Spur Of The Moment Decision

Spur Of The Moment Decision

After a spur of the moment, I’ve decided to book flights home to Ireland. Being away for 2 months, I will definitely miss my fiancé while I’m away. Unfortunately he’ll be staying in Chengdu for that time.

I think it’ll be a nice break from each other though. The only time we’ve been apart was when he went travelling with his sister for a week. It’s not that we need a break or we are getting fed up of each other. We have a great relationship.  Just a little time with my family without him will be nice! Plus it’ll make us appreciate each other more while I’m away!

As I still have no job, my thought was ‘well I’m not tied to work or anything at the moment, so this would be the best time to go and visit.’ Plus, If I don’t go home now,  god knows when I’ll be back. I miss my nephews and my sister a lot, and I know they can’t come here to visit.

I’m looking forward to visiting home; enjoying Mums food, catching up with friends, my sister, playing with my nephews. Even sleeping in my old room!

I would have booked flights just for a month, but because it was such late notice, the cheapest flights back to Chengdu aren’t until the end of August. And the cheapest leaving are only at the end of June. At least I won’t miss out on my last few weeks of studying. Only 3 weeks!

Another reason why I think it’s a good time to go home is because I have a few things to sort out at home, eg wedding info, bank things….. so I can sort all that out while there!

I don’t really have the money for visiting, but I suppose my family outweighs my financial concerns. When you’re away, you realise how important your family is, and how much you miss them… so I don’t mind paying for the flights to visit.

So as I’ll be away for 2 months, I will expect my Chinese level to go down… but…. I will definitely try and keep on studying! I know it’s all well and good saying that, but I really need to concentrate on my Chinese this summer. As I plan on moving up to Level 7, I need to make sure my level is up to par.

So that’s what my summer will entail!

再见

爱玲

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Trying to hide from our secret admirer! (aka Beag)

Trying to hide from our secret admirer! (aka Beag)

In one of my previous posts; Our Secret Dog I’ve mentioned our secretly adopted dog called Beag. He lives in the same building as us and we regularly see him in and around our complex. He’s such a cute dog and we would love to have him as our own. But, pity to say we can’t actually just rob him from his actual owners… but we like to pretend he’s ours!

A few days ago we had to pick up a box which my family sent me from Ireland, arriving in Chengdu in only about 6 days, it was extremely fast! We had to go and pick it up at the storage area, so we took a bus to go.

We stepped out of our building and started walking, and who did we meet but Beag. We were delighted to see him! So he started walking with us and sniffing about, out of our complex and down the road with us.

He would disappear for a few seconds, then suddenly reappear at our sides!

But then we started getting worried, we were still walking down the road and he was still following us. ‘I hope he doesn’t follow us all the way’, I thought. ‘What happens if we get on the bus and he jumps in with us?’

We were also afraid in case he becomes confused and can’t find his way home. Or a car or scooter hit him. They don’t stop for pedestrians crossing the road, they certainly won’t stop for a 1.5 foot dog!

But still he followed! And the cute thing was, he would be walking in front of us, and then look back to make sure we were still there!

Suddenly, he ran across the road and and started sniffing about ‘Good, maybe he will get distracted and will forget about us’. 

But no! Suddenly I see he’s back at our side!

Oh! A dog! He’ll definitely want to go over and have a smell, that’s our chance to lose him! 

Wrong again… Beag really wants to find out where we are going!

So we start getting to a corner of the street…. and we look around.

“Right Aisling, he’s distracted, quick, we’ll run around the corner and hopefully he’ll loose us and he’ll head back home”

So we started running around the corner and down the road to where we have to cross the street.

We made it to the road and look behind…

“Oh Aisling I see him! He’s coming this way! He’s looking around for us!”

Oh no, I really don’t want him crossing this road; it’s too busy and we don’t want him to get hurt.

We stand still and hope he doesn’t appear next to us.

“He’s passed us, but he’s still looking around” my boyfriend says.

The green light appeared, we quickly cross and start walking to the bus stop.

“I can see him, he’s at the bus stop at the opposite side, we’re ok!”

Phew! We didn’t exactly want him following us onto the bus. We had to go pretty far to collect my package.

