Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

China (because this is SUCH an imaginative title)

Oh thank God for China. I understand China. I know Chinese food. China makes sense. Not that I don't love India, no—but despite how much colder it is here, I love China much more.
We flew from Kochi, India, to Guilin, China, then took a taxi to Yangshuo, where we had a real fireplace and electric blankets. We hiked mountains, rode buses, and floated down rivers. Then from Yangshuo we went to Guangzhou, and all I remember from it is we went to see the museum of the tomb of King Nanyue, who was buried in a suit of jade during the Han Dynasty, and his tomb was discovered in 1983. It has colored frescoes in the funerary chamber and is larger than most tombs from the time. I also remember fighting with Maria because I'd taken a brochure for the museum in French, and instead of using Ultralingua (an English-to-French/French-to-English app), I'd ask Mom for translations and wouldn't let Maria read it. Well, I did, but more like "I am sitting here reading. You may read over my shoulder but if you remove this brochure from my hands there will be dire consequences *glares menacingly from corner of eye*." This part was actually written while consulting my pink French brochure.

Also from Guangzhou, I remember when we were very hungry, so we decided to go to Pizza Hut. First we got there, but we didn't go in because Dad didn't want to eat there, and then we went back to Pizza Hut, but then when we decided to eat there, Mom and Dad couldn't find a hundred yuan bill, so they thought that they'd dropped it on the way, so we went to look for it, but then it turned out it had been in Mom's pocket, so we went back to Pizza Hut, and we walked too much on an empty stomach.
Finally, we flew from Guangzhou, China, to Hong Kong, and my reaction to the city was that I liked it. I liked the huge double-decker buses, I liked the skyscrapers and the buildings, the flashing lights, the ridiculously huge crowds (where do all these people fit?), and I especially liked the food. Indian food is only good for so long (why do you think we kept eating at KFC or McDonalds?), but Chinese food is eternal, says the girl who is mad crazy over Chinese food and spends her birthdays at House of Hong and is worried she will not find a Chinese restaurant in New Zealand.
We found our apartment on the eighth floor of The Lime Building, which was at the top of a ridiculously huge hill. This was one of the things I really didn't like about Hong Kong—all the hills everywhere. Why can't it be a normal city, and be flat?
Our apartment had only two rooms: A bedroom/living room/kitchen (complete with bed, couch, TV, coffee tables, kitchen stuff, and table), and a bathroom (complete with whatever comes in bathrooms), but it also had rather good internet connection. I took advantage of it and worked on internet-requiring things from my Day Zero Project (http://www.dayzeroproject.com/), which is where you set 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. They can be anything—learn to speak French, stop biting my nails, leave a message in a public bathroom, take part in Operation Beautiful (http://www.operationbeautiful.org/) or 100 Strangers (http://www.100strangers.org/), eat a meal in a blanket fort... these are just a few off of my list. In Hong Kong, I got to check "Answer the 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind" off my list, and felt the glow of minor accomplishment.
Also in Hong Kong I started getting excited about February Album Writing Month (http://www.fawm.org/), mostly because I'd found a few people to collaborate with. I also made the decision to remove all the music off my iTouch and replace it with every version of rock we had in our iTunes library—now all I have is Alternative, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Latin Rock, Pop Rock, Punk Rock, Rock, Rock'n Roll, Slow Rock, and Symphonic Rock, which is about 274 artists, 449 albums, and 2059 songs. Not all of them are good, and a few of them are annoying, but there are good ones like "Airstream Driver", "American Slang", "Belated Promise Ring", "Blood in My Eyes", "Break Me Out", "Changing", "Fireworks", "For You and Your Denial",  and I discovered we had a few favorites of mine like "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" and "Animal" (I'm listening to these alphabetically—I haven't gotten past F from the Alternative genre yet). I'm actually listening to them now as I write this, so probably I'll keep coming back and listing my favorites. Maybe I'll just list my favorites at the end, but I doubt I'll finish the Alternatives before the end of this blogpost. I also doubt I'll finish this blogpost before I finish the Alternatives.
