|We can see our time in Qinhuangdao coming to a close and spent some time this past weekend sorting out plans for our classes. I went to the place that makes clothes and ordered a silk jacket for my mother. There are such vibrantly coloured and patterned silks and silk brocades. The frog closures and all the trim is hand done in any fabric you like. We are planning on shipping a box back to Canada and are losing as much excess as possible so that we can travel a little easier.
The weather in Qinhuangdao is certainly variable. It has been quite foggy the last few days and there were huge waves crashing on to the beach today. A friend left Beijing on Sunday in 35 degree heat and arrived in Qinhuangdao some two hours later to 17 degrees.
We went for dinner on Friday with the usual motley crew and went downtown with a smaller crowd on Saturday. Eleven foreigners sure make a stir in a place, particularly when there are no accompanying Chinese. They ran to find enough forks and knives for us even though we said we didn't want them. One American girl finally got the point through when she said in Chinese "We are Chinese"! We also got into a shouting match asking for the English menu. The waitress kept yelling at us that they didn't have an English menu (because if you yell loud enough we might understand). We insisted there was an English menu and finally the owner showed up with one. This is all done in Chinese too so we won one for our team that night.
Lailai is back in town. She is presenting her final project for her degree this Saturday. That is the sum total of the requirement for the last semester of the fourth year. So all the graduating students are back on campus and the Chinese teachers are busy listening to all these projects. There is a team which includes instructors from other universities who give the final grade for this project.
We wanted to go up into the mountains this afternoon but everything is closed up there. There was a pretty severe forest fire earlier this spring and they still haven't reopened from that. So we headed south to the second little town down the road. They have a kilometre long cable car that goes over the sea to a little manmade island out in the bay. What with the crashing waves, the shark warnings and the thought that Gis and I might exceed the weight limit in the rather rickety cable car I was completely freaked going out. There was a bungee jump and other assorted hilarity that we passed up on the island but it was a truly incredible day.