…..

After we collected our package and headed home, we were wondering what happened to Beag… did he get home safe?

But thankfully the next day we saw him at our building!

He came running up to us and we started petting him, glad to see he made his way home!

Chinese people really love their dogs, but when they are on their own, it’s a little dangerous for them. Drivers only notice pedestrians crossing the street when they are literally 1 foot in front of them and then nearly crashing into them (haha sometimes we say drivers here wear those blinkers/blinders for horses and only see people when they are literally right on top of them), so they definitely won’t be looking out for small animals.

But hopefully Beag has a bit of common sense and will avoid the roads… oh and look left and right!

再见

爱玲

Cycling About In Chengdu!

Cycling About In Chengdu!

Lately, because the weather has been steadily becoming cooler and cooler, myself and my boyfriend decided that we should start cycling to work. During the summer it is just impossible because of the heat!

In my previous campus where I worked, I used to cycle. It was only 10 minutes down the road so it was handy to get to.

But now I’ve purchased a new fancy folding bike! These are becoming more common in Chengdu, as they are known as being a ‘city bike’. If you live in a small apartment, you can easily fold it up and store it somewhere.

The old bike that I had was bought at Walmart, and although I’ve had it for over 2 years, It was just a bit too heavy for me and had no gears. Because I had a basket at the front of it, it was great for going shopping with, but for cycling longer distances, it didn’t do the job.  My new bike has 6 gears and it’s much lighter, making it much easier to cycle about.

Before biking, I would either go with my boyfriend on his e-bike, or either take the bus. I didn’t really mind taking the bus, once I got a seat that was fine for me! But I was always worrying about traffic and if I would be late. Plus I had to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop from my apartment, then another 5/10 minutes to my work. So sometimes it took 30 minutes or sometimes 1 hour travelling! It all depended on the traffic.

Now with my bike, It takes me 30 minutes cycling to work! I don’t have to worry about heavy traffic and I always know roughly the time I will arrive. Less stress now!

Plus, because Chengdu is a very flat city.. hills are virtually non-existent.. so that also makes it much easier!

Although I do enjoying cycling, I am always on my guard. Always. Constantly looking behind me, to my left, right. People and drivers are very unpredictable here. No one here uses their indicators or mirrors. When I actually see somebody indicating I’m shocked!

Also, you rarely see anybody with helmets on… well actually you will.. when the weather gets cold in the winter and everyone has them on to keep their heads warm. That’s the only time you’ll see people wearing them! But we bought cycling helmets and a light that connects to the back, so people will see us in the dark. I feel a bit safer knowing that!

Some of my friends have asked me if I be worried while cycling… of course I do. I’m always afraid if someone will open their car door without looking and I’m coming from behind. (I actually get quite worried over this).

I’m afraid that a car will clip me, an e-bike will run through a run light and crash straight into me.. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to cross the road because no cars will let me out. I’m constantly worried.

That’s why I cycle slow and take my time, looking around to make sure nothing or nobody will suddenly appear in front of me.

My route to work isn’t the most scenic; there’s not much to look at… but I enjoy knowing that fact that I won’t be late for work… plus I’m also doing a bit of exercise!

再见!

爱玲

Visitors in 中国

At the moment, my boyfriends sister and her French boyfriend are in Chengdu visiting us. Flying into Beijing, they saw the most famous of places, before heading to Xi’an and then to Guilin. This was were they met me!

We spent a week in Guilin, where we visited the Rice Fields and then to Yangshuo, a beautiful place which everyone should try and visit one day.

We then took a 25 hour train from Guilin to Chengdu (although we very nearly missed it; that will be another blog post) and we arrived to a lovely sunny day! Chengdu really did pull out all the stops for our visitors.

But I am so glad we are back home in our own apartment. I’ve only been travelling a week but I’m exhausted. It’s nice to get back to familiarity and not having to worry about how to get somewhere or where to eat.

In a few days we head out to Western Sichuan to an area called Kangding, where we will do some hiking and visit the pretty grasslands.

I will post pictures of my trip in my next blog!

再见!

