On Monday I didn't have to go to work because of the Moon Festival so I went to explore a new area of the city. With another teacher, I went to Wangfujing Street where the famous Night Market is located. At the Night Market, you can buy all sorts of things on sticks. I'm sure there will be more postings of things on sticks, but here's my first. I saw different meats, including chicken hearts, different kinds of bugs, seahorses, and scorpions.
I noticed that I didn't see one single Chinese eating anything strange off sticks. They were only eating meat or candied fruits.
I have heard that there are buckets so that the laowais (foreigners) can take their pictures tasting odd things on sticks and then spit it out. I forgot to look for the buckets though.
It has been fun exploring different parts of the city and I am beginning to think about where I might move when I am allowed. For this year, I have to stay put. Our apartments are nice, but they are like a hotel and far from the downtown. It is about a $7-8 cab ride to the city, which isn't bad at all especially when you are sharing the cab with other people. The trouble is that some cab drivers don't want to take you home. Either it is too far out of their way and they won't be able to find another person until they get back to the city or they just don't know how to get there. We have all improved our direction-giving skills in Mandarin for this reason. At least, we can tell the cab driver to turn left and right.
In other news, I saw the first film of the Get to Know China film group at school. It was sad, but a good movie. The director, Li Yang, uses mostly non-professional actors and has to do some interesting things to get the government to allow his movies to be played in China (like saying the setting is 20 years ago so that the 'problem' is old and now things don't happen this way). In fact, the film I saw on Tuesday isn't allowed, but you can easily buy it around town in the DVD shops. The director has an earlier movie as well that has been recommended to me so I will have to see if I can find that one. Another blog just wrote a review on the film I saw, Blind Mountain. If you can find it, or his previous film Blind Shaft, check them out. I do warn you though, these are not happy movies.
Only two more days of work this week and then I am going here for an overnight hiking trip! (I'm thinking that there will probably be other people there though.)