Well, I’m back after a small break during which I slipped into a depression cocoon where I didn’t leave my room much and I watched 15 episodes of The West Wing on Netflix; the internet was booming with no tourists around the city and hostel. It all started with my frustration of not being able to memorize the character for “Police” in Chinese. It has 33 strokes and after memorizing 256 characters these past few weeks my brain shut down.
And there was my laptop, looking so comforting, with it’s shiny silver exterior and endless videos and movies. For three days I would wake up, find an excuse not to work out and then stuff my face with rice, steamed buns, and the Jed Bartlet White House until it was time to have a beer and go to sleep. These moods come and go with the tides, but if I’m not close to anyone who will guilt me into doing anything, I stay right in bed. Then everybody on The West Wing went to China for a summit and I jumped out of bed. Holy Shit I’m here in China, what am I doing?? I did 100 push ups (not in a row, please), and met some new friends at a restaurant, who then invited me to grab a drink with them later that night. Later on, I bought a ticket for a southwest China adventure. On November 2nd I fly to Kunming, and fly back to Qingdao from Chengdu on the 18th. In between I’ll travel to Guiyang, where my Brooklyn Winery friend Rachel is performing with Fuerza Bruta, then on to Chongqing to visit some Chinese friends, and finishing off in Chengdu to see some other people I met a few weeks ago.
I’ve made some progress with my Chinese language, and I’ve finished the first of five workbooks that I’ve brought with me. This first one was mostly review and the next four will get increasingly more difficult, but I’m off to a good start.
I’ve become very close with the family running the hostel. Huge and Wife let me wander where I please and they always ask me to treat this place like my home. When they have a family dinner I’m always invited.
After the southwest trip I don’t know If I’ll permanently stay in Qingdao. I think it’s a wonderful town and very livable if you have a job and life here, but maybe with only five months I should just move around and see all that I can. I don’t need to make any decisions now, though.
Tomorrow I head to South Korea for a week to go to my friend Soyoung’s wedding. She’s was a great friend to me eight years ago when I lived in Shenyang and I’m happy to be there for her big day.
Here are some pictures of Qingdao that I’ve taken over the past few weeks.