After a wonderful 7 week vacation in the USA I have returned to classes at Guizhou Normal University here in Guiyang. During the vacation, I went to Traverse City, then Northport Florida, Amelia Island near Jacksonville, Washington DC and then back to Traverse City. I spent about a week in Florida and a week DC.
Traverse City was interesting because the weather was very cold, with wind chills of 40 to 50 below zero. The winter had been like that for some time before I arrived, and it stayed that way after I left. It was kind of fun getting outside shoveling snow in extremely cold weather. I had good winter clothes, and combining the exercise and cold air in the lungs was exhilarating. I stayed in a country setting and the neighborhood was dark. The stars in Northern Michigan in the winter are very bright and if you shovel snow at 10 or 11 at night, as I did, there was nearly complete silence. What a contrast to where I live in Guiyang with a lot of people running around, almost 24 hours a day.
Actually, the spot where I’ve stayed in Guiyang for the last year and a half has been pretty good. I am on a university campus with a lot of old trees and old buildings. There is a wall around my house and six other homes. See: http://www.tourguizhou.net/archives/274
So all that has changed. A year ago they said I would have to move out because they will demolish my house. The building next door is done and they are going to put in a parking lot. So living here for the last couple weeks has been like a war zone. At first the Foreign Affairs Office wanted to put me in a dormitory, where I would have to be home by 11:30 pm, but they finally decided that this was unreasonable. The finally found another home on campus that is suitable. There are a lot of things wrong with the new place, but we are fixing it up. It should work out ok.
I’ve met a new Chinese girl. I’m named her Sandy. She is a computer science major and wants to be a teacher. She’s just finishing up a Master’s degree. I think she may be interested in teaching me some Chinese and already has helped me with downloading a movie from the internet. Her Putonghua is from the northeast of China so my accent might improve if she has time to teach me. So it is barter English for Chinese lessons. It’s a fair deal for me at least. Hope she agrees.