Lack of Xiananigans

It’s been far too long since I updated as life proved to be a flurry of activity the last few weeks of the semester and the first week or so of summer vacation. I’m going to do a Quartz-style daily brief wrap-up.

Quartz daily brief

I attended the Strawberry Music Festival with my GRE tutor on June 1. The festival included Shaanxi opera, indie, electro pop, and some local favorites such as 黑撒 or Black Head. I listen to Black Head regularly much to Jason’s dismay since the band primarily sings in Shaanxi dialect. I am waiting for pics of the day from my GRE tutor’s brother-in-law so that this can become a stand-alone entry. Organizers at Modern Sky Records and Xi’an Concert Hall presented more than 40 artists from China and abroad at 西安’s Strawberry Music Festival on June 1 and 2. The two-day festival attracted more than 40,000 music fans 西安’s Daming Palace National Heritage Park. 大明宫, Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang Dynasty for more than 220 years, located in its capital Chang’an, modern day Xi’an.

Jason and I enjoyed a one-night stay at the Xi’an Sheraton Hotel. Coined “订婚蜜夜,” we enjoyed the amenities including the pool, a buffet breakfast, and a tub. We even tried some new cuisine of spicy steamed fish after walking for what seemed like an eternity. It was an opportunity granted to us by a former co-worker of his and certainly well received since it served as a getaway whilst still in Xi’an.

Sandro took engagement photos of us before a double date at Delhi Darbar. Jason and I hardly have any photos of the two of us considering that he always behind the camera. As Sandro is a photo aficionado and even gave Jason a new lens for his birthday, we couldn’t think of anyone more up to the task than him. We made it into an evening by having dinner at Delhi Darbar. We took photos at Shaanxi Normal University since there are some quintessential Chinese gazebos and more greenery in general. Some more photos were also taken at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. They will be available in a separate photo essay.

Jason and I traveled to Beijing, where I took the GRE. Again, this will be expanded into a stand-alone entry, complete with a integrated photo essay. I did pretty well on the test all things considered, and as I had imagined I was the only non-Chinese participating in the computer-based test. In addition to spending most of my time cramming, Jason and I ate a lot of Western food, walked around Sanlitun, visited the U.S. Embassy, and spent countless hours traveling to and fro via the subway.

Summer is heating up. Not necessarily weather wise, as today is particularly cool and the weather report has called for showers on and off for the last several days and the upcoming week but I mean in terms of keeping me busy. A former colleague of mine has helped to line up several jobs for me (TOEFL tutoring or training), Tangshan has asked for classes again, and I am at Green Molly twice a week. I’m also utilizing my time to prepare for my fall writing classes, looking for some freelance writing or editing gigs, getting involved in copy editing for the local expat magazine, in addition to working on my grad school apps.

Next up: the engagement photo essay, Beijing trip wrap-up, and China news and commentary.

2 thoughts on “Lack of Xiananigans

  1. Helen Kluger says:

    As always I love reading your blog. Even though we Skype almost weekly it is wonderful to read a more comprehensive summary of your life.

    • maklu001 says:

      It’s quite ironic that I am better at presenting myself on paper, rather than conversationally. It still manages to floor me that I am able to “teach.”

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