Well that's kinda... contradictory.
Ahem. We continue.
In Hong Kong we went took this tram sort of thing and there was this huuuuuuuuge queue for it, and we decided to take a one-way ticket, as in, we'd be walking back. So we took the tram uphill and got to this huge building that was shaped weird and kinda stuck out and had a lot of escalators but no elevators (of course not—there were a million shops on every floor; an elevator wouldn't let you see all the stuff you could buy, and then you wouldn't buy it, and they'd be broker than the money in my pocket*), and at the roof you could see all of Hong Kong. Or at least you could if it wasn't so foggy. You could, though, see the bottom half of the skyscrapers.
*There is no money in my pocket. Ever. Because I have no money. Ever.
For Lunar New Year we went to see the parade (the whole point of coming to Hong Kong). At first we were really like, "Okay, there are no spots. We'll just go further down." But then we found some spots and we could all see (except for Ioan, but he could've sat on our shoulders), but then Dad said, "No, we'll find some better spots further down." We didn't, because further down were the white people, who are all at least five and a half feet tall, and our spots from before were behind Asian girls. We dealt with it and we ended up sitting on each other's shoulders, standing in the crowd and trying to see over everyone's heads, sitting on posts, contortionism... Finally though we all found decent spots. We saw jumprope demonstrations, hip hop dancers, jazz choreography, the cheerleaders from the St. Louis Rams, and dancers from Moldova, a country next to Romania that used to be part of Romania, but now it isn't and has a lot of Russians in it. As they passed Maria and I screamed, "La mulți ani!! La mulți ani!!" which is Romanian for "to many years" and is said, like... all the time. For everything. Birthdays, New Year, holidays, name-days, everything. They said something back, but we couldn't understand it. It could've been Russian, it could've been, "Și la voi!", which means "to you too". We didn't understand it, and we were kind of disappointed in the Moldovanians.
There were lots of things at the New Year parade, somethings were funny, some where sad, some where boring, but we walked away happy.
The next day we had plans to hike and do things, but we took the metro, came out, saw the fog, and only got as far as StarBucks. We had a hot chocolate, Maria had a mint tea, and we went home. I concluded that the lack of StarBucks in Watkins Glen was a crying shame. So instead of doing things, we did some school and then just hung out. Later that night we went to the roof of our building to see the fireworks. It wasn't actually that cool, because there were buildings in the way, also the fireworks all came one after another like POC-POC-POC-POC-POC, and you couldn't appreciate one because you were too busy being dazzled by another and then you couldn't appreciate that one either because BAM! another one's been shot up and you're seeing that and there's so much smoke you just give up. Plus we don't actually like fireworks that much. Maria never got the point of them (shiny lights + big noise = pointless awesomeness), and it is my opinion that environmentalists have completely killed the fireworks. "The big boom scares the animals!" so now it's just a little "pop". This is a severe disappointment.
We left the apartment the next day, stored our baggage in a locker before we went to the Space Museum, hung out there for a couple hours, went back to get our baggage, then took a boat to Macau, where we checked into our fancy-schmancy expensive hotel with gorgeous headboards for the beds. There I watched The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride for maybe the third time (it's an okay movie—it's not bad, but it's not good either. All in all, it's okay and entertaining), and the next night I watched Megamind, which, if you did not know, is frickin' amazing. Will Ferrel sounds absolutely gorgeous as the incredibly handsome mastermind of all evil, Megamind, and Minion is hilarious (I don't know his actor's name, but he was the principle from She's the Man), and Brad Pitt singing bad lyrics off-key? Mad crazy. And it's just so hilarious!
Unfortunately, the next day we slept in, so everyone was very stressed as we tried to pack everything up and eat in time to leave. Right now we're on the plane to Kuala Lumpur, so that's it for China (for now)!

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