Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day Four in Guagnzhou, China

Today I woke up at 6:30am. I was able to lounge around a little bit before meeting one of the teachers I work with, Dina, at 10:30 to go to the fabric market. We ended up needing to wait about 30 minutes for the third person coming with us, so we walked to the Tee Mall and had coffee at Starbucks. (Yes, Starbucks is in deed taking over the world.) It was actually quite a treat since I hadn’t had any coffee since Saturday early morning. (But, it felt much, much, much longer).

At 11:00am we walked to the bus stop and met up with Ariel, who is one of the local expert teachers at my school. Ariel is a sweet, Chinese, young lady around my same age. It is always very helpful to have a friend come along who is bilingual. We hopped on bus 89 and made our way to the fabric market. It was fun taking the bus. (Mostly because it was almost vacant).

At about 11:30 we made it to the fabric market. It really wasn’t what I was expecting. It was nicer than what I was expecting. The fabric market is a multiple story building just covered with every kind of fabric you can imagine. … literally. I went to the fabric market just kind of to tag along, but Dina had a purpose. She had taken several pictures of three different dresses that she wanted made for her. After walking through the maze of fabrics we reached a seamstress shop.

This seamstress shop is the same shop that all of the teachers go to. From what they have said it sounds as though the ladies can make just about anything. The seamstress looked at Dina’s pictures, sketched it out, measured her, and then told her how much fabric she would need to go buy. Next, I followed Dina as she walked throughout the fabric market looking for just the right fabrics. She ended up choosing a green shimmery material, a charcoal gray material, and a cream and mauve patterned fabric that she had brought with her to the fabric market.

While Dina was looking for her fabric, Ariel decided to get a few skirts made. I too was tempted to get something made, but I was able to restrain myself. What I really want made is a traditional Chinese dress called a qípáo 旗袍. Before I get something made I want to see how Dina’s dresses turn out. I know that I have plenty of time to get something made.

We were finally able to pull ourselves out of the fabric market at about 1pm. We then took the bus back to the bus stop near Tee Mall. At this point we were starved so we walked to a local vietemese restaurant. I ordered a delicious bowl that had rice noodles in the bottom and spring rolls on top. It came with a wonderful sauce that I poured over the noodles. It was spicy, yet sweet. Very tasty.

After lunch it was time for me to meet the translator, Justine, and real estate agent to go look for an apartment. We met up at 3pm and were out looking for apartments until 5:30pm. We looked at a total of 6 apartments in three different apartment complexes. The first one was a disaster and the others were pretty descent. However, after seeing the ones to choose from, I have chosen to take over on Dina’s apartment since she will be leaving soon. I will give more details of the apartment when I actually move in which will be on the 14th.

By the end of the day I was so exhausted that as soon as I got back to my hotel I laid on the bed and fell asleep. I thought to myself that I would only take a nap because I was suppose to meet up with friends at 9, but I ended up sleeping through my nap. I ended up sleeping all the way until 6:30am which felt so good. It was the first night in which I actually felt as though I selpt through the night and was rested. All in all… a good day.

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