My weekend was a mixture of highs and lows. Friday night we all went out to CFY Hot Pot near Xin Hai Square, to celebrate Lucy's birthday. Lucy is a teacher at DUT, a good friend of Chris's, and all-around awesome person. Back home, Mal had always extolled the virtues of hot pot and recommended a place in Flushing, but I never made it out there.
So it was my first time trying it, and it was delicious. It basically involves a big pot in the middle of the table, filled with hot, spicy-flavored water, into which you toss all kinds of raw ingredients: meat, shrimp, mushrooms, vegetables, even pumpkin.
Hilda and Ernie, a Mexican couple who are studying & teaching in Dalian, bought Lucy a fiery musical birthday cake.
Next up was karaoke, where we belted out songs and drank baijiu, which is some sort of alcohol that is super cheap and high proof. Everyone sang together, which was good for me, since the Glass/Obernbreit family line is not known for its vocal talent.
The last 24 hours have been less fun, for reasons somewhat unrelated to China. The euphoria of being in a foreign country has worn off a bit, and I hit a tiredness wall last night. On the way to Chris and Tae's place, I tripped and fell in the mud and bruised myself, and when we were at Free Club I dropped my phone and broke it. I was not really feeling the party scene and was terribly thirsty, but tap water is kind of off-limits for us and things like Coke were really overpriced. I took a cab home, went to bed at 4 a.m. and had insane dreams. And then today, when I went to the ATM to take money out for a new phone, the machine ate my card. So most of these things are just total klutziness on my part, but it still sucked, and being far from home exacerbates everything. Thanks to the magic of G-chat and us both being awake twelve hours apart, I was able to have a really nice talk with Freya and it lifted my spirits. I'll let the Golden Girls take this one home: Thank you for being a friend. Travel down a road and back again. Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidante.