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Visiting Chengdu

Hello!

It’s the third week of school and things have settled down a little so I have time to do a lot of things these days. For example, yesterday I spent all night on youtube watching random videos for fun. Yes, for fun…Everytime I do something for fun, I feel extremely guilty because MY STUDENTS ARE STILL WEAK, THEY STILL CAN’T READ, THEY STILL FAIL AND I’M WATCHING VIDEOS FOR FUN?!?!?!

*breathes in and out furiously

But I figured, I MUST not burn out so soon like last year. Last year, when March rolled around, I was ready to pack my stuff and leave this place because I was sooooo burnt out! I was sleeping 4 hours every night, printing worksheets till the wee hours of the morning, planning and thinking about my kids all night. But nope, this year, I figured I gotta work hard but I have to relax a little more too. I’m running a marathon here, so can’t compromise my sanity so soon!

Ok so blogging is part of my strategy to maintain sanity, especially blogging about something other than teaching. Yay!

Last month, I visited my best friend in China! We haven’t seen each other since we graduated 1.5 years ago so it was really good to know that we still haven’t really changed much (though admittedly we’re more serious and boring now cos we’re both teachers and we spent half the time talking about teaching strategies -_- )

Chengdu was really cold since it’s winter now and I spent 6 days there wrapped in at least 5 layers of clothing T___T

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Ok I’m a lousy tourist cause I don’t remember names of places so this is umm..a fashion street in the city. Lots of people just like in Hong Kong!

You know what I can’t get used to here?

Not the rude people, they’re not that bad here. But the toilets. I CAN’T stand squatting toilets, despite coming from a country where we have them too. But in China, there are NO sitting toilets except in very fancy hotels. It’s really gross cause when they have sitting toilets, people squat on them and leave shoe stains!
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This is Li and me. She’s Shanshan’s cousin’s girlfriend who is super chatty and cute. We’re eating icecream in this freezing weather cause we’re cool like that. I think some of my brain cells froze to death that day.

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We ate at this tea house that has Sichuan opera! Crazy amount of food (people eat like crazy here but I’ve not seen a single fat person)

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The famous face-changing performance! Basically they will change their masks just by turning their faces slightly, or using a fan to cover their face for literally 0.1 second. It’s a secret technique that noone outside their clans would know, super amazing to see it in person!

AND!

THE MOST AMAZING THING I SAW ON THIS TRIP!

BEHOLD LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

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PANDASSSSSSSSSSSSS
(Well, a panda here)

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it! It’s such a surreal feeling to see something you’ve never seen in real life before, like seeing a unicorn or a flying pig!

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More pandas! Everyone there was just aww-ing and ahh-ing at everything the pandas do. Pandas eating bamboo, AWWWWW! Pandas got up to get another bamboo, OMG CUTEEEE! Pandas playing with their bamboo, AWW *heart melts

Seriously, life is good as a panda.

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Shanshan and I! and a random angry lady behind us wtf

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MOAR PANDAS FOR YOU!

All they do is eat and eat. They don’t move or do anything cute also!! Feels a bit cheated wtf

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Intermission: here’s your favourite beautiful Shanshan! As beautiful as ever. And she’s single now! She lives in the States though so if you’re ready for a long distance relationship, apply within wtf

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Baby pandas sunbathing AWW
We thought they were dead though cause they didn’t move AT ALL hahaha

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Oops I ate too much teehee I’m so cute no matter what I do cause I have black patches around my eyes teehee

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Baby panda sho cuteee

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The end of panda pictures, here’s me eating some street food. All I do is eat and eat, cause it’s so cold must keep warm ma!

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Chengdu’s favourite past time: have your ears dug by professionals on the street! HAHAHA not even kidding. Shanshan said it apparently feels REALLY good cause they got skillzz

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Some old street #lousytourist

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Some sign I can’t read. By the way, my Mandarin improved by like 2384910826 times in that trip cause NOBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH in that entire city.

When we spoke English on the train, some guy actually approached us to say how admirable it is to see two chinese girls speak English. At first it was flattering but he kept standing really close to listen in on our conversation -____-
Seriously, out of all the places I’ve been to, China has the least amount of people who can understand and speak English. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to major cities like Beijing or Shanghai though.

