Nanjing Here I Come (Sigh, TV again)

It’s true; I’m going to Nanjing in just a few days. I’m really excited, recently, I’ve been feeling caged in, like I was stuck in a rut doing the same thing: Wake up, go to class, eat, workout, go to sleep…everyday, and on the weekends it’s Helen’s, clubbing, and work. So I’ve been feeling the travel bug for a while, and God has answered my prayers. I ignored an unnamed phone number, as I always do, and after several missed calls she texted me saying she was a producer for a famous TV show of an even more famous TV station. Called《 非常了得》. The host of the show is one of China’s most famous Xiangsheng performers, Guo DeGang (郭德刚) . He has always been my favorite performer, I’ve seen many of his shows and will be such a fan girl, even if he is old and bald. He’s the reason why I agreed for to go on this show at all. The other host of the show is another famous, bald man, Meng Fei (孟非), he is the current host of China’s most famous dating show, 《非诚勿扰》。 Back when my laptop was broken and I had nothing to console my internet deprived soul, I watched that dating show everyday~ ( I plan on dropping hints that Alex is single and get him on the show as one of the eligible bachelors, the girls will go crazy for him!) I don’t mean to babble on like a love-struck teenager, but I can’t wait to meet them….even if I have to humiliate myself on public television as millions of Chinese people watch. I don’t even really know what they want me on the show for…I can’t do my Xiangsheng performance without my partner going with me and they didn’t even ask about my clapper-storytelling. So I will definitely NOT mention it myself! Regardless, I have a free trip to Nanjing to enjoy, I will arrive Saturday afternoon and come back to Tianjin Tuesday night. God really blessed me, because that we have holiday until Wednesday, so I won’t even be missing class. And I was able to talk Alex into going to Nanjing with me. Thank goodness because I would hate to go alone, the show is willing to pay for his room so we bought him a train ticket today!! My Chinese level is definitely not good enough for this, but that’s a mistake for them to depress over, I get a free trip to a new part of China, so I don’t care…Though I know the day of I will be nervous enough to cough up a lung…meh, that’s tomorrow’s problem.

Here’s a link to one of my Xiangsheng performances, because I can’t remember if I put a link up before.

Also, here’s a link from a recent episode of the show I will be attending next week.

Both videos are in Chinese and don’t have subtitles, so watch only if you want to get a feel for the show or can speak Chinese I guess 🙂 Enjoy!

Side Note: My Chinese teacher from America (basically a father figure to all of us) wrote on his facebook wall: “Next week, my amazing student, Marsha, will appear on the popular Chinese television show 《非常了得》 with the famous comedian and host Guo Degang. At one point last year, this was the #1 rated show in China for the 10 PM time block. Not bad for an undergraduate who has only been studying Chinese since the fall of 2008. Wish I could be there in the studio audience to cheer her on and get her autograph!” He’s so embarassing and sweet all at the same time, haha…guess that’s where the whole father-figure thing comes in, right?


Impromptu Chinese Party

I got a text message from my Canadian friend, Gotiere, that simply said, “Come to the Chinese Department’s fifth floor, Party with Chinese people.” I originally meant to go running, but my opportunities to make new Chinese friends aren’t many, so Alex and I went on over. The room was decorated in pink and purple balloons and had about 20 Chinese students and 20 foreign students (Americans, Koreans, Japanese, a Ukrainian/Mexican/ and Canadian) split into two teams. All of the Chinese students screamed my name as I walked in, a strange experience but it always happens now, for some reason all of the Chinese students know who I am and KIND OF worship me (not in a make a sacrifice in my name sort of way, haha). It’s strange, but I think they are sweet.  When we arrived they were already well into a game that is kind of like charades. One person sees the picture and word then turns to the next person and does a move to tell them what it is, but then THAT person has to turn to the person behind THEM and do the move as well. And so on until it reaches the fifth and final person, it gets hilarious by the end, but for some reason no one was playing with joy. That’s right folks, it was a dead party, and barely anyone was laughing. It might have had to do with the fact that almost all of the foreigners had no idea what they were doing or supposed to do, they have only learned Chinese for 7 months so there were a lot of blank stares going on. Alex and I almost decided to leave, but I felt bad because we just arrived and EVERYONE noticed we came in (I’m semi-popular and Alex looks like an American movie star that will remain unnamed. Our departure would hardly go unnoticed. So what else was there to do but liven it up.

