Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Hope everyone is having fun at IC!
Thank you to all of AIESEC Mainland of China. Especially to the MC Team (Leon, Pierre, Peter, Primrose, Adam, Alice, Kim, Tina, Nico and Yi). All of you have each left me with memories and I can’t say enough great things about your gratitude, friendship and hospitality.
I ask myself – is this the life of an AIESECer? Why are we always putting ourselves through these experiences - Does it make us stronger? How can I possibly move on from something that I have just devoted myself to for the past two months? Will I have similar experiences in the future? All of these questions are floating around in my head right now…and I know they are natural, but I don’t like this feeling of already missing what I have just left and fearing the unexpected future.
Have I become a different person from this experience? How have I changed? As one of the other Canadian CEEDers said, “You see how you have changed when the New You clashes with the Old Life of being back at home.”
Life is an adventure…a learning experience…a rollercoaster ride…a story book…and I am loving every moment of it.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Guilin is an amazing city. Take all of the best shops, bars, cafes, stores and restaurants of Beijing - toss in a little local flavour – squish them all into one small city, mix in a whole bunch of limestone mountains, a few lakes and a river and you’ve got Guilin. Instead of having the mosquitoes buzzing around - it’s butterflies…instead of having apartment buildings towering over the skyline – it’s mountains…instead of having everyone rushing to get somewhere or just creating chaos on the streets – people live a peaceful life, not running, not rushing, just enjoying everyday as it comes. This is a city flooded with tourist groups, while solo backpackers often head to a town south of Guilin called Yangshou.
I have woken up each morning asking myself, ‘So what would I like to do today?’…maybe climb a mountain…maybe visit another town…maybe ride a bike…today, as it is my last day in Guilin and I have already seen all of the big sites – I have opted for relaxing on a patio J.
To recap this trip, I have climbed two peaks in the city (Die Cai and Solitary Beauty) to watch the sunset two consecutive nights…floated down the Li River on a river cruise boat from Guilin to Yangshou…discovered life outside of the touristy area by exploring the back streets of Guilin at night…explored the Reed Flute Caves where inside huge limestone mountains are natural stalagmites and stalactites that have formed over thousands of years…ordered various odd snacks from street vendors around the city (my favourite being Red Nose Noodles)…attended a tea and local delicacy tasting (my favourite of which is rose pedals! Soooo yummy!)…met various random backpackers from the UK, Germany and France.
Sitting here on this patio and enjoying the people passing by (and regular ‘laowai’ stares) and thinking that I will be back in Beijing tonight is sad, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the ‘Big City’. This will be my last weekend in Beijing and I really have mixed feelings right now. Extremely excited to get home and catch up with everyone, but knowing that I already miss this country doesn’t bode well for an easy departure.
Special Note: I would like to send my thanks out to the Edmonton Oilers, who I hear have just gotten ahold of Peca and Pronger. Nice additions to the team J
Newest Additions to the DVD Collection: Season Four of 24, Season One of Lost, Monster, Europe Trip, The Aviator, Spiderman 2, Fight Club, Spanglish, Ghandi and The Gods Must Be Crazy.
14!!! Count them all if you want proof! Don't forget about the girl riding the bike...you can't see her (How is the poor girl supposed to know where to stear the bicycle?!?)
Peter is a genius! He was looking through my travel book on Beijing and discovered an acrobatics show that they hold every night at the Chaoyang Theatre. Ok, I’m sure you’re all thinking that this is a pretty touristy thing right? Haha, well – you’re right.
Peter, Pierre and myself went to the show and bought the cheapest tickets possible…and to our surprise, we ended up with second row-centre stage seats! We were pleasantly surprised. The show last about an hour and a half and was full of crazy and bizarre stunts only seen in shows like Cirque de Soleil. It reminded me a lot of a low budget Cirque de Soleil show, but the talent of the performers was just as good – if not better…and the stunts were different and unique from what I had seen before.
Although it was touristy, I am so glad we went – it was such a great idea!