Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

i'm almost twenty three, in case you were wondering.

contrary to popular belief, working the whole monday thru friday, 9 to 5 thing does NOT make you a grown up. i thought that it would just, you know, transform me. i thought i would become the person i have always hoped lived deep inside of me (the person who was waiting for exactly the right conditions to appear). this person would be something like katie rismondo and miranda july and friendship city and the subway in hong kong and my mom and dad put together with everything good and responsible and creative in the world. 
alas, rather than being a well kempt, organized, clean sheets every week, floor swept and mopped, 1 poem a week producing, guitar learning, chinese mastering, drawing, cooking, painting, sewing, fantastic teaching, c-walking individual, i am still the same old messy, distracted, lazy me. and i justify it all like this: "amy, it is okay that you aren't studying chinese. when you study chinese, your english gets really bad, and that isn't fair to your students.", or i think things like this- "i worked really hard today. it's okay to just play on the internet. and i should read the news because it's important to know what's going on in the world. and i am allowed to space out for a while, because i've been really focused all day already."    and it is obvious that there is no such accomplished, responsible, self-maintaining person hiding deep beneath my lazy, unshowered, exterior.  i'm going to try to be okay with this, without being a complacent, dirty, lout.  if you didn't notice, this is the post where i am really into mild self deprecation and adjectives. 
maybe though, things could still change. sometimes i have little glimpses of hope. for example:  i was reading postsecret the other week, and there was this secret that said- "i would give anything to know how to draw, except practice drawing" - and i realized that this is my attitude about a lot of things. so i have begun to practice things, to try to learn the skill and the technicalities behind things, rather than just winging it and thinking "well, i'm a creative person- this should just work!". this has led to me practicing drawing and sketching most days for about an hour or so. it's fun, because the only books i can understand at the chinese book store are the 'how to draw' books. i got a few of them, and maybe by the time this year is out, i'll be able to draw as competently as any 7-11 year old in the middle kingdom. i've already added a pretty cute sofa to my sketching repertoire.
now, i will give you (organized) photos of the little trip heidi and i took last week:
 tibetan culture stuff
first, we went to our friend's village and tried to learn tibetan dancing. i think i am getting MUCH better than when i first moved to china.
after trying to dance, we decided to go on the wedding circuit- a ton of people got married in our friend's village that day, so we headed out to toast and eat to the married couples. and i got to ride a motorcycle. sidenote: i think my new dream is to come back to china with completely fluent chinese, get my chinese driving license, buy a motorcycle and go anywhere i could. there are so so many small places in between the big places, and i want to see them.
here is one of the brides. she was ultra shy, sweet and nice. and younger than me. 
beautiful scenery
these are some photos of the tibetan plateau. it's gorgeous and so open out here. this is the way we took to get to xiahe. the whole drive there was really nice and sunny- i remembered how much i like driving trips. 
 quirky china things
partway through our trip, we had to stop to get our car repaired. this is me wondering what exactly they are doing. 
i want you to notice the precision instruments they have here: small sledge thing, chisel, bigger chisel, needle nose pliers, tin snips and, if you look at the light part near his elbow, you will notice the remains of a beer can. somehow, he cut the can apart and used strips of the can to replace the bearings he pulled out of the wheel assembly. i don't really get it at all. we made it though, so it must have worked. 
this would be stick food. kebab. kao. bbq. chuan. chuar. here we have beef, mutton, potato, tofu and mushrooms wrapped in tofu skin. i can say all of these words in chinese. i love love love all foods on sticks. after some training, my stomach agrees that this is THE way to go when it comes to street food. 
really! i love it! thank you linxia. 
all of these photos are taken by heidi. sadly, i think my camera has been taken from me. 
tonight is lantern festival, the end (i think) of the chinese new year celebrations. i will go see the lanterns and the lights and the people. a while ago, i guess 5 people got trampled by the crowds, so i'm glad that i'm big and strong.