I volunteered Alex and myself to play the next game. They would give three words and we had to make a satisfactory impromptu play. Our words were “Valentine’s day….chocolate….purchase”, so we linked arms and pretended to stroll down a street. I put on my high-pitch, cutesy Taiwanese girl voice and started saying things like, “Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart”, “I love you soo much”, and “what are you going to get your favorite person on this special day?” Everyone was rolling with laughter, then we stopped by a chocolate shop and he grabbed a box that was $10,000, but I smacked it out of his hands and said, “Does our love mean so little to you?” and in the end he got me a box of chocolates worth $100,000, haha. Yup, I’m that great~ Well, that lifted the spirit of the party slightly and it turned out to be really funny. Everyone did a little performance (I step danced for them), we played acting games, tongue twister games, and even voice acting. It lasted a few hours and we had plenty of Chinese practice along the way. There were prizes given out as well, I have a new stuffed panda, mini-mirror, and coffee mug. Overall it was a successful night.

Side note: It was so funny to see the Chinese girls fight over whom got the “privilege” of handing Alex cups of chips and whatnot. Secret photos were taken galore. Also, yesterday while we were eating lunch a Chinese girl turned around, literally gasped, and then turned to her friends and went, “Doesn’t he look like…. From….?!” We had a good laugh about that one.

I Give Up

Wow , I just received news that leaves me fuming. As we all know, Brandon is the waiter at my favorite haunt, Helen’s. When he first arrived a few months ago we were pretty flirty, and by flirty I mean it was a two way street. Last month, a week after I decided to let him go and stop crushing on him, Brandon and my friend Alex decided to hang out in Beijing one weekend. Brandon usually works weekends, but he took that one off because a friend from his hometown wanted to see the Forbidden Palace. I was against the idea, I didn’t want to spend more time with the guy I was trying to distance myself from. But he and Alex talked me into it, Brandon wanted to go clubbing for the first time in his life and even wanted to get tipsy beforehand….of course I couldn’t resist. Well, when Alex and I arrived in Beijing the next day, Brandon was acting shady and started making excuses about why he couldn’t hang out with us. I was so mad at him then, but it just helped me along the whole “don’t like him anymore” phase I was going through. So we went out anyways, had a bunch of free drinks and had a grand old time. The week after the debacle Brandon tried to make it up to me with free drinks and half-off entrees and eventually I forgave him. It was all in the past….until today when I found out why he wouldn’t hang out with us.

That new girlfriend of his that I mentioned in my last post, she was a friend of his before (they both grew up in HuBei province)and knows about the supposed “relationship” between Brandon and I. Apparently, she’s a jealous harpy and forbade him from hanging out with us, and by us I mean ME, in Beijing. Nothing happened between the two of us, so I don’t even know why Brandon had to tell her about me, it’s so confusingly annoying. I’m sick and tired of girls thinking I will steal their men, when I know a guy has a girlfriend he is off limits to me. I wonder if I somehow scream whore despite this fact, because all of my guy friends (except the gay ones) have girlfriends who basically hate me. When I know a guy has a girlfriend he drops off my radar so it doesn’t even need to be a situation. At least in this Hu Bei girl’s defense I actually was trying to make a move on her man….granted it was before he was her man so I feel no guilt.

At this point, I am beyond over Brandon, from now on he is getting the cold, neutrally polite shoulder granted to any waiter in my presence. I really need to get some fresh blood around here….

My Preciousss

Hi, my name is Marsha, and I haven’t had cereal in over 10 months.

I would give up my first child for a nice big bowl of cereal right now. That looks very insensitive, but I can’t stop how I feel! In America, I eat a bowl every morning; it used to be why I got up, the highlight of my mornings! Yummm, Special K was my favorite…any flavor would do. Milk is kind of a scarce commodity in China, the milk that they sell here come in strange packets that don’t need to be refrigerated.  So I am too suspicious to drink it. Not to mention, cereal is freakishly expensive, a small box costs about 5-7 dollars…American dollars. I am not starting myself on such an expensive habit. So for now I must buck up and keep strong. I need to stay on the wagon!

In addition to missing cereal, I also would love to get a nice big serving of Haitian food. But I won’t even get started on that because I will just become depressed. Le sigh*

St. Paddy’s Day

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope that you all had a good time; I know I did, though I am still recovering from my night out, haha. This year was my first legal St. Patrick’s Day (21 and everything), and this year it fell on a Saturday. What a wonderful coincidence. I know if I were still in Boston it would’ve too crazy to describe. BUT this year I got to celebrate it here… I was disappointed to discover that Chinese people have never even heard of this holiday…let alone celebrate it. So my group of foreign friends and I had to bring the American/Irish holiday spirit. Everyone wore something green (to avoid the pinches) and we hit all of our Chinese friends who had the misfortune of going to Helen’s in inappropriate attire (aka no green). I’m sure they will never forget another St. Patrick’s Day in this lifetime~ Actually I don’t own anything cute and green, so I brought along a leprechaun who remained perched on my shoulder all night. My friend’s mom sent it in a care package and he was too ashamed to wear him out, being the shameless crazy that I am, I had no such qualms. It was adorable; he had curly red hair, green clothes sprinkled with four leaf clovers, and a cup of beer. His eyes also had a hazy drunk look to them, I called him McDuffy.

