13 – 2 + 5 1/2 = Eine muntere Gesellschaft So, we’re on holiday, right? And one of my students had asked me, if I would like to go hiking with her. I thought that might be a good idea and began asking around to find more people who’d be interested to join. Quite a number of people (both students and colleagues) expressed an interest, so that by yesterday (Sunday) I thought it might be a good idea to start looking for transportation. We had enough people at this time to be needing a second van. Problem #1: It’s the holiday. One of the biggest holidays of the year, at that. Well, the holiday itself isn’t actually really the problem. We like holidays. It’s just that the problem with holidays here is that half the nation tends to be traveling and is in need of transportation, which leads us to Problem #2: All vans are booked. At least by the time I started to think about calling various drivers, none of them was available …
Es ist mal wieder Zeit zum Spielen It was game time, once more. Except, this time I didn’t get to play with my university students, this time, I got to play with those who are a head (or a couple of heads shorter). We spent a lovely hour with the kids from one of the orphanages around here, and I guess, they were happy about our visit, and so were we … Es hieß mal wieder “Spielzeit.” Nur, dieses Mal hab ich mal nicht mit meinen Universitätsstudenten “gespielt,” diesmal durfte ich mal mit denen spielen, die einen Kopf (oder mehrere Köpfe) kleiner sind. Und wir verbrachten eine nette Stunde mit den Kindern von einem der Waisenhäuser in der Gegend, und ich nehme an, sie haben sich mindestens genauso über unseren Besuch gefreut wie wir …
It’s a tradition already. Every year, I take students and friends on a little bike trip to the airport. Of course, I have to explain to them – as none of them has ever traveled by plane – that going to the airport building (otherwise known as terminal) is far from exciting, and that the real adventure waits out there on one of the fields at the end of the runway. Unquestionably, they enjoy the little excursion immensely, and I? I get to have a sunburn (on a not sunny day – or does it look like the sun is out on the pictures?) and a lot of extra exercise. (And I had the benefit of getting my bike cleaned, after it had collected dust for several months over the winter). Starting out from the school gate. We’ve arrived. First glimpses. Waiting for the planes to come in. And there is one!
I’ve been out and about again. This time we went to share a fun afternoon with kids, playing with them, and doing arts and crafts. They had so much fun drawing their hands and tracing leaves – something they had never done before – that it was a great pleasure to watch them and be with them.
Our Saturday night life usually looks rather tame. Not so the other day, however. Fast pace and a bit of a thrill was the order of the day when we went go-kart racing. Now, if you’re someone with a driver’s license and a love for speed, you might think this is just real boredom . Not so in China, however – I assure you. Most of our friends don’t have any driver’s license, and if they do, they usually don’t have much experience driving. So, getting on a go-kart course with a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re doing can turn into quite the exciting obstacle event, with the added effect that you’ll never know what your obstacles are going to do next. I for my part was entertained enough just watching the action, especially with my special Canadian (squirrel) friend racing the course like a mad-man, and everyone else just trying to escape him. You see, there’s never any ordinary adventure in China. On that note, happy racing, friends!
This is what happens when you allow your camera to go traveling with a friend who wanted to borrow it: It gets to see all the places that you wish you could have gone to instead. I wish, my friend had just asked if he could take me instead of my camera to come along with him. I would have certainly appreciated to see those places more than my camera. But I guess that’s the purpose of my camera’s existence: traveling, seeing beautiful places, experiencing fun moments. And I? I just have to be content with looking at the pictures … … and hope that one day, I’ll get to go myself!
A bike ride to the airport is always a fun trip. Today, however, it was especially worthwhile going there for at least two reasons: Not only did the students love getting so close to the planes, but because of the holiday, incoming planes were especially frequent. Sooo, I couldn’t have chosen a better day to invite students and friends to join me on a field trip. And though we had to deal with a couple of adversities on our way, I assure you, they were having just as much fun as I. And that’s the plane truth.
It’s Easter. And on top of it, it’s beautiful weather. So, yesterday, I decided to take out my camera and go among the lilacs. As I was out on that walk, I was having so much fun, that in fact, I didn’t just stay among the lilacs, I also did some more exploring among the other blooming creatures of spring. Need proof? Here are the lilacs … And here, that’s me enjoying a walk on a wonderfully sunny Easter Sunday: And if you’d like to see more, you can check out the photo gallery.
So, like I told you, we went mountain climbing yesterday. And while that in itself usually is an exciting event, the highlight of the day for me was our stop at the bee keeper’s. It’s this old man and his wife, who camp out at the foot of the mountain where they keep rows of beehives. And for the first time in my life, I was able to see how honey is “made.” After all, quite some of us purchased a jar of pure, all natural honey, and so the old man had to get more honey from the honeycombs. And we? We get honey deluxe – all inclusive that is. Even the extra portion of protein, since our honey comes with bee wings, bee legs and all that other good stuff that makes this honey so special!