Friday, July 31, 2009

Shortest Blog Ever

Waiting to go to Zhongshan. Pray that facebook isn't blocked on the mainland!!!

Big Buddha

Yesterday was an exciting day. After we landed in Hong Kong, we met Mathew and got on our "Top Model" bus. After we reached our hotel, he asked us if we would like to do our tour that day instead of the next (today) and we agreed. We spent about 5 hours, starting at 2, touring Hong Kong. It reminds me a lot of Times Square here. Also, it is humid. I'm not sure on the percentage, but it's a lot. When I got of the plane I thought I would die from lack of oxygen. But I'm adjusting to it. We went to a mall at the top of a mountain (only 1,300 ft.) and got to see the whole city. Then the batteries in my camera, Lady Stardust, died. My mother was right: the batteries that come with the camera don't last long. Then we went to a place where they showed us how they make jade. After the 5 minute tour, we went into the gallery and got to look at the finished products. They had a ton of pearls and I wanted to buy some for the low price of $3,500. That is Hong Kong dollars, and the ratio to America is about $7:$1, but that is still a lot. But one of the ladies explained to me how they find the diamonds and showed me different jewlery pieces. After that, we went to a market and were given 40 minutes to "buy and bartar" according to Mathew. I did bartar successfully and I was slightly surprised. I'm not going to say what I got, since they were for my sisters, but each one cost hk$30 and I only had hk$50. So I told the man (that was following me around trying to get me to buy something) that I really wanted them because I promised my sisters I'd bring them some back. But unfortunately, I had 2 sisters and only hk$50. I asked if there was anyway I could get the two of them for that (plus 2 postcards for afformentioned sissy-poos) for the $50 and he said "Oh . . . okay!" and I delightedly made my purchase. AT 8 pm we went and saw a "light show" by one of the malls, but it was kinda lame. The lights were supposed to be on buildings going in time with the music, and they weren't really matching up. It was still cool though. We were all really tired, though.

Today we had an excellent adventure. After having the breakfast of champions of items purchased at a bakery (I had a crossiant and a blueberry cheese tart which tasted like cheesecake), we went to see the Buddha. Since we no longer had the Top Model bus, we walked several blocks to the metro. We had to use 2 different lines to get to the island by the airport, but it was fun. On the way we passed Disneyland Hong Kong. Once we got to the city we needed, we went to the cable car place and purchased our "enlightenment tour package" which allowed us to get the ride up, walk to the buddha, and ride back. We spent most of the morning and begining of the afternoon up at the buddha. It was pretty big and we were lucky to see it; Mathew told us that sometimes the clouds are low and you can only see half of him. We also went to the monistary there and there were giant pots of incense where people were praying. Needless to say, it was really neat. When it came time for lunch, we found a restaurant named "Europe go go" and ate there. It was awesome: It had food we were used to. I shared a margharita pizza with Sydney. When we were finished, we came back to the hotel and crashed for a little bit. I took a nap and it was relaxing. This was also when I found out that the adapter that Sydney let me borrow didn't charge Hayward. Luckily, Megan had an extra one and is letting me use that. Hayward is now at 99% charged and it makes me happy :D

We went to the Mormon Temple in the evening. It is beautiful. While we were there, we went behind it and sat for a while. There was a huge, ugly slug on the stairs and I almost stepped on it. Ew. Once again it rained, but like all the other storms, this one lasted for roughly 5 minutes. A couple of the girls wanted to come back in the morning and do baptisms, but they weren't sure if they could. They tried to ask the nice man in the building, but he only spoke Cantonese. We did pass by a side door and an older gentleman saw us and invited us in. After being assured that I could go in that far, we went in and talked with him for a little bit. He was some sort of missionary helper personel thing and was very friendly. His family was originally from Hawaii, but he lives in Mapleleaf, Utah. After we chated with him, we caught the bus back to the hotel and ate at the restaurant we did yesterday for lunch.

