Thursday, June 04, 2009

my brother and sister come to china and create mass havoc

as durrell mentioned in the previous post, my brother and sister did in fact come to visit me last week(end). but rather than write about it here i'm going to take the lazy route and just point you in the direction of my sister's blog. she has done an excellent job of writing up the trip, complete with many pictures in which i of course look pretty damn good, but michael as always looks better. i'll just add one more picture not on julina's blog, courtesy of marjorie:

for future internet continuity, julina's posts are here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

Chinese Wedding and Chinese Baseball

(this post was actually written by durrell, but since blogger is blocked in china he asked me to post this through my proxy at work - BEN)

After taking a hiatus, I am back. A lot has happened since I last wrote anything, so I will not try to catch you up on everything, because I mostly don’t remember. I do remember that a lot of Middlebury people and Golzes have come through the Jing and it was great to see them all. Calvin, remember you said that I could be in your cabinet once you are president.

Our beers that we started brewing a few blog posts ago have matured well and are pretty good, some better than others. I have had a hard time picking a favorite, but my current favorite is our ginger beer (my favorite tends to be whatever I am drinking at the time), which has had mixed reviews by people. One person said it tastes like soap and others said they want to buy it.

Not last weekend but the weekend before that, I went to a Chinese wedding. It was the only Chinese wedding I have ever been to and not like anything I have ever seen before. As I have not been to a lot of Chinese weddings, I did not know what to expect and I do not know if the one I went to is how things are normally performed (I tried to think of a better word than performed, but I can’t because it was definitely a performance). The wedding started with the groom popping out from build a television screen like a host would on a game show, the announcer announced his entrance and I am pretty sure that announcer said Leeeeet’s get ready toooo rummmmmbleeeee in Chinese. As he comes out clouds smoke shoot out from the sides and the lights start flickering and the music changes from slow to something more uptempo, it felt like watching Shaq come out during an all star game. When I get married I definitely want to have an announcer and when once I kiss the bride I am going to spike the bouquet and do an end zone/wedding dance. After the announcer announced the groom it was the brides turn. The way the music changed and from the excitement in the announcer’s voice, I was almost positive that she was going to fly from the ceiling. However, she came down holding her dads arm to some slow Chinese pop music. It was very sweet. Then, they played the tradition wedding music and the father gives the bride to the groom, all the while the announcer is announcing everything. Once they are on stage, the announcer administers the vows; the announcer is a cross between a minister and a hype man and Michael Buffer. After the vows are exchanged more smoke, cake cutting ensues, pictures with everyone at the party, more smoke, pouring out the champagne, more smoke and then the bridge and groom comes around to toast everyone individual. A lot of alcohol was consumed by them, it was quite impressive. I may not have done a good job describing it, but it was a very beautiful event. Once China stops blocking my access to blogspot I will add pictures.

After the wedding ended, Señor Bacardi and I met up with Golze and went to a baseball game to see the Beijing Tigers vs. the Tianjin Lions. It was a great game. The Beijing Tigers had a substantial fan section complete with Chinese drums, baseball chants and raucousness. We were basically the raucousness, Señor Bacardi is a bad influence on us, the Chinese fans were relatively tame except for the drummers. At one point during the match, I saw this girl with a baseball glove and turn to Golze and say do you think she can use that? And she turns around and glares at me and says yes (I often forget that Chinese people can speak English). If Señor Bacardi wasn’t there I might have felt more embarrassed. Anyway, with some stellar defense and good at bats, the Tigers rallied to come back and defeat the Tianjin Lions in the bottom of the 9th. I forget to mention that the Tigers uniforms are pretty sweet, if anyone knows how to get a jersey let me know, I tried to buy one from the players and go shot down. They kept saying something like we need them, we are still playing in the game or some other nonsense. After the game was over Golze and I were not sure how we were going to get back to Beijing (the game was not played in Beijing, it was in some small city just outside) or at least back to the train station (the train station was pretty far from the field). So as we are talking to a guard at the guard station at the entrance to the ballpark a car pulls up. And ask if we want a ride. We are like hellz yeah (we are in China no one is going to kidnap us and take us to candy mountain). Once we get in we realize, on snap, the driver is the girl with the glove. Awkward! After some chat chit, we discover that the driver and the other passenger are reporters and that the girl with the baseball glove works for Time and that their English is much better than mine. I think it is pretty safe to say we will never make it on the Time blog roll now.