Saturday, September 29, 2012

Captain Jack and Prince Go Joyriding

In the midst of preparing for parenthood, i managed to get back to Beijing for a weekend in early September. It was great to see friends again after being gone nearly two months. Although not much has changed, i viewed the city through different eyes. The day i arrived, pollution was awful, and i immediately longed for the perpetually blue or rainy skies of Hangzhou. That weekend, it also rained enough to set off some flood warnings as well, but we were already out of the city.

I timed my trip back to coincide with a one day beach ultimate tournament about two hours away at Bei Dai He. You've probably seen those pictures of the Chinese beaches. This was nothing like that. We enjoyed (relatively) clean beaches, plenty of space, nice views, and good swimming. We only played a few games of the tournament though, because beach ultimate is hard! The sand itself was really rough and destroyed our feet after the first game. We all just drank beer and played pickup after that.

On Sunday we all headed back to Beijing.   We had been blessed with great weather in Bei Dai He, but meanwhile it had been downpouring in Beijing.  As we headed back, we crossed the storm, meaning we missed the rain on both sides.  The bonus was that rain in Beijing also brought beautiful blue skies for my next two days.   And a blue sky day in Beijing is the best of days.

On Monday, i did some training with Vericant, a company started by some frisbee friends that i will do some part time work for in the next six months.  They interview Chinese applicants to US schools and verify their english ability, as well as test their personality and general demeanor. So, training was monday, followed by spades at Great Leap on monday night.

During spades, Jehan came by and we decided to have some fun the next day. Here's how it went down. I had lunch plans with Andy, Nina, Mike and Helen Shyu, and Jehan decide to join us. We were all going to ride bikes, but neither Jehan or i had one at the time. Ken Dry overheard this and mentioned he just happened to have a tandem bike we could borrow.

Jehan and I obviously had no choice but to accept this bike. But we couldn't just ride it... we needed to do something special. It didn't take long before we decided we should go as Prince and Captain Jack Sparrow... Jehan's halloween costumes for the previous two years.

The photos speak for themselves.

Tuesday afternoon shenanigans are awesome.

After lunch, we rode to Sanlitun for a bit of fun. The best was Yashow, where i became an instant celebrity. Pirates of the Caribbean is extremely popular in China, so i wandered the floors talking to people, signing autographs, confirming that yes, i am in fact, a movie star. Occasionally, i would sneak up to a girl who wasn't paying attention, lean in close, and wait for her to acknowledge me. Mostly they thought it was hilarious, but one girl probably peed herself from fright. She also taught me some new swear words.

I'm going to miss these random moments of craziness living in Hangzhou. But then again, i'm living a different kind of life down here. There is so much to be thankful for right now, i don't know where to begin, but having a healthy wife and baby on the way is certainly #1 on that list.