Friday, October 26, 2007

A very sad day... Em's Last Blog

Oy! My vacation is over, and I’ve been mourning ever since this morning when I packed my bags. Today was my last full day with Tina and Mark in Xiamen. This trip has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love the fact that you can take a 14 hour plane ride and learn so much more about the world in under ten days. Tina and Mark have been fantastic hosts - they consistently made me try things that I don’t think I would have touched with a 10 foot pole a week ago. They also made me feel right at home halfway across the world. I give the Wichmann China tour and B&B 5+++ stars! It couldn’t have been better, except maybe a little longer.

Tina took me to her Chinese classes today at Xiamen University. You would all be impressed by how much Tina has learned; I felt completely overwhelmed – there are four different tones for each word that give it completely different meanings; on top of that are characters. Xiamen also has a different Mandarin dialect from northern China, and Tina’s learning from professors that are local and from Shanghai. She’s doing incredibly well, especially with spelling – the teacher kept dictating sentences and Tina spelled everything correctly. She’s a lot brighter than we gave her credit for, LOL!

After class we went to Luwak café with Justin, one of Tina’s classmates, and had dinner and drinks. The neighborhood by Xiamen University is just like any college town – lots of young people, art, good music - and many people speak English. Mark met us shortly after dinner, we went to another café/bar nearby, and had a tsing taos on the upstairs deck.
We ended the night by going to My Way, this cool little bar that somehow Tina and Mark found in their months of living here. We met up with this American couple getting their doctorates in anthroposophy in Xiamen - Tina and Mark had met before. Both very bright and on full scholarship… We talked about Xiamen, the people, the food, and had a great time. I feel like I’ve just begun to get a taste for the place and now I’m leaving!

I am looking forward to seeing you all back home and showing you the pics of our travels – we’ve had the best time! I land in Chicago at 4:40pm Friday if all goes as planned and I receive all my Orbitz TLC alerts.

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