Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
So the big round red fella has been and gone for another year. I tell you what though, he does look quite funny when he visits Asia being all skinny and stuff.
As I didn’t get around to sending any Christmas Emails or Ecards last week so this blog will have to do. I was actually going to spend last Thursday night with a few coldies, some good tunes and the internet but I decided to follow my plans and head to Xian city instead and I am so glad I did. So as everyone missed out on my usual Happy Christmas jibber jabber prior to Christmas you will now have to put up with it afterwards.
To start the Christmas celebrations I finally got to meet Dutch Andrew.
Last Tuesday Flippino Dan, Dutch Andrew and I headed up for a walk on Pagoda Hill and then shared a few coldies over way too much food and if I hadn’t been told where Andrew was from I would have guessed he was an Aussie as he has spent the last twenty two years in Australia and how good was it to kick back and talk to someone who knew exactly all places and things that I was talking about. Then on Wednesday night my school organised a wonderful Christmas Hotpot dinner for me which prior to they arrived at my apartment with Christmas gifts baring a strange and identical resemblance to last year’s Christmas gifts which were a knee high Santa and a fully decorated Christmas tree. So I now have two trees and two Santa’s to decorate my apartment for the following year as I have nowhere to actually store them.
Yep, ya got to love the Chinese! Meeting Dutch Andrew will be a huge added bonus to my future here in Shangzhou.
As even though I have a yearning to return to the south of China I have decided that I will stay here for one more term. After chatting to several friends I have concluded that I am simply just sick of being cold and that in a few months when warmth returns to the north and my feet are back on peddles again all will be well. Along with that it is much too hard for me to leave an entire school of students that try so hard half way through their school year and along with that Andrew also loves a few too many coldies!
A huge thank you must not only go to Lithuanian Laima but also to Canadian Chris for his email (as always), he may be living and teaching on Taiwan and the mainland may have a hundred missiles pointed in his direction but my beer is also always pointed his way for his good advice, his blogs and our 80’s Metal chit chat!
I have actually had the best Christmas I’ve had since the 2006 Kunming Christmas Tour with Aussie Leanne, Judy and Kylie and English Gary Pang. This one though can easily be compared to New Years Eve at home. All the main roads in Xian around the Bell Tower were closed to traffic to allow the thousands of people the freedom to walk safely on a main road without being squished by a passing scooter or new BMW. There was literally thousands and thousands of people out partying and as many had their face covered by one of the many masks for sale from a street stalls, the night came to resemble a huge masquerade ball.
Here I could go on and on about Chinese girls in masks but I think we’ll skip that and continue.
Lithuanian Laima had booked us both into the Han Tang Inn and when she told me where it was it didn’t actually click that it was the Shu Yuan Hostels sister hostel which until a month ago was found down East Street past the Drum Tower. It can now be found just off North Street not far from the Post Office (directions are; take the first right walking down north street, then the first left (in the mobile phone district) and then the first right which is down a small lane called Nanchang Xiang). If you book online a beautiful single room will only cost you 80 Yuan and believe me, it is beautiful and the staff are so sweet and all can speak English.
It also comes with heated floors and included with the many English channels is HBO. So I got to spend a few hours with the Grinch…Yeah! Come on, tell me you don’t love the Grinch!
We started our night with a free beer at the Han Tang Inn and then joined the thousands partying in the streets and then we slowly made our way up to the Shu Yuan Hostel where we joined Irish Mike, Mave and Beverly (the other VSO’s) from Shenyang Town. Here we enjoyed a western buffet with a huge turkey and a delicious ham along with chicken and salad and extras such as cranberry sauce, chocolate cake and of course some awesome cheap beer and wine. Thankfully the hostel was much quieter than I expected so we got to enjoy each other’s company without having to yell at each other and cross personal space barriers.
Yes I do still have a personal space barrier so I am not 'that’ Chinese…..yet!
