A lot of folks back home often ask me what a normal day is like. The trouble with this is that when something is normal, you often forget what exactly happens. I took one day to document almost everything I did. Take note that this particular day was a bit busier than my normal days... but still fairly boring. Enjoy!
7:35AM- Roll out of bed
I have been setting my cell phone clock five minutes ahead to help rush me a bit. Sometimes it works. Usually, it just tells me I have five extra minutes to procrastinate.
WARNING: Next picture may completely change your opinion of me. Yes, folks, this is me in my raw form. This beacon of shining beauty is what Jason will have the pleasure of waking up to every morning for the rest of his life. It's painful to take in... but there it is for all of you to see.
In no time at all and with minimal effort, I'm ready to face the world!
Well, almost ready.
8:15AM- Off to class! Coffee and class activities in hand, I rush off on my five-minute trek to class. Here's a quick shot of the teacher's lounge. Growing up, I was always curious about the teacher's lounge. It always seemed the teachers were so anxious to get in and shut the door behind them, like it was the gate into a teacher's version of Narnia filled with red marking pens and teacher's dirty looks competitions. Turns out it's pretty anti-climactic. But we do have a flat-screen TV.
8:30-12:30- Class time! Today's activity was to take a personality quiz and discuss the results. It was pretty interesting to hear what my more "mature" students had to say about their findings.
12:45- WOOHOO LUNCH! My favorite part of the day is eatin' time! This day, I went to one of my favorite spots near my house, The Bridge Cafe. It's a little escape from crazy Beijing life and they have amazing coffee with free re-fills. I went with a panini and side salad and coffee. Total cost? A spendy 50 RMB... but that still works out to about $7 USD. Steep, yes. Worth it? On a day like today, definitely.
2:30 PM- After running a few errands, it's back home for a quick break before my next class at 4PM. At first, I thought about doing my dishes...
... but decided to check my email and have a chocolate instead.
Read the local paper and get frustrated at the government-operated press.
4 PM- Off to class, then back at 6 PM. Put in an hour of yoga via my laptop.
7:30- DINNER TIME! (Notice how excited I get for meals?) Samara comes over for Hot Pot (huo guo) which is basically a hot, flavored broth that you throw random things into and then go fishing for once they've cooked. We had quite the spread, including some leftover lamb and beef slices, tofu, bok choy, spinach, and sweet potato.
9:15 PM- The story of my life. After a lovely meal and conversation, I finally get around to the pile of dishes I'd been putting off, which has now doubled in size.
10:20 PM- Dishes, kitchen floor, countertops, stove, and eating area CLEANED and DONE with the help of Earth, Wind, and Fire (the band, not the Planeteers). Think about doing laundry...
Learn from past mistakes and put a load into the machine. Break time with some pirated TV on Youku and another chocolate (heehee). Bonus points to whomever can recognize the opening credits.
11 PM- Bake some banana bread. I love my friends. They love my banana bread. I dislike brown bananas. Banana bread loves brown bananas. It's an even exchange.
12 AM- Laundry machine goes crazy after second load. At first, it wouldn't stop washing. Then, it wouldn't stop spin-drying. It's going to be a long night. I take a shower because THIS is what I look like by the end of it all.
2 AM- BED TIME. FINALLY. But first, hang up laundry to dry! Since the winters in Beijing are so incredibly dry, it's recommended that you hang your laundry inside your bedroom so that you can breathe in some of the moisture from your wet clothes as they dry. Also, putting them outside on the balcony (yang tai) can sometimes be too cold which could possibly lead to frozen clothing!
Crazy busy day. Four hours of class tomorrow at 8:30. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Snore.