Thursday, April 21, 2005

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

I Dont Wanna Work...
Originally uploaded by billmcgonigle.
Get my first vacation starting next week. Yaaay! It was supposed to start on Saturday and run through the following Thursday, but the owner of my school did me a huge favor. I only have one class on Friday, a really annoying company class, and I get Thursday off every week. She knows how troublesome the company class is (and I think we don't really care about their business any longer as is... long story), so she convinced them to cancel next week's class. That means I get an extra two days of vacation!

I'm taking the opportunity to see some of China that I haven't seen. I came to China to practise my Chinese and see the country, my number one priority (well, not while teaching) is not to make money. So unlike some of my co-workers, I'm happy to get out of town and drop a little cash doing so.

From Harbin I'll be flying on a small prop to Qingdao, a city known for it's beer. Qingdao is supposedly a very pretty seaside town with a lot of German architecture and delicious seafood. Since I have more time now, I might make it to some sights outside of town.

From Qingdao I'll take a bus to Qufu, birthplace, hometown, and burial site of Kongzi, aka Confucious. I'm looking forward to honoring the man who found gave us great wisdom like "Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day" and "Baseball wrong: man with four balls can not walk."

After Qufu, it'll be another short bus ride to Tai An, and the base of Tai Shan, China's holiest mountain. I plan on climbing the mountain one day, sleeping on the top, and then waking to see the sun rise. It is the first spot in China one can see the sun rise, and its supposed to be gorgeous and inspiring. After that, I'll climb back down, and jump on a bus to Jinan.

By the time I get to Jinan, there shouldn't be much time left in the vacation, so I'll hop a flight back to Harbin, and should be back in my apartment by 9 PM Thursday night. The following day will be a Friday with a Saturday schedule and then a Saturday with a Sunday schedule (I feel like I'm back in college). Then I'll have a day off to catch up on sleep.

I'm really excited, as I'm going to see a bit of modern, cosmopolitan China, some history, and some natural beauty. Plus, I'm sure, a lot of temples. Should be an adventure. Hooray!

On a side note, the picture above is from the Drum Tower in Beijing. Think I mentioned it in an earlier post, back in February. I was lucky to catch these guys at work, and it was quite cool. Each drum sends a prayer for some different nature of blessing, and the rhythm used exerts some influence as well.


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