爱玲

Invited to a BBQ

So about a week ago, we were invited to a BBQ/housewarming party by one of my boyfriends friends. He actually used to live in our community and building… but because his Chinese wife is pregnant, they decided to move to a bigger apartment. I have only seen him a few times coming and going from our building, so it was nice to be invited!

After work we travelled to his apartment, which happened to be close by our own… and let’s just say… we were both a teeny bit jealous of his new place….. mainly by the fact that they have a huge rooftop area because they live on the top floor.

I would say, their rooftop area would be the size of our whole apartment! I’m sure it is lovely being there when it is sunny! This is when I really miss our garden in Ireland.

When we move from our own apartment… maybe, just maybe we might find one with a rooftop…. even just a balcony will do me!

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再见

爱玲

The Late 20’s Club.

The Late 20’s Club.

So I’ve finally joined the ‘The  Late 20’s Club’. Ha, I remember at one stage me thinking ‘Oh I want to be older so I can do loads of stuff.’ When I was 18 I always wanted to look older… When someone said ‘Oh you look older than 18’ I was delighted. (Although this was when I had plenty of make-up on me). I hated having to be asked for ID when going to bars and clubs.

However now, that definitely isn’t the case. I always used to think that I looked young for my age, but now I’m not too sure. Maybe now I look more mature, but I’m beginning to feel like I look my age… and I’m not really sure what to make of it! Maybe I could be totally wrong… but I certainly see a difference in myself from 2 years ago.

So for my 26th birthday, me, my boyfriend and another 2 couples that we met in Level 1 in our Uni, we went for Beijing duck in a really popular restaurant North West of Chengdu. It is a bit of a travel from our place but it is worth it. The duck is delicious and it’s juicy and not fatty at all. Plus we ordered other dishes which were all lovely too.

I hope, one day, if my parents visit and we can bring them to Chengdu and they can come to this place.

And…my friends even bought me a cheesecake! Chinese cake really is terrible, but the one they got is a Western style cheesecake, and it was delicious! After eating this we were all stuffed!

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And they spelt my name right!

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My lovely friends

After this, we headed to one of our friends apartment and drank some imported beer, took a shot of Korean Soju, and tasted berry flavoured vodka. It was a great night!

However it makes me sad to think next year my birthday will be rather different. With one couple moving back to the UK in the summer, the other planning on heading back to the US next year, and us thinking of moving to another city in China…. this will be the last time we are together for my birthday.

Even for my last birthday and who came to celebrate, 6/7 have left already.

But I suppose, we now have an excuse to visit Scotland and America to see them! And when myself and my boyfriend move to Mexico, then they can definitely come to visit us! That would be great!

再见!

爱玲

New Year Hot Pot

Last New Years, we celebrated just by ourselves… this time around, we were invited to our friends place for some Hot Pot!

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We arrived at her place about 7 and we ate until our bellies were bursting; she really did her best with the food, preparing loads of vegetables and meat to cook. Two of her friends joined us later in the night… one has a little English, but the other….. well, let’s just say he needs a bit more practise.

So we spent a good chunk of the night actually practising Mandarin with them. Our new friend is a baker, and he brought us a lovely cake to eat. He kept saying to us “Me baker”… but he now knows the correct way of saying it! Although he had VERY little English, he did try his best to communicate in English so that was good to see.

A lot of the time when the Chinese people were talking, we would try and catch what they were saying…. good listening practice!

After we finished the hot pot, we cracked open the cake! At first I thought it was going to be one of those airy/full of cream Chinese cakes that are seen everywhere, but delightfully, it was made of mango and chocolate ice-cream! It was also shaped as a log with jelly flowers.

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Our new friend told us that he wants to learn English so he can read English recipes, so that one day he can open his own shop and bake. The cake was delicious so he was very happy.

At 12am, we rang in the Chinese New Year with a Mandarin song. We ran to the window to see if we could see any sign of fireworks, but because Chengdu banned fireworks in the middle of the city, we could only faintly see them far away. I remember in Hangzhou, us look looking out of our hostel bedroom watching them… they were so loud!

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After the food and snacks, we decided to head home as we were now so tired from all the food!

新年快乐!

爱玲