As promised, here is a bit of a lighter entry. Though I’m not sure how easy it’s going to be to write… as I’m currently in the process of arguing with Mandy on MSN. If ever there was a reason to never use MSN for communications, this would be it. Not sure how things are going to turn out… but right now it’s not looking so good.
ANYWAY… the last two days have added two more unique experiences to my collection of things I’ve done in China.
The first was attending a graduation ceremony at Mandy’s school. We spent the day in Labor Park (one of China’s biggest parks? This is based on hersay, don’t trust it) a big park in downtown Dalian. Though skirting it a number of times, and dipping into it last week at night, I haven’t in my nearly half-a-year actually walked around it.
I must admit, I was a bit impressed. It’s a nice park and is certainly a green refuge from the busy streets that surround it.
After the park we walked to her school and got seated for the show. The place was a chaotic disaster. It was about 45 minutes until ‘curtain’ and there were people running around, pushing through the crowd still putting up balloon decorations. It was student run, and that shone through, but all-and-all it was entertaining. What I thought was going to be a graduation ceremony, like with diplomas and hats and stuff, actually turned out to be more like public karaoke. Pretty much everyone who was graduating, and I’m sure a few who weren’t, did performances. They ranged from pretty damn bad to likeable but it was all fun. The main reason I attended was to watch my friend Karen’s dance number. It came near the end, so nixed any plans I had of ducking out early, but it was worth the wait… the routine was exactly that, but it was cool to see her shakin’ her can, leading her ‘crew’. As I’ve recently been calling her, she really is a lean, mean, dancin’ machine.
Karen’s the girl in the tube top – sexy, no?
Then there was yesterday… all I could assume about a Chinese birthday party was that there would be loads of food, loads of booze, karaoke and cake in the face. I was not let down.
I met Serena at the bus stop near her school at about 5 p.m. We stopped at a flower shop so I could buy Monkey (ok, this isn’t her real name, but other than ‘Raining Heart’ I don’t know what it is… and we all just called her Monkey anyway…) some lillies and a little stuffed monkey. We hit the restaurant and Serena led me to a private room in the basement. From there I pretty much just spent the next five or six hours eating, drinking and listening to more and more slurred renditions of Chinese musical classics.
I made the mistake of using facts instead of good judgement when answering the “how much beer can you drink?” question… this got me a LOT of shouts for “GAN BEI!” as everyone decided to see if my claims were true. All I can say is I walked out of that restaurant and safely got back to Jinzhou. That’s one for the Canadians, but I’ll not be answering “oh… I dunno, maybe eight or nine bottles” again… I’ll lead off with two or three.
 The Drunk Monkey  Me eating cake for the first time with chopsticks.  The Drunk Monkey
I don’t know anyone’s name, so captions are pointless…
 Serena (left) and her friends singing karaoke.  Monkeyin’ around.
So… finished the entry, 1 hour and 10 minutes. It’s fun, it’s got photos, it’s not political or even very thought provoking… but it’s finished. Now I just wish this damn MSN conversation was.