28 September 2009

My Last Two Weekends

Just because I haven’t blogged about any events these past two weeks doesn’t mean that I haven’t done anything blog-worthy. No, I haven’t jumped from the highest bungee jumping tower in the world or anything (YET!), but I’ve done a few interesting/fun things:

The weekend before last started early, on a Thursday night. Even though we had class the next morning, Kathleen, Karim, Caitlin, Yonathan, and I finished our homework early and went back to Zapata’s, our favorite quasi-Mexican restaurant in SIP. We really just wanted some good food, but near the end of our meal, the owner came around to our table and asked us if we wanted to participate in a game of bar trivia that would be starting about 20 minutes later. We still had some time before our curfew, so we obliged and began to think of a winning team name.

Well, our name - “Beer and Skittles FTW” (it’s an inside joke) - came in second in that contest, and we actually placed third in the trivia competition - not bad for some first-timers, we thought! Question categories included food and drink, movie posters, sports movies, flags of the world, caricatures, and true or false. We vowed to brush up on our knowledge and return soon!

The next evening, we took a class trip to see the Suzhou Opera. It was short, but none of us (not even our Chinese teacher) could understand anything that was being said - it was all in Suzhou dialect. That being said, I liked it much better than the Beijing opera; the music was soothing and had a bit of a bluegrass feel, to put it in American terms.

After the show, we convinced our professor, Xu Laoshi, to come out to a hookah bar with us. It was a tad disappointing, because the place was out of the cheesecake and tiramisu that we had heard about online, but Kathleen and I passed the time there by making up our own board game with provided pieces. It was a chill evening, and for the rest of that weekend, we all slept, studied, and did little else.

That week passed with classes and few notable events. The next weekend, which is last weekend, was slightly more eventful, as we again started off the weekend on Thursday, celebrating Mexican Independence Day (September 16!) at a different SIP Mexican Restaurant, Casa Zoe, followed by a trip to our favorite, Cold Stone Creamery (yes, they have one here!!) We took another class trip Friday afternoon to the Suzhou City Wall: it was most enjoyable, as the walk through the surrounding park was peaceful and gorgeous and Xu Laoshi then led us in a rousing Chinese language game atop the ancient bricks. Yonathan, Karim, Caitlin, Andreina, and I tried out a new bar/club Friday night (FAIL) and then Caitlin, Karim, and I wandered the streets of Suzhou for SIX HOURS Sunday evening (WIN). Most exciting for me, though, was meeting Wil, the editor of More Suzhou, the website that we refer to for EVERYTHING in this town! Andreina, Caitlin, Karim, Kathleen, Cao Chi, and I had just gone to get some food on Sichuan Jie when a white guy casually strolled by and murmured “That smells good” about our cooking food - and voila! We struck up a conversation. I was in awe.

Last week passed relatively smoothly, as well, with a few events meriting blog entries. However, they will just have to come at a later time, as I have yet to complete tomorrow’s homework.

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