ears during it. I'm still kind of confused as to how that's supposed to be relaxing, because really the only way to let the person know if it hurts is when it actually hurts. Pain ≠ Relaxation (usually?).
- I spent almost 2 hours looking for a house that has no entrance. It has a visible roof, but no actual way to get under said roof. The house actually has an gate that leads to some "preservation offices"...however, Shanghai's method of preservation is to put a wall around whatever they want to preserve and then slowly sell off parts of it to developers. I guess history can't be soiled if it is COMPLETELY DESTROYED. Which is actually some of the better logic I've heard from public servants in China.
There aren't really a lot of pictures and I'm kind of sleepy so... no pictures, this time, sorry.