A Travellerspoint blog

Sandstorm Central

new dance moves and the last time I talk about robot debates for a while

Last Friday I was ordered by Mi Wa to close my window. Apparently there was to be a sandstorm Friday night. I imagined large violent gusts of sand, like those on the planet Tatooine in Star Wars. When I woke up the next day, I looked outside instead of the greyish smog or occasional blue sky, I saw orange. I saw that the presence of the "sand" somehow caused this strange orange hue even though the sand was not overpowering at all, hardly visible when looking out the window. My excitement of this new phenomenon quickly turned to annoyance. As I walked to my bus stop I saw a semi-large gust of sand ominously twisting about in the wind. Mi Wa told me to cover my eyes. Having never experienced a sandstorm of any sort I had no idea how to gauge how serious this was. As the somewhat thin yet widespread gust approached me, I went into something like a fetal position, gripping my hands tightly over my face. I dared not open my eyes or my mouth for fear they would become encased in sand. I remained this way, no doubt, long after the gust had passed, and after a long moment asked Mi Wa if I could open my eyes now. I had assumed she had been right next to me the whole time covering her face in the same manner, but in fact she had walked farther ahead, clearly undisturbed by the sand, and was now laughing at my stupidity. I weathered Saturday in the sandstorm. The sand did get into ones eyes quite easily especially when it was wind and it also found its way into ones mouth. Often, long after having been out, I would grit my teeth and experience an unwelcome hard grainy crunch. The sand was actually pretty disgusting. It was (and tasted like) sand consistency, but really was more of a dirty powder which filled the air and made breathing slightly unpleasant. This kind of sandstorm, we learned, is common in the spring when it is very windy and sands come down from Mongolia. On this sandstorm day we went to the silk market (xiu shui) after briefly getting lost. It was enormous and about five stories. The first had shoes and bags, the second "designer" clothes, the third more clothes, the fourth silk and toys, and the fifth silk and jewelry. With every step some vendor would yell something at you. If you were passing a store selling silken clothes a vendor might say "hey, you want the Chinese style clothes" or something. It doesn't seem so bad compared to aggressive vendors elsewhere, but going by so many so quickly is exhausting and once you find something you like you have little energy left to bargain. That's when they drive you insane, repeating "this silk is so nice, lady, I can't sell it for that price, blahblah etc etc. Even when you do whole the "I don't need it that badly, I'm leaving" charade they still take forever to lower their price and you have to turn around every five steps to wait for their new lowest price. After that tiring trip I slept at Emily's with Michelle and Celina. We all made spaghetti, which I have been missing dearly and it was great. Today they got their hair cut asian style. I wasn't about to go in there and get my hair cut since most places in America don't even know what to do with my hair. Here everyone has relatively similar thin, straight, black hair, whereas mine is extremely thick and curly. It is also worrisome that there is no word here for curly. I think that is a sign the stylests here might have a hard time with my hair. They were even fascinated with Emily's hair which is as close to Asian as western hair gets, aside from its blondness.
Subject Change!
The robot debate actually didn't happen and will be on a Sunday in April. I guess classes can make kids go in on Sundays.
Subject Change!
Our dance routine, though already extremely lengthy has added an additional tap-dancing/tai chi segment. It looks about as nuts as it sounds. I don't know how to do either of these things, but that has not seemed to stop the psycho dance teachers thus far. I'm not sure I can think of a more ridiculous event, oh wait doing ballet jumps up and down to "john Jacob jingle hymer shmidt".

Posted by Maia L 06:12

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