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Starbucks in the middle of ancient town, a sign of modern capitalism. It costs a bomb though, everything there costs wayyy more than in Malaysia to my surprise.

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Reminds me of the very beautiful Lijiang :)

I think there are more pictures (mostly camwhore pictures) but I think that’s it for today! Must maintain the suspense so if you don’t see my pictures too often and when you do see it, you’ll feel like how I felt when I saw the pandas wtf *perasan

When I told my kids I went to China and Thailand during the holidays, they were like “yer teacher you’re so rich!!”. I think I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel so often. Tickets to Thailand was ridiculously affordable even on my meagre teacher salary, and Shanshan sponsored half my ticket to China! (and I didn’t spend a single cent there :P)

Another good news is I got selected to represent Teach For Malaysia to a conference in New Delhi, India! It’s fully sponsored too, so I’m counting my lucky stars again :D I’ve always wanted to visit India, despite the new outrage, so I’m quite excited about the trip!

That’s all for today. Long day tomorrow since we are having our annual Merentas Desa run (cross-country run) and I’m stationed at the paddy field checkpoint (my favourite place here).

I can’t help smiling when I see the kids running past me with their eyes furrowed intensely, shirt drenched in sweat, pleading for water. Most, if not all of them, even greet me midst run. “Good afternoon teacher!” So cute lah cannot tahan. I don’t think I’ll have the energy to even look at people during a run, much less greet them!

The cutest of the lot are the small tiny ones running with so much enthusiasm. The young ones are always the most enthusiastic about everything and always have so much zest and happiness. I love kids so much. I love interacting with them, I love watching them get excited about things, I love getting all this positive energy from them! Though some of them are real devils, but I couldn’t have asked for better clients to work for everyday :)

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I left my heart at Lijiang

I’m too excited to blog about the rest of the pictures so I’ll just put all of them in one post now. Don’t wanna hide them in my computer anymore!

Day 3, we went cycling! Rented the bikes for only 15 yuan/day and cycled for SIX HOURS.

I have a basket to put my bag ^_^ The guys were quite worried cause I was wearing skirt but who says you can’t cycle in skirts!

Roy and I

It took us one hour to get to Baisha Village but it wasn’t tiring at all cause we get THIS FREAKING BREATHTAKING VIEW

Man selling candies by the side of the street

Pretty flowers

Sigh I want to go back to Lijiang

I was so happy

Seriously I don’t even need captions for these pictures. The mountain looks sooo fake, like those cloth backdrop where you can roll up after taking the picture. This place is perfect I tell you T___T

See how shy my face is! That’s cause the mountain is just too pretty *shy wtf

At Baisha Village. Love it! But cycling here hurts so much cause the roads are very uneven T_T

Tried this at the village….it was like some jelly with chilli and salt…

Went to another village after that. Can you imagine cycling here? It’s so amazing I weep to sleep everynight

Shuhe Old Town. The clouds are so pretty T___T

At the town

=D

Eating extremely fresh vegetable!

Chinese people have very intense poses wtf

Spent close to an hour listening to this guy play his guitar and sing Chinese songs ♥

That’s all for Day 3. We were dead tired after that so we just chilled in a bar the whole night.

Went to the Black Dragon Pool on Day 4!

Roy, can you be a normal sane person for once wtf

wow I look sooo tired

Roy acting weird again hahaha

Wow the colors are amazing!!

Too pretty to be captioned

I love this picture! Look at the reflections! It’s my desktop background now :)

Another reason why I love Lijiang is cause the weather there is so perfect. Around 15-25 celcius and not very humid so my curls stay for a very long time =D

All of us! Normal looking picture for once wtf

This place has the most perfect view of the snow mountain ♥

At the tower

View of the entire town from the tower! I love this place more every second

At night, we cycled to the outskirts and there wasn’t any light at all so we had to use torch lights! Such a scary experience but super worth it. We cycled 30 minutes away from the town to this empty grassland and laid there looking at the stars. We didn’t even talk much and just laid there in silence. Most amazing feeling in the world :)

There are a few more pictures but I think I posted too many so I’ll end here!

