I decided on sunday morning to go to Yangshuo. I kinda went to yangshuo out of necessity but I definitely was excited to head back to my old stomping grounds! Because of the holiday the trains were packed so I had to wait an hour to catch one of the slowest trains to Guilin. It was mildly frustrating but I still managed to get there. So then in Guilin I wanted to catch the express bus which left from the bus station a few minutes down the road. For whatever reason I couldn't find the station, to only find out that the last express bus left at 6. the exact time when my train pulled in. So after wasting away an hour I ended up taking the normal bus that left from the train station. I finally arrived in Yangshuo at around 830 and made my way to the school as fast as I could. It was really exciting to see all my old friends back at the school. So from there we went to the grand reopening of the Stone Rose. It was pretty fun seeing how different the place looks from before. The weekend in Yangshuo wasn't the most exciting but it was just good to spend time with the people there. I also talked to Isabella for some time about my options for staying in China longer. So that was a very useful conversation. On that note this is something I really have been thinking a lot about recently. I am really enjoying my time here and could see myself here for a year. The school really wants me to stay and I would get paid more. But if I did stay that means I would miss coaching cross country this fall, something I really really enjoyed last year. Right now I am siding on staying longer because I feel once I leave China, It will be quite a long time until I come back. Also, I think I'll need more time to work on the language.
So my return trip was kinda funny, looking back at it. On the bus back to the train station I sat next to this chinese girl, and I talked to her for a few minutes but then i dosed off to sleep, waking up about 5 minutes from the station. So just before we arrive, she does a totally chinese thing. She gives me her phone and says "can we make friends" okay, she wants my cellphone number. But when I was talking to her she said that she lives in Nanning. So will I ever talk to her again? no. Regardless I gave her my number anyways and I have hers, never to be used. So I go to buy my ticket at the train station for the train that leaves in 15 minutes, a woman comes up to me trying to sell me her ticket. I look at it and it seemed legit, but I didnt want to buy it from her because you never know. I don't know why I didn't pull the "i cant speak chinese, I dont understand you" card. Anyways my ticket ended up being a standing room only ticket (the lady's was too). So when I got on the train I wandered around for a bit and ended up sitting on a step. This wasn't all that bad since this was only a 2 hour train back to liuzhou. So I arrive home and call it an early night, exhausted from the long weekend of running around until the wee hours of the morning.
So this week was a 3 day week which was awesome. But one of the most terrifying things happened to me in class on friday (actually its the week before but i'm telling it to you now). So I'm teaching my lesson and then all of a sudden my phone starts ringing. Not too loud, or anything and typically this is NBD but then a group of girls start laughing in the corner. this meant only one thing THE STUPID GIRLS HAD MY CELLPHONE NUMBER. This had potential to be one of the worst things ever. I had no idea how they got it and they wouldn't tell me. But I do have a pretty good theory (they went through their written english teacher's phone).
Okay, so I now that i'm up to speed I will explain what tomb sweeping day is. Tomb Sweeping Day is a holiday where Chinese family go visit the tombs of their ancestors. Of course, they light off firecrackers (to scare the bad spirits away). At first I thought this was just a pretty basic holiday, but then on the train ride back to Liuzhou I was thinking about what if we had this. To make a point of going to visit the ones who have passed before us. Then I realized that I have never visited my Grandfathers grave. He died almost 5 years ago and the last time I was there was at his funeral. Yeah, it's about a 6 hour drive away but Chinese people will take train rides that are exponentially longer just to clean the tomb of their ancestors. Just some food for thought.
Okay, to cap off this blog I think I'm going to try to change the tone of it a bit. I think I will write more about chinese culture and traditions and so on. I felt this blog post was mostly about nightlife and whatnot. I am doing a lot more than that, but it just feels like more day-to-day things like going running, teaching lessons and stuff that just doesn't seem to noteworthy. but its in these day-to-day things is where I really experience the regular culture. I will try to think of things but If you have any specific questions about things you want to hear, let me know!