Published May 19th, 2007 by Mliesie

Pleasant surprise

I started the day with a pounding headache and wondering how much fun I would end up having. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. The day started with a visit to the hairdresser together with my VSO colleague Donna and a student for a proper translation. Upon entering the shop I was immediately recognised by the owner from my last visit, remember? Today it was Donna’s turn the join the ‘celebrity’ chair. Fortunately not as many admirers as when I first got there. While Donna was getting her hair cut I tried to convince ZN to get a cool haircut the next time we would go there. She wasn’t to keen on some of the models I showed her, as I like short and she feels she will look like a boy when she gets a short haircut (her parents actually told her to let her hair grow). Finally we did agree on one of the models, so next time she joins me she might go for it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed……she definitely needs a good haircut!

A short visit to the supermarket, again made tears run down my face from laughter as I was reading the texts on some of the lotions, bathfoams and moisturizers. Unfortuately I did not have my camera with me, so I won’t be able to make you smile. Sorry, better next time!

This afternoon HM joined me to the ticket office at the airport. I am very capable of buyng my own tickets, she’s just good company!! Very happy I left the office with my tickets to Qingdao and Beijing, woopeee! Qingdao is the place where the watersports Olympics will be held next year, the place with wonderful beaches, the place where Qingdao beer is brewed (thanks to the Germans) and the place where I will be spending 3 days before I fly on to Beijing. I wanted HM to join me, but unfortunately she has to do her oral defence on one of those days….. A real pity, as I owe her (and LP) a lot and this would have been a nice opportunity. We had a nice ‘Suide’ meal aferwards. Suide is HM’s hometown and we went to a restaurant where they serve ‘her’ local food, jiang rou mian pian(r). Very ‘delicious’ but also very filling. Good meal, good company and good conversation.

Having arrived at the campus and walking towards HM’s dorm, we saw a gathering of people, flashy lights and we heard singing. Haaaah, party time! Last week the Students’ Union started ‘Weekend Entertainment’, performances by students from all departments, every Saturday for the coming 6-7 weeks. It was outside and the place was packed! There were students singing, performing sketches, playing instruments and 2 hosts with amusing conversation in between performances. It was great fun and I was (very) pleasantly surprised by some of the students and their showing off (as they themselves like to call it). Looking around at the number of students that showed up to enjoy this, the effort that was put into pulling this off and the idea of continuing this for a few more weeks, made me realise how lucky the students are to be able to enjoy these free ‘concerts’ on their campus and how lucky I am to be part of this as well. Life here is good, even though there are ups and downs, but isn’t that what life is about?

At the end of the performance I witnessed a typical Chinese habit again….Before the hosts were able to thank everybody and finish their final talk, ALL the students had disappeared including the performing ones! It’s like sitting at a dinner table, having amusing conversation and suddenly everybody gets up, the bill is paid and off you go. Before you got the chance to blink your eyes!

So, my day that started with a pounding headache ended with a pleasant surprise, a free ‘concert’.

Hope all of you had a pleasant day as well :-)

ps. After hearing a group of students perform, I decided I will perform as well on one of the last Saturdays! I won’t do it alone, but will try to get some students involved who can actually sing (so I only have to ‘perform’). 2 Students have already agreed to join me, I will keep you updated :-) !


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