Lijiang is in Yunnan province, which is the province with the best scenery in China. The things there are not expensive and I think it’s better to not go on a tour and just do your own thing at your own pace. Wikitravel has a great coverage on what you should do or see! You guys should really visit this place =D

Oh wait, last picture of the day.

Most important lesson we learnt in China- thou must carry with you one roll of tissue paper. Toilets here are notorious for being dirty so be prepared!

I had the most amazing time with the bestest and funniest companions and I will always remember Lijiang till the day I die WTF damn corny. But it’s true, I went without much expectations and this place just blew me away.

I wanted to split this post into two so there’s some sort of suspense element in my blog wtf but I guess I was just too impatient and excited to show all the pictures =.= Anyway I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures!

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Lijiang Day 1-2

Hello everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m back!!!!!

from only the best trip ever!!!!

Seriously once you see my pictures you will surely want to go to Lijiang too! I don’t know how to describe how amazing this place is in words so I’ll post like a million pictures and you can all see for yourself. Trust me when I say a million wtf.

44 pictures just on Day 1. Die lah you all your browsers will hang for sure!

ok 3,2,1 ready set go!

I went on this trip with two of the stupidest guys ever hahhaa. That’s Koki and Roy!

Upon arrival at Lijiang, we took a cab to our hostel and this is what greeted us in the car *big wet eyes

At the old town!

The view from our room window! Pick up your jaw this is just the beginning!! Can you imagine waking up to this everyday?

Our hostel which is super highly recommended. It’s only RM30 for one night and although it’s a hostel and not a hotel, it’s extremely clean and the staff are very friendly. I think staying in hostels beat staying in hotels anytime!

Walked around the old town at night!

The old town is sooo pretty that it looks fake. It looks almost like Disneyworld or something where they are all just props, except that everything is obviously real. Le sigh I should just move here seriously.

Oh the old town is also classified as UNESCO world heritage site!

You can buy one of these and let it float down the river!

Lots and lots of tourists here though

Sifang square

A shop selling colorful trinkets!

We went into one of the many ‘clubs’ there. They give you this block of wood to knock on the table to cheer on the performers wtf. These ‘clubs’ have dancers performing one!

Bunch of old perverty looking old men dancing at the dancefloor hahhaa

SUPER BIG dog!

OK on to the real start of our trip! Those are just teasers only wtf I told you it’s gonna be long! Remember to bring popcorn while reading this wtf

Real Naxi breakfast to start the day.

Uncle Mao at the town

We then took a bus to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain!

On the way there

Me looking extremely pleased with the view!

Can’t say the same for the guys wtf hahahhaha WTF ARE YOU DOING ROY

All of us!

We reached this place before taking another bus up to the cable car

Clouds covering the snow mountain. Wait till you see it later! You’ll wet your pants for sure wtf

Excited :D

In the bus up to the cable car!

View of mountains from cable car

The cable car ride was quite scary cause it was so cloudy that we couldn’t see where we were going

At the snow mountain…………………….

T_____T

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Being there to see this and looking at the picture are two completely different feelings T__________T It was just way too beautiful

Stop looking at me like that, you naughty snow mountain you *shy

Koki and I with the snow mountain!

Roy jumping into the clouds wtf

Our life saviour seriously. Without this can of oxygen we would have died cause we climbed till the top and the air was sooo thin up there

Pretz, my other life saviour =D

Going higher and higher!

Snow is my name! wtf

The view of the valley from above. I love the clouds!

Finally reached the top! Soooo tiring but extremely worth it :D

I don’t know what they are doing half the time wtf

Hotpot dinner after freezing our asses at the mountain! So good!

We were so tired but on the way back to our hostel, we saw this view and all our fatigue was melted away =D

THE best drink in the world- yak yoghurt! Without this my trip wouldn’t be completed! Too bad I can’t find it anywhere =(

Anyway that’s the end of day 1 and 2! Still got 4 days to go and the trip only gets better from here ♥