On Christmas day the girls shuffled and shopped their way around the city and Mike and I headed out to the IT Area where I bit the bullet and purchased my new tiny traveller. Now it really will have to be two Yuan noodles whilst travelling during Winter Break. I didn’t have to look far as I had been road testing them at the same time I was searching for my new home laptop and strangely Toshiba won both prizes. As most already know I got myself a http://www.travelpod.com/dashboard/entry/life_in_china/(http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/eddakath/life_in_china/1259276182/tpod.html (< ERROR: the link title is too long!) just over a month ago which for a music lover is more than outstanding with its sound system. My latest tiny Traveller is none other than the Toshiba NB200 which comes complete with a ‘Sleep and Charge’ port that allows you to charge your MP3 or Phone/Camera even when the computer is turned off, a 10 Inch Tru-brite screen and best of all a full sized keyboard that is one of the most comfortable keyboards I’ve ever used. On top of that you can also add the bonus of the shock protective hard drive that sits waiting for any sudden movements to help protect you from losing your work.
After purchase and while the Toshiba staff were busy hunting down an English copy of Y7 and Office 2007 Mike and I headed up to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda for a few hours. This link will take you to my last visit to the Pagoda with Baise Brad, scroll down for more information on the history of the pagoda.
Later in the afternoon I got a call from the Toshiba Girls so I had to leave Mike waiting for Mave and Laima and I made my way back to the IT Area where I found that I did actually have English Y7 but sadly I had Chinese Office. Zhang Wei (a real cutie who could speak English rather well) told me the system people had tried for hours to down load an English copy of Office 2007 but having had no luck they downloaded the Chinese copy for me which upon opening we found was a free 60 day trial copy. They were so sorry etc and I told them to wait for a few minutes and they got all sorry again and I begged them not to be sorry and to just wait for five minutes. I then raced up to the fourth floor, purchased a 10 Yuan Full Copy of English Office 2007, I then raced back downstairs, connected their external DVD player and had it installed within minutes.
Sometimes in China to get what you want you just have to do it yourself! But it was worth the effort as I got a beauties phone and QQ number to celebrate New Year with.
Saturday night we all headed to the Tang Dynasty Dinner and Dance Show which is something I’ve always wanted to see since moving here and I was in no way let down and it was the perfect end to this year’s Christmas Beers N Noodles Adventure and if you do find yourself in Xian City all the hostels offer free booking and transport to and from the show.
China's Tang Dynasty (618-907) was the most prosperous and colorful of all of China's ancient Dynasties. It is famous for its arts and poems, dress and culture, and music and dancing. Visitors to Xian get a chance to step back in time and relive this fantastic era at the Tang Dynasty Show. Visitors upon entering the theater are taken to their seats for a dinner of Jiaozi (dumplings). The dumplings are as beautiful as they are delicious and the best part is that the dinner is all that you can eat. After eating, the show begins. It is a spectacle of color, culture, music, and dance. The spectacular music and beautiful costumes with long flowing sleeves perfectly match and complement each other. It is a show not to be missed.
I got back this afternoon and headed up Pagoda Hill to walk off some of the beer from the weekend! So do you want to know what I reckon? I reckon that it’s awesome that my buddy Andrew and his family are back in China for a few weeks I reckon thanks to my favourite student Lunar for giving me a huge lollypop for Xmas. I reckon that Chinese girls in masquerade masks are more than just a bit sexy. I reckon that Chinese girls with or without masquerade masks are damn sexy. I reckon a huge thanks to Lithuanian Laima and the VSO's for the best Xmas. I reckon it will never look right to watch Chinese people roll and make pizzas. I reckon that the Grinch is pretty cool man and we could all learn from him. I reckon, 2009 is probably the best Christmas I've had for many years. I reckon that Santa looks strange being all skinny and Asian and stuff. I reckon that the Han Tang Inn will get my future stays in Xian City. I reckon that I will head back to Xian city for New Years 2010. I reckon that life really is a wonderful noodle adventure. So what did you get up to for Christmas mate? Beers N Noodles toya…..shane
PS: For those in the market for a Tiny Traveller here are some links for you to read; Review 1 Review 2 Review 3 PSS: The biggest and most hugest thank you of course must go to Aussie Judy who for the past many years has looked after me in many ways with not only her yearly ‘Care Packages’ but also her ‘Christmas Care Packages’ that allow me to have presents waiting to be unwrapped each Christmas morning since her departure from China several years ago. If there ever was a Christmas Angel then Aussie Judy is The Christmas Angel worthy of all those Christmas carols that are full of all the Xmas jibber jabber! So this beers for you Aussie Judy! ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by the jolly Skidrow The album was one of the best metal albums ever ‘Subhuman Race’ ____________________________________________________________