Sunday, May 31, 2009
Getting ready to cross the International Date Line!!! (I think this is where I lost my May 31, 2009 but I'm not entirely sure.)
This picture is just for fun. Most everything on the plane (magazines, instructions, etc.) was in Korean and some Chinese. But on the back of our seats, they posted both.
Well, I have landed in Korea and leave for Beijing in 4 hours. The flight was so long but only slightly uncomfortable. I slept for what I thought was at LEAST 8 hours, only to wake up and find out we weren't even half way over the ocean. They gave us dinner last night on the plane and then breakfast again this morning but my internal clock is all screwed up. I'm trying my best to just be on China time and not even think about what time it is in the states. But overall, the flight was fine, no problems and I'm glad to have both feet back on the ground - at least for the next few hours. My connecting flight to Beijing should only be about 2 hours, so that will feel like a piece of cake compared to the last 13.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I guess this is another little "borough" like Marina del Rey, Malibu, Santa Barbara, etc. But I didn't get to see it. It's right down the hill from Loyola Marymount University.
As I was walking down towards the water and the pier, I passed this guy who was doing sketches. Above is one of Catherine Zeta-Jones (quite possibly one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood). While I was tempted to buy it (yes, I'm impulsive) I merely settled for a picture. I guess I can say I saw CZJ while in Cali, although it wasn't her in person. :)
I've been to Santa Monica before but it was something like 7 years ago - probably before I really appreciated it. This time, I feel like I soaked it up. I only wish I had an extra week to spend in LA to explore some more.
Today I had time to kill during my 14-hour layover, so I took the bus ($1.50 roundtrip) to Santa Monica and the pier. The weather seemed pretty cold for California - about 65 degrees and windy. But it was still nice to see the ocean. People looked at me weirdly because I was in long pants, my fleece and carrying my huge pack everywhere, but it was still fun! I just love California. Everyone is so chill and has their own style. I also love how eclectic the architecture and culture is. I may need to look into grad schools out here...
This was hanging in a corridor at O'Hare - we saw it as we left the international terminal and walked to the domestic airlines side. Yay for Shanghai!
Sep and me at Navy Pier last night for the concert.
Sunrise over Chicago seen from my friend's apartment window. AMAZING.
Sep and I had a GREAT time in Chicago yesterday. We saw a Cubs game and had fantastic seats! We explored the DePaul campus a little, ate at a really good Thai restaurant, and then hung out at Navy Pier that night to watch the band my friend works for. In all the fun, it did turn out to be a LONG day. I don't think we got to bed until about 12:30. Then we were up at 4:45 this morning to get me to the airport. Ugh. I'm tired, hungry and LA is grey - it looks surprisingly a lot like Michigan (unfortunately).
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Ellen is a colleague of mine who is also going on this trip with me and is the one I will be going to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok with. (She's also in the School of Kines.) She has a cousin who teaches English in Beijing and he is going to meet us at the airport and take us to the Beijing Zoo!! I'm so excited! I cannot wait to see a real Panda!!
As for our trip itself, it looks like we'll be spending some time at Tianjin Normal University (TNU) - as of May 14th. We'll be working with high school/university students like we had originally planned. I'm not sure what this means as far as Beijing itself, the Peking Opera, Dr. Lu Sr. or any other details from our original itinerary. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I expect we'll hear more in the next few days as we get closer to our departure.
Sep and I have been making numerous lists of things I need to remember to pack for China. Everything from toilet paper, to a converter, to bug repellent, to a clothes line. My list is about a page long and I have been DREADING trying to fit it all into my pack (see photo above). But good news! I have extra room! Even with packing everything on my list, it looks like I'll have some extra room for souvenirs after all! It's pretty crazy to think I am going to be carrying my life in a hiking pack for 6 weeks. Granted, some of that time will be spent in a dorm room, but I am fitting my LIFE into a pack. And I look forward to the challenge of carrying it around Southeast Asia.
Monday, May 11, 2009
My friend Stephen, who is part of GIEU Indonesia, has begun his field site experience already. He left last week (a week early) to spend a time in Korea with his brother. His brother teaches English over there at an elementary school. Stephen has been posting pictures on Facebook of his adventures and they look awesome! Looking at Stephen's pictures makes me want to move abroad and teach elementary English (and dance, maybe!) too!
Map of Tianjin as compared to Beijing (above)
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I'm getting ready for my trip - packing, planning, prepping, practicing (eating with chopsticks), and trying to figure out which 3 t-shirts I should bring abroad for 6 weeks. Talk about stressful.