Sunday, July 28, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Since this month has been so busy with camp, I've been spending more of my free time relaxing around my apartment, so it’s fitting that I tell you a little bit about where I’m actually living in Jilin. It’s a perfect neighborhood; everything I need is within walking distance. In fact, the furthest thing I need to walk to is work, which takes about 25 minutes when clocking a manly pace.

My apartment itself is a two-bedroom dream nestled at the top of a six-floor walk-up, made entirely of concrete so everything is very quiet. I've heard my neighbour's washing machine once during my time here, other than that I pretty much just assume they exist. Here are some pictures of my place (but keep in mind that I took these as soon as I moved in… now there aren't suitcases lying around and there are more things on the shelves, and those ‘things’ are mostly Oreo cookies).
Here’s the living room: spacious although seldom used. I haven’t turned on the TV yet, and the couch is a… different… design, but I appreciate the light and breezes provided by the giant window. Also, it’s possible that I hang laundry to dry on the overhead light fixture.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Flickering Lights

Last week I went to the River Lantern Festival.

My friend Anastasia and I went to check it out, and the festival makes for a simple and beautiful night. I made a video of it that hopefully captures that vibe. You get to see the poor YouTube quality version! Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rumble in Chinatown

A few weeks ago I joined a Sanda kickboxing gym.
Right down the hall from my school!
In an effort to widen my fighting skills and get some extra authentic Chinese experience, I've started classes at a gym. That's pretty much all i know. I don't know what the gym is called, I don't know the instructor's name, and i can't talk to any of my fellow students, because I can't speak or read Chinese!

My shir-foo (master) can speak a few key English words like "have a rest," "Bruce Lee," "very good," and "POWER!" but other than that it's a system built on a lot of demonstration and observation. It's a pretty cool way to learn; everyone is really nice and willing to help me out.

I don't have any previous striking experience but we've already started some light sparring and I'm really enjoying it! If you're unfamiliar with Sanda (which literally translates to "free fighting") check out this video. It's pretty much one of the scariest things I've ever seen; it mainly features people getting their heads kicked off. Hopefully with some more practice I'll be the one doing the kicking.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Songhua Lake Trip

Last week I went to Songhua Lake.

We took a relaxing overnight trip and it was really nice to get out and breathe some fresh air! Here's a video I made about the trip. Enjoy!