Winter in Spring City

The temperature has dropped here. It’s not quite freezing, but it’s the coldest it’s been this year. Because of the entire Farenheit/Celcius thing I’m completely unable to estimate temperatures. One website says it’s currently 39 degrees Farenheit (4 degrees Celcius) in Kunming. And it’s rainy today. Suspiciously this change in temperature perfectly coincides with Jeremy’s purchase of an enormous winter coat. He claims to have a sixth sense about these things, but it may be cause-and-effect. Eh? Oh, I really don’t want to leave the house! Our home is equipted with a heat fan (I searched for a pic of this on google images but couldn’t find anything that looks nearly as dangerous.) and an electric heating pad that warms our sofa (woo-lala!). In fact, most buildings here don’t have heating of any kind. Yesterday I sat in the school’s cafe studying for a few hours without taking off my scarf or gloves!

My normal 10 a.m. class was cancelled for a University-wide sports event. In fact, 云南师范大学 (Yunnan Normal University) cancelled all classes for Monday and Tuesday. They have no intention of rescheduling or reimbursing for lost class time. While this infuriates most of us not on scholarship, no one seems to think this out of the ordinary. Just another reason to switch schools next semester.

Language learning has recently become fun again. I cannot pinpoint the reason, but we’ve almost reached the end of one of our books which makes me feel like we’re making progress! I read through all the vocabulary words in the index and was pleasantly surprised to see that I have retained most of what we studied. Amazing really. I’m making a renewed effort to study writing now, since reading is such an essential skill.

Good news from back home… or actually from my sister also abroad: Sarah got a great job at the Tate Britain. The job really seems to suit her and she’s very pleased with the details. This will be her first fulltime art gig since graduating. Yay!

Oh, a note on all the continued construction near my home and 师大 (my school) on 建设路 (Jian She Lu): All of the sites that were first marked with “拆” (chai) and subsequently torn down are now “green spaces” with trees, bushes, and flowers. I have to admit it makes the street look nicer, but the loss of some good restaurants and shops is a little silly. Yesterday they just started tearing down our nice milk/yogurt shop around the corner. The greenification process continues!

Awesome Landscape of Heijing

I don’t really have a thoughtful post in me just now, but I uploaded photos from my weekend trip to 黑井 (Heijing). My friend Karina talked me into getting out of town. What a great idea. Heijing is a salt town. It was fun to see them process it into pancakes of various sizes. The mountains were so amazing. We could have spent another day hiking, but there’s only one train a day from 昆明 (Kunming) so we were bound by the mysterious train schedule. Ah well.