While ZJ sleeps, I figured I’d get in a quick update regarding winter break, the wedding, and our post-wedding trip.
ZJ and I traveled to Guangzhou last week for personal reasons. I don’t want to get ahead of myself about discussing why we went. Irregardless, we got to spend some quality time with my friend Irina. We were particularly lucky to have a free place to stay, at Irina’s boyfriend’s apartment. I will post pictures in a separate post when my VPN decides to cooperate with me on my MacBook.
In addition to our two-day trip, we’ve been working on finalizing details for the wedding. We are doing some shopping today in that regards, mostly for decorations and ZJ’s attire. My dresses have already arrived, which we ordered from Taobao. Note that I said dresses, because we ordered three. I do not want to post pictures as I would much rather keep you all in suspense. I will wear at least two, as one is more of a princess gown for the first part of the ceremony, where I will be picked up at the hotel and brought to ZJ’s home. The second dress is more of a traditional qipao, but floor length and intended to be worn in winter. I will be able to wear long johns underneath, however they may not be all that thick. I’m anticipating that I will be cold, but the phrase beauty is pain is quite appropriate here.
Deanna arrives on February 2, and the ceremony is scheduled for the fifth. We are still unsure when the foreign guests will arrive. ZJ’s older brother will drive some of them, while one or two guests will take the bus. ZJ’s hometown is a village which is situated in a town, and that town is part of a county. Myself, Deanna, and the other foreign guests will stay in the largest county hotel the night before the ceremony. Part of the ceremony will include ZJ and some of his male friends and family coming to pick me up at the hotel, followed by a small “exchange of vows” ceremony (?) and lunch with toasting.
After the wedding, myself, ZJ, Deanna, Sara and Sandro will travel to Lijiang and Dali. The only option we have is to fly to Lijiang, explore some of the more natural landscapes such as Tiger Leaping Gorge on the outskirts of Lijiang before making our way to Dali and some of the pristine lakes surrounding it. I’ve called this trip our post-wedding trip because I do not consider this a honeymoon by any means. We have every intent of having a ceremony in the States, however when that will actually come to fruition, we can’t say. Therefore, our Chinese ceremony is merely the first step in a two step process. After step two, a ceremony in the States, is when we can have a honeymoon. I’ve been besides myself with many people’s comments here in China about a honeymoon, and how they find it odd that other people will be accompanying us on our travels. Although I attempt to explain the idea of this trip being mere travels and not remotely anything like a honeymoon, all this falls on deaf ears. One of a myriad of reasons why I have a very limited group of Chinese friends, and not something I wish to delve into at the moment.
As for the remaining parts of my break, I am still private tutoring a student who will leave for the States quite soon. Much of my time was eaten up by preparing for our trip to Guangzhou. I get in some gym time as well as this past Sunday joined some of the other teachers for brunch and exploring a market that is a cross between the Muslim Quarter and your run-of-the-mill vegetable market, where I managed to snag an entire bag of spinach for one kuai (one renminbi)! I also took Line 1 of the Metro for the first time, only having ever been on Line 2; Xi’an currently only has two lines.
We will be heading to ZJ’s 老家 some time around the 28. I will make attempts to get in some more posts before then. I’m full of ideas; it’s just a matter of putting the metaphorical pen to paper.
Any particular requests or questions I could answer and elaborate on, in hopes of curating a blog post?