So I’m sitting in another internet cafe. The one we went to yesterday was this kind of upscale one where you had to order something and you were each in this booth. The one we’re in now is on the third floor of some huge hotel close to ours with like 500 computers. This is where all the boys go to play counterstrike and smoke cigarettes and blow smoke that wafts into Judy’s face, like the guy next to me. Goddammit. I can’t breathe. At least it’s way cheap. I saw one person playing war3. That made me happy.
This morning we got a teaching schedule. That made all of us happy. I begin teaching on the 19th; I teach for six days then get a break every Sunday, and I end on August 9 (i think), and then most of us in my little group in this area of Guangzhou all have our weeklong break August 10-17. Then we have the “bonus hong kong” trip August 19-22, and we come home on Aug 22. There’s so much smoke I can barely keep my eyes open. How can people stand to smoke? I feel cancer growing in my lungs. Anyway so I start teaching on the 19th and I’m basically free until then. I’d like to use this free time to explore Guangzhou and maybe some neighboring mountains–a group of us might go hiking on a nearby mountain, for example.
So today Paul, Lindsey, Ryan and I hopped on the metro here and went to two temples in Guangzhou. The first is the oldest temple in… in… I don’t know. It’s an old temple. Built sometime around 470 A.D. Famous ancient people visited it, like the founder of Zen Buddhism. And ancient buddhist text were stored there. And there are ancient fig trees and stuff. Unfortunately most of it was covered up with scaffolding cuz it was under construction/restoration… It seems like it would have been really cool to see if it wasn’t so covered up in scaffolding. There were tons of people bowing before all these little stations with big gold statues and lots of chinese writing and putting incense in bins before them. Then we went to another temple with a really really tall flower pagoda (ha-ta?)… we climbed all the way up to the top. It was pretty cool! There were lots of little gold buddha statues in it. You could see really far away up there at the top–and all you could see was the congested city and the smokiness in the air from pollution. Hehe.
Ryan and I went to the gigantic supermarket/department store. It is gigantic. Then we tried to get dinner and went to some weird posh place by mistake and got weird stuff and had no idea what it was. 30 yuan for 3 weird sweet sesame things, 3 really delicious little bun things, and 1 thing that is like a green onion pancake but not. Felt really stupid. Proceeded to walk down the street and eat again (cuz we were still hungry) and spent 24 yuan on 1 bowl of rice, a really salty dish of this one kind of green vegetable, and another really salty dish of eggplant. The eggplant was really good. Actually both were really really good, but too salty. I like eggplant.
I can hear the gunshots in the earphones of the person two people down from me. Haha. My eyes hurt from the smoke. This place sux0rs. Ow. Wah.
I feel better today. “Culture shock” sucks. I think I’ve gotten over my “culture shock.”