Mid-Autumn Festival

Wednesday was Mid-Autumn Festival. I’d hoped to get some pictures of what goes on in town for the Festival, but the weather played against us for that. In the space of 24 hours we went from a heat index of 105 to a wind chill of 56. High winds rolled in ahead of the cold front that brought with it cold rain and gusts of upto 40 miles an hour. My poor umbrella I’d bought just the day before collaspsed apart and is now in pieces. I even made the mistake of wearing my good hat and ended up chasing it down the road more than once.

Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as Moon Cake Day. I tried asking around what the Festival was all about, but the most I could get as an explaination was that its a day that you just eat as much as you can, and mostly Moon Cakes. Some of my students even skipped meals so they could eat more Moon Cakes. I can’t describe what they taste like. Its supposed to be sweet, but Chinese sweet is pretty bland to us. Our sweet is much too strong for them. Two bites was all I could manage of one. The best I can do is say its like a sweet bean bread, with the center being some kind of filling. Like fruit paste, bean paste, or a type of meat. Here is picture of a Moon Cake.
And here is a picture of two boxes of Moon Cakes, if you wanted to get them for a group.
Amanda’s students got her a box of Moon Cakes, while mine got me a box containing two wine bottles and two wine glasses. I think I got the better present, but perhaps Amanda’s Moon Cakes will taste better than the one I tried.
Sunday we went into town and met up with Colin and Aaron. We found a few new places to eat, as well as the local Confucius temple. Amanda has a number of pictures from the Temple which I’ll let her load up, but in the meantime here is a pair of pictures to tide you over.

So after the temple we ran into some students on the way to the outdoors roller rink. These students aren’t from either of our schools, but they wanted to talk to us and get our picture. In this picture, Amanda is taking the picture of the girl just took my picture and is checking it out. I’d been posed like I was going to eat her head. Thanks Delaney for that idea.

And here is a picture of all of us (minus Amanda, and the other guy who was taking a picture of his friends) posed for a group picture. Much fun was had.

Then it was off the outdoor roller rink. We don’t have any pictures of it yet, but now that the weather has cooled down we might go check it out tomorrow or the weekend. According to the guys they do have skates in my size. So we’ll see how it all goes.
So in the park the have a dance instructor. We talked to Cindy and its about 50 Yuan to learn a dance for a song. We still don’t know what time they start or which days they practice. However, it is something we are thinking about doing. We took a picture of the group we saw, there is about 50 to 60 people practicing and only one dance instructor.

In the next picture we have about a third of my students in my crazy-all-girl-kissy-face class. They have this name because when my back is turned some of them will blow kisses at me. It doesn’t happen often, but Amanda dropped in to watch them, which only made things worse. The fact that we are married seems to send them into a giggly tizzy, and while one group was distracting her with requests for autographs, others were sneaking in blown kisses while I was posing for pictures.

Oh, and addendum to things to bring with you to China. First a good pair of walking shoes that you don’t mind getting ruined. When you go into the city, or town, you will be walking. And that puddle in the street may not be water. Even if you avoid that, there is still the garbage, half eaten food, slop, and all the dirt. Your shoes will get covered in a fine layer of dust each time you go out. You’ll also want sunglasses because it can get very bright out, particularly on hot days. Thank you to my Mom and Dad for my sunglasses. They are getting much use out here.

And now for the Not Safe For Work section. The first picture I present to you is the “artwork” in our bathroom. This is a piece of tile, and we can’t remove it from the bathroom wall. Granted its tasteful, but not really something we want in our home. Its right next to the shower head so anything papery we use to cover it up will only get wet and ruined. So we’ve been keeping an eye out for something plastic we can stick over it. No such luck as of yet. Most likely we’ll end up just living with it, but it is something we really don’t want guests or visiting students to see.

Students also like to wear shirts with english words on them. Even if they don’t understand what the english words mean. Its like wearing a t-shirt with the chinese symbol for “Courage” on it only to discover it means “Idiot”. Case in point, I give you the following shirt that was worn by a female student, who when asked, “What does your shirt mean?”, they were unable to give me an answer other than “I don’t know.”