Bringing in 2009 :)
Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
24Trip End Jul 01, 2009
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When we got into Beijing, we went to dinner and then headed to the hostel- not even thinking about time being an issue. After getting checked in and dressed we only had about 20 min before midnight so we decided to spend the countdown in the hostel with a few others
We stayed in Beijing for 2 days- shopping and walking around the city and then headed back Friday evening so we could relax on Saturday since we had to teach on Sunday (since we got New Years day off).
My students have their big exams next week so I wanted to make sure to do something really easy in my class so I explained what a New Year resolution is and gave examples (I will...eat healthier, be nicer to my teachers, study more, exercise more...in 2009) and then asked a few of them what their New Year resolution was going to be. A couple said "I will learn more English in 2009" --without me even telling them to say that! They've been so much better these last couple weeks. I don't know what happened but their behavior has really improved and I've really enjoyed all of my classes.
This week has been hectic getting everything ready for our trip- organizing itineraries and hostel info, going back and forth with an airline that isn't accepting the copies of my parents credit card information and therefore won't secure our seats on the flight, packing, getting train tickets, passport info, ahh! I know it's all going to be worth it. I can't believe it's already here! and I can't believe my parents are going to be here in two days
I was downtown tutoring a few days ago and told Mickey (my boss) about having to buy a train ticket to meet my parents in Beijing and he said I needed to go right away because they fill up so fast. Well, he was right. I was standing in a line with about 100 people and I needed to be back to teach so I started stressing. Just as I was about to forget about it and try later, Mickey walks up and hands me a ticket- he had a friend call in a favor- thank god cuz he said there were only 3 standing tickets left. So although it kind of stinks that I'll have to stand the whole way, it's better than not having a ticket at all. Kara and Willie weren't so lucky- they went to buy their tickets for Shanghai and every train was completely full. So they changed their plans and are now starting out in Guangzhou. We're meeting them in the Philippines and then going to Vietnam. We now have a better understanding of how crazy traveling is going to be during the Chinese New Year- train stations are gonna be insanely crowded. We have all our train tickets except for when my parents and I are coming back to Shijiazhuang from Beijing. Mickey's assistant is in Beijing right now and is going to try and get them for me tomorrow- crossing my fingers. Mickey and his assistant are so helpful- I'm want to get 'em something cool from our trip.
Well, it's time to start packin- gotta fit a month's worth of things into a backpack so it's gonna take a while to decide what I do and don't need. My next entry will have stories from Beijing, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shenzhen, Macau, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the New Year :)