Today was a good day. I must now upload pictures to facebook and then go to bed.
Okay, so the pictures are taking forever to upload here, so just check facebook.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Greetings from Taipei

Hey y'all. After 12 and 1/2 hours flying over the Pacific Ocean without seeing the sun for at least 17 hours, I am safely in Taiwan. It is 6:10 am Thursday, July 30. I only spent 2 hours in Wednesday and it wasn't the greatest day. I am typing super fast because I don't want to risk plugging Hayward into the outlets here to charge (they look like ours, but I'm not sure of the voltage) and have him blow-up. The journey has taken me 3 days. Even though by your time it's only been 2. My knees hurt because of all the sitting I've done. Taipei doesn't seem to be so humid, since my hair is somewhat decent. Not yet poofy. Anyway, had beef, potatoes, and cheesecake (at least, I think it was) for dinner on the airplane this morning at 2:30ish am San Francisco time. Had a Chinese breakfast of rice soup, a roll, and fruit sometime between 2:45 ish and 3:30 ish this morning Taiwan/Hong Kong/Zhongshan time. The rice soup wasn't actually so bad. I ate most of it.

Right now I'm just sitting in the terminal A8 waiting until 6:55 when we can start boarding the plane. I've been trying since San Francisco to get a decent wifi interent connection and thank God for A8!

Hahaha, I might seem a little disjointed in my writing, but that's because I'm operating on what I estimate to be something between 2-4 hours of sleep. But I'm not tired, so my dad was right about arriving here being better than coming home and adjusting. Not that I know the difference officially, but I'm guessing.

Anyway, thanks for the warm wishes and keeping me in your prayers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm On My Way

Here is my itinerary for tonight: 7:33 pm leave Salt Lake via Delta Airlines and arrive in San Francisco 8:41 pm. At 1:35 am (Cali time) we leave San Fran and arrive in Taipei at 5:30 (the the 29th). Then we are going to tour Hong Kong for a few days.

However, the past 24 hours have been pretty exciting. Not necessarily in a fun way, but still. So yesterday I was cruising down the Bangerter to go to SOS for my last paycheck and this is where the drama unfolds. While waiting at the light on Bangerter and 4700 S., there was a truck used for moving produce (or candy or something) in the right turning lane broken down. There was a yahoo in a truck that whipped infront of me from 2 lanes over to turn right. His truck was blocking my lane (which was supposed to continue through the light). It was a red light, so I wasn't completely peeved. After all, I was in the Corolla and had the air conditioner on. I was watching said yahoo. He was a classy fellow: sleeve-less dirty shirt on, sticking his cigarrette out the window and pounding it on his left side-view mirror, and talking on his cell phone.

And the plot thickens.

The light turns green. Yahoo, still partially blocking my lane, sits behind the broken down truck for at least 30 seconds. Then he realizes what I have, that the truck is not moving. So he whips around that truck and continues to go straight instead of turning to prove what a humungo yahoo he was. Miffed, I start going straight, but before I could even reach 5 mph, a lady from the middle straight lane cuts in front of me to do an illegal right-hand turn. However, this causes a problem: I'm going straight and thwarping Ms. Illegal Right-Hand Turn's plan. She crashes into the front left of the corrolla. I was just entering the intersection. There was a Sherriff who saw the whole thing. I pulled off to the side of the road and so did the girl that hit me. However, she was further down the road than I was and had to back-up to where we were. I have a feeling that if the Sherriff hadn't been there, she would have kept going. So I called my mom and she came down to meet me. We gave the Taylorsville officer the information he needed and he talked to the other girl. After about 25 minutes we were free to go. It was the other girl's fault. Much to my chagrin, my mother had me take her hybrid and continue to pick up my check.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And So It Begins . . .

Here it is: my first blog entry. How exciting.

I started this blog (though I have been previously against such things in the past) as a way to keep my family and friends updated while I'm in China. You see, I am going to China to teach English to little children. I am not being paid money, but I am really excited for the experience.

For me, the worst part of starting a blog (or any other sort of profile) is coming up with a display name and title. The display name was simple for me. But not the title. I wanted it to be something awesome. Something that when people looked at it, they thought "Wow, that is awesome. Just like Ammanda!" ;) Luckily for me, I had mi padre helping me out. Unluckily for me, he crushed all my joke titles, like "Bowie Lover" or "*insert title with lots of swears here*". But I want you all to know: They were joke titles. Emphasis on "joke". I wanted a title with lots of pizzazz. I happen to like titles that are really long, too. But my father reminded me that my blog title is part of the address. He then suggested (after turning down the highly popular "Ammanda's Blog Rule" idea) "Just Sayin" which is actually something I say a lot.

What a wonderful story ;)