Sunday, March 1, 2009
A quick breakdown: friday i went out to coffee with my friend Andrew, we caught up, chatted about our respective girls, then i went home and had a fried rice before work. After work, I went on a date with an awesome Chinese girl and went home early, caught a few hours of sleep before I went off to the train station at 7 am. On arriving, my friend Arnaud handed me a beer, the madness began. We played cards and drank beers on the train to chongqing, hanging out with four other members of our football team (jeff hu, mark guan, melon and peter, an american). we grabbed cabs to the university when we arrived and arnaud and i kept trying to get melon to have a beer with us but he was far too hungover from the night before, a going away party for one of our teammates who is moving to shanghai. we had a quick lunch on the street outside the university then hiked up. chongqing is really hilly, perhaps moreso than hong kong or san francisco. the whole city was covered in mist and raining intermittently, the temperature around 10C. we climbed to the top of a hill into a massive construction site, tramping through mud up to the pitch, which was a potato field, sandy and clay-ey, with nice big puddles of water. i watched the first half, got warmed up, and played 10 minutes in the second half, made a few tackles and picked up 4 serious scrapes, 3 on my left elbow and a big patch on my right knee. next time i'll wear more clothes. after the game we tried to play football for like half an hour, then piled into vans and went to our hostel to shower. a new friend, fred, introduced me to the technique of army showering (passing the soap and showerhead over the curtain separating us). it was pretty hilarious watching 15 guys between the ages of 15 and 45 showering withing 2 minutes. then back into the vans and off to golden han's, a brazilian bbq chain that brews their own beer. our host was the former chinese ambassador to france, who gave a nice introductory speech. we chatted and drank and ate, reveling in the tackles and the fraternal sentiments. we returned to the hostel and went to bed around 11, woke up at 10 am in massive pain, went downstairs and had a coffee with arnaud before getting some noodles for breakfast. i bought a couple souvenirs, then we took the train back to chengdu. my recent girl came and met me at the train station, we went back to my house, she gave me a much-needed massage, showered, treated my wounds, then we went to dinner with eli, his gf coco, sam and his gf yin yin. we went back home after dinner, then went to jah bar for a beer. i took the girl home, then met up with eli, sam and callum at hemp house, where we chilled until about 2, then came home and went to bed. another great weekend, further solidifying my love of this place, of my friends, and of the chinese language. other than the constant pain i am in from my rugby injuries, its been pretty great recently. next week the semester starts, and back to the grind. im looking forward to the structure.