Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back in the States?!

So I made it back! I know I need to tell the story of our "graduation" and last days in China, but for now I will just say that I'm surprised how hard it was to leave. But I returned to Oregon in the midst of early summer, which is really, really, gorgeous. Also, my family and strawberry season, so good stuff all around.

Sideways view from our front porch in the morning.

Running "in town"

More running "in town"

Driving to the airport! So I was home for 5 days, and then off to Santa Barbara for my internship with Sonos. Though upon arrival I had no idea what I would be doing, thank to my Mom I had already found an awesome housing situation, so I figured no matter what it would be an awesome summer. But this sort of weather and company was hard to leave.

Zach had driven my car down to SB for me, and then he also got to visit his friends, so good for both of us I hope. I arrived and was greeted by my fantastic housemates, got a tour of the house, unpacked (you know me), and woke up to some... gray skies. But my housemates took me out for Brunch, which was delicious and filled with wonderful company. After brunch they took me on a quick tour of Santa Barbara, including the Mission, where we saw this plant!

We also went to the courthouse, which had been mysteriously rented out "for a company event" but no one knew the company name. We watched them set up from the tour and speculated, but no conclusions were reached.

The next day, Monday, I started work! After orientation we got shown to our desks. But it turns out it's not very practical for me to work away from my team, so I ended up sitting in Paul (who is at the Apple Conference)'s seat. Today I finished getting adequate permissions and software, but now I have a working build and am ready to start! PS: I am Soooooooo happy I get to use a mac for work (and a nice one!) 

Today I joined a housemate for dinner at The Natural Cafe, which is amazing and I highly recommend it. We sat outside so we could also watch the farmers market people walk by. This was some delicious pizza. 

I also got some flowers! 

Alright, well, it's 20:50, which is pretty much bed time for me. I'll write more soon, I don't know if I'll change the URL, probably not, and the blog will just morph into me taking pictures of food and running views in America... and Yes, I will try to do a "reflective China post", but no guarantees :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Adventures continue!

Ahh it's hard to believe, but only 3 days left until I'm back in the States. Needless to say, my feelings are mixed, but for now a catch-up post!

Delicious strawberry smoothie! It gets really hot here sometimes, which means my erhu classes are positively sweltering, so after class sometimes I go to this shop for a delicious cool beverage. 

I made cinnamon rolls with my roommate! Here they are baking. While we were making them my roomie was really confused, but once they were on the pan she recognized them :) 

We also made Baozi! But we didn't have a steaming apparatus, so we constructed one out of chopsticks. 

Unfortunately, when we were making dough, we didn't exactly have a recipe, so the dough ended up rather flavorless. My roommate thought adding ketchup might help, but it didn't 

This is a picture of our last Language Table meal. Delicious items all around.

And then it was my Birthday! So I had erhu class (since it was a Friday), and the new song for that day was "Happy Birthday"! Which meant I told my teacher, so then the receptionist suggested we all take pictures together, so we did! Which is good, since for my last class (tomorrow... ) I think I'll be too saddened by the thought to take smiley pictures.

My teacher and I!

My best friend from high school had told her mom (who lives in Shanghai) that I was in the area, so her mom invited me to come stay with her for the weekend, but since time is ticking, I could only stay Saturday->Sunday. So I was off to the train station early Saturday morning. It was super hot and muggy, so I figured I'd buy flowers for her mom when I got to Shanghai (at a flower shop I'd found near the subway station). After a sweaty bus ride in strange morning traffic, I decided to splurge on the faster train to Shanghai (1hr not 2+) so after waiting in line for awhile (people kept arguing that they weren't given the ticket they wanted) I was off! Once at the train station I transferred to Line 2, for another hour, but it was air conditioned and all, so not bad. Mama Yu was too on the ball for me to sneak over to get flowers- she called me while I was still on the subway with 30 min left, she was already waiting at the subway stop for me! After a very warm reception, we dropped my stuff off at her lovely house, and then went to see the sights and eat delicious things!

I got a speedy tour by car!

We imbibed delicious things at this place!

Lime(?) Tea! Iced! With honey. 

A fuzzy building.

We went to Din Tai Feng for a late dinner! The menu is really different from the one in California. 

Outside Din Tai Fung.

Tour of Shanghai by night! Mama Yu even pulled over so I could take better pictures!

On Sunday we took pictures of me throughout the house- me in the guest room!

My time in China has improved my ability to take selfies, but still need some practice. 

More furniture picture

We went to a supermarket which thad many sorts of items from other countries, including my 2nd favorite sandwich compliment, Sun Chips!

and we took more pictures of me 

I took more pictures of food! This is their cheese selection. It's like I'm in America already!

Dorset Granola?!

My favorite Ginger Ale!!?!

And then we got what was possibly the most delicious Brunch I have ever eaten. After I was bestowed with many food items to bring back with me, we headed off to the subway and I started my ride back. Mama Yu was so nice to me! I had the best time in Shanghai, and I hope to repay the good times some day. 

And then it was finals week! Not much happened, we did make burritos, including hand made tortillas, after an epic quest to find cheese. So tomorrow we have our graduation ceremony, I have my last erhu class, and then Sunday is packing and all, Monday morning 3hr bus to Shanghai airport, then the flying back starts! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Only 2 weeks left ?!

Well, as could probably have been predicted by my trend of posting increasingly infrequently, it's been awhile. I've been up to all sorts of wandering, and a lot of writing for classes, though I have yet to make  significant progress on reading 铁凝's short stories, which I need to do for my June 1st thesis proposal due date. I've been practicing playing my erhu, I learned how to change hand positions last class, which was exciting!  But anyways,

We went to an art school for some class research, it was really nice, I wish I could attend : ) 

I discovered my love for this fruit, the Chinese Bayberry

Nice flowers on the bushes by our dorms

Walking to erhu class, came across this situation, there was a line of cars behind each of the "conflicting directions" cars in this picture.

I went running here

I have been trying out different kinds of , though usually I have no idea what the fruit flavors are. This one I like because it has mulberry!

Sunny times! Also, the guy stretching in cameo pants is also playing a flute. He stretched and played for 1/2 hour

I like these sort of photos. I see lots of people posing like this at sites. I tried, but I always end up smiling. 

Our fan in our room. The A/C is noisy and not very effective, so we just use our trusty ceiling fan.

I guess someone must have complained that the A/C wasn't very good, so all of a sudden a crew of 5 came to each of our rooms to remove the units. They were super efficient and didn't stop till the work was done. Then they cleaned up. Pretty good service. They should be coming back tomorrow morning to put in the new units.

We went to a fan making factory!

All of these tiny golden specks are hand painted characters. It's really impressive.

And.... the less impressive offering painted by yours truly. In my defense, I was in a hurry to get to my erhu class. 

I ran by the lake, and feel as if this picture is not too repetitive, as the lilies are popping up!

I went to a student activity center to interview people for class!

Other than class, there are a lot of art related activities one can join.

They practiced their English with me.


There are also a lot of rides, the activity center really is huge.

People are ready to stay there for awhile. 

Steady stream of people coming and going. 

And I found Ovaltine! Still not able to drink it, which is a pity because the nutrients would surely be an excellent supplement to my current fare of PB&J for most meals.