Chang is back in Yantai! She called this morning and we set up a lunch date. We traveled over to Jusco (the huge Japanese mall) and enjoyed a delicious dinner everyone could have enjoyed: sweet and sour shrimp, tempura shrimp, broccoli, rice and fried bacon. The last was served in a manner similar to the duck: crepes to which one adds cucumber, green onion, sauce and the bacon. The bacon is thick sliced and get this, lightly battered, before frying. Chinese BLTs!!
We then spent a pleasant hour roaming the mall: extra towels, apples and cheese completed our shopping. When we got ready to return to campus, we discovered it was raining. Taxis were very popular but we were lucky and returned to our dorm. Andy spent the afternoon sleeping to the sound of the gentle rains and I finished a load of laundry. The rain has pretty much slacked off now (3pm) but more is expected. We suspect it is the same system that has been dumping ugly amounts in the northeast where the latest mudslides are (China-South Korea border).
The campus is slowly coming to life. Parents bringing their freshmen to school and worrying that they have everything they need; the sophomores asking to be let off at the gate so no one knows they have parents. Suitcases have been plentiful on the buses the last 2 days; most headed to Yantai U or Shandong University just up the road. They have closed the main avenues to vehicle traffic while everyone arrives and gets sorted out. Classes start tomorrow for many but as noted earlier, the students only have to take the finals and pass to successfully complete the course.
Our dorm has students and faculty of several different nationalities. As I attempted to go out for a walk, attempted because I figured out why I saw so many umbrellas from our window, I heard two students with a distinct British accent talking about the advantages of being multilingual coming in. We also have a few adults from South Korea staying here. Apparently there is some kind of children's dance competition happening on campus. Several parents with little ones dressed in recital costumes were trying to get the kids into cars without getting wet. Parents and dance recitals and little girls in costume are the same on every continent. No one is allowed to escape! I have seen the same costumes for years in the states. I wonder which culture invented the sequin. This may be a reason the Chinese try so hard to have boys-no sequins.
Joan is working on tour arrangements for our October break. I still want to see the Guilin area famous for it's limestone mountains and outcroppings. A cruise on the river through the gorges would also be nice. Right now, the cruise is impossible. That is one of the areas you have probably heard about. They are currently blowing up some of the dams to relieve the flooding. Cruising on a swollen river complete with whitewater rapids is not conducive to relaxation.
We still have yet to hear from two of last years kids, Nan and Angi. They will arrive sometime today. Nan was the guy who rented a Mustang for his 21st birthday and Angi was the cute, little gal who always made her hamburgers too big for her mouth. Joan is up to 5 phone numbers on our list. These two will bring us up to 7. Not that I didn't enjoy talking with all of you, but it is kinda nice to go somewhere and not take a phone. Every American should try it some weekend! Speaking of communicating with us- it is better to email us directly as we still can't see your comments on our blog. Skype and iChat are also options. Our Skype address is Joan Lindauer and our iChat handle is firstname.lastname@example.org