Food, Lifestyle, New Friends, Travel

Goodbyes

April 2, 2011 SPRING BREAK

Today I slept in because it was the first day I don’t have classes, the first day of Spring Break, the last day I can hang out with friends to say goodbye, and well, I sleep in everyday anyway.

Meimei woke me up with her phone call at 11am and said she wanted to take me to lunch. She is so sweet so I was persuaded to leave my bed. I’m really going to miss her.

I met her outside the east gate as she got out of a taxi. We hugged and she handed me the cutest panda stuffed animals as a parting gift. I hope these pandas are ready to fly. After drinking tea at the campus tea shop to chat and then putting my pandas to rest in my room we went for a walk. The weather was beautiful today. It was so warm that I took off my jacket. Fortunately, our stroll ended at Jinli street where we ate noodles and tofu. We had such a great time reminiscing. I promised to come back to China so Meimei changed her pout to a smile before she left to go to work.

Everyone tells me to stop eating so many sweets because it is unhealthy, but I went back to Jinli Street to satisfy my craving for the sweet fried rice balls. Delicious! It was so packed at Jinli Street today and full of foreigners from all over the world. I just took my time and didn’t rush through the crowds. I knew that this would be my last stroll down Jinli for a month. I passed a tea shop where a man was sifting tea leaves with his hands. The tea smelt so good! I walked past the Starbucks to say goodbye to Eleven, Coco, and Andy, and was treated to a grande caramel macchiato on the house. Sweet!

Check out this guys shoes. I know he is cleaning the wood framing of the windows on the Opera House, but I swear he is not your average cleaning guy. I also think he is the guy that stands at the entrance of Jinli Street in full Opera costume. The shoes give him away. Check older posts that are tagged Jinli Street. I am sure it’s him.

I finished my walk today by taking random photos along the street on my way home because I’m really going to miss this place when my semester is over. Oh well, no time for tears. Dinner with Keely’s parents and friends is at 7:30pm. Time to refresh, pick out a dress for the nice restaurant I booked reservations at for them, and make sure I call the guys to tell them to wear button down shirts. There is never enough time.

So, I have been to this restaurant before but everyone else hadn’t had the pleasure yet so it was a nice surprise for them. Jinli Dayuan is a hidden jewel in the back of Jinli Street. It is beautiful on the outside and the private rooms on the inside are just gorgeous. This is the first time we all had to deal with a multiple chopstick setting. We figured to work it from the outside in just like in America. We came to this conclusion because the main dishes are set in the middle of the table so you would need to use the longer chopsticks to reach them. Clever Chris. Everyone was happy that Jason was part of our friend group because he really saved the night. The big photos in the menu gave you an idea of what you wanted, but Jason helped with wine selection and Chinese wine pairing. Check out this bottle of 1573 BaiJiu. It definitely had a better taste than the stuff we have tried that tastes like rubbing alcohol. There is something to be said about 53 proof wine. It had a pleasant after taste and gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling similar to the feeling you get after sipping of bourbon. The only difference is that you take shots with BaiJiu. 干杯!!! or shall I say, “Bottoms Up.” The servers kept our glasses full all night. It is a good thing that they were very little shot glasses. Thanks for taking Keely’s friends to an awesome dinner Keely’s parents.

Spoiler alert: If you follow cricket or football and haven’t watched the Cricket World Cup Finals or the Premier League match yet don’t read the next paragraph.

Dinner ended just in time to join friends at the Leg to watch the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals 2011 between India and Sri Lanka. It just so happened that I was rooting for India and they won. On the other screen was the West Brom vs Liverpool Barclays Premier League match. I was for the red team because everyone around me was. I think they won too. I was paying more attention to the Cricket game though because of it’s loud supporters who were very entertaining. I also am a big fan of the Bollywood movie Lagaan which features cricket. Intense! I was starting to get hungry again as the game neared its end, so when I heard a friend was heading to the street corner for food I tagged along. The best noodles, garlic, veggies, and potato snack ever!

After the game I escorted myself down the stairs and I wandered over to Paname to say goodbye to friends there. These places were conveniently close. My heels thank them.

After hanging out for a bit, like the true gentlemen they are, my friends grabbed the first taxi for me and saw me off. I made it safely home and slept so good…until I woke up a few hours later to pack a little. I took off my bracelet to stuff it in my luggage, and just as it left my wrist it slipped from my fingertips and shattered on the floor into about 8 different pieces. I was so devastated that I cried. It was special to me because it was given to me from the heart, and now it is broken. I tried to sleep off my grief, but nothing would calm me. I felt terrible. This is exactly why we can’t have nice things!

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