We got to Helen’s around 8pm, ate and hung out until 10pm, and then got a bottle of Russian vodka. We played card games and drank until everyone felt tipsy…everyone that is, except me. Warning, don’t judge me: I have the alcohol tolerance level of a football playing frat boy. It’s horrendous, so after multiple shots and glasses of vodka (lots of them), I went to the bar and told my friend to give me the strongest stuff they had. I forget what it was called but it was 70% and I did three small glasses of it, and had a mojito afterwards just to be sure. FINALLY, I felt ready to go dancing, haha. We all piled into three cabs,  got to Xitang (basically the only good dance club in Tianjin), and it kind of becomes a blur after that. Not because I blacked out, but because I stopped paying attention and just danced. I’m an equal opportunity dancer, I danced with everyone and everywhere haha. We stayed there until a little after 3 and stepped outside for a breather. A random guy came up to me and said, “You’re a great dancer” I’m almost 100% certain that I didn’t dance with him, so he just probably saw my craziness from afar. After a while we grabbed our bags and coats and walked out into a winter wonderland. Yes, it snowed for the first time this winter that night. We all turned into big kids, running around and shoving snow down each other’s shirts and jackets. Running away from one of my friends I slipped and fell in a major way, my knee is still sore and bruised, haha. It was a really fun night.

One bad note though: My crush on Brandon has diminished greatly over the weeks, but I still felt an attraction of sorts. Ever since last week his flirting has practically ceased and I wondered why, well it’s because he has a new, long distance girlfriend. She’s from his hometown and I am so over him now….crusty savage. He didn’t even have the balls to tell me himself, a mutual friend of ours did and when I asked him about it all he had to say was, “Who told you?” Like it was supposed to be some kind of secret. Honestly, I don’t understand the thinking process of guys. Thank goodness I stopped crushing on him earlier than St. Patrick’s Day or that would have ruined my night, haha.

Workout Update #1

Hmmm. Ok I will be honest, I haven’t been as loyal to my workout regimen as I originally intended. I only get to the gym 3-4 times a week as opposed to my 5 times a week goal. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of beer, or if my lackadaisical working out has worked, but everyone keeps pointing out how much skinnier I look. I can feel that I have lost some weight because my clothes feel so much better! Nothing worse than walking around in clothes that are too tight (in the wrong places), right ladies?

So far there has not been any miraculous transformation, but that’s not what I wanted anyways. When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. I don’t weigh myself, but I would guess that I have lost 5-7 pounds so far, because my clothes fit the same way they used to before I came to China 🙂

I look at myself in the mirror everyday, so obviously I can’t SEE any progress, but friends who came back from the holiday are full of praise. One example: I stumbled into my Friday morning class slightly sick and barely awake (wearing no makeup, normal clothes, and glasses) and yet my Japanese friend wouldn’t stop staring at me and saying “Va-va-voom”….A new phrase that he unfortunately learned from Desperate Housewives….we all have our vices.

Well, I’m going to get more committed and hope for the best…wish me luck!~

Flight Home Booked

It’s official….I should shed tears. I’ve received the confirmation for my flight home. I originally intended to stay in China until the last possible minute (which by my visa would mean July 22nd), but I have been looking at flights home and flights leaving before the 4th are considerably cheaper. Prices after the 4th were a thousand dollars at the cheapest. I really couldn’t believe it, one thousand for a ONE way flight?! I used to get round-trips to China for a thousand. Now thanks to the economy and the price increase on gas I could understand a slight change. But my sister, Diana, bought her round trip a week ago for 1,200, so I knew that they were just trying to bleed me dry for their own perverted pleasure. Well, instead I chose to leave earlier, so my flight leaves July 3rd. And I will be arriving on….July 3rd. The time difference is funny when traveling, it always takes me a few days to adjust and remember what day it is, haha. This will be my first 4th of July in four years spent in America. The fact that I have missed family festivities for three years also helped me reach my decision of leaving earlier. My mom has no idea that I will be there (I told her I would arrive on the 17th)…in fact, only my two sisters know, so I can’t what to scare the heck out of everyone. My camera will DEFINITELY be rolling~ I’m sad that my time in China officially has a deadline now, but my pockets are glad because the flight only cost 850 🙂

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