By the end of the three weeks in Beijing's winter I was very ready to head towards warmer weather.
Two main highlights of the trip (except the classes, of course) were Wangfujing and Hou Hai, two districts of Beijing. Wangfujing is a bustling cobbled street full of bookstores, scorpions on kebabs and opera singers. We also met a Kiwi couple there; our accents attracted us to each other.
Hou Hai on the other hand is a sprawling network of streets with rooftop bars, fairy lights and a winding river with a stony bridge. The pizza place we went to there randomly had a goldfish pond in the middle of the room. Go figure.
I went there the night some of us got back from Shanghai. In the middle weekend we had a whirlwind trip from Beijing to Xi'an to Shanghai, with one night in each destination. It was draining but worth every penny and yawn. We were certainly in top form and very well studied for our test.
I am now in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, which I believe alludes to the plethora of angelic looking women and their sunny halos.
It is a balmy 20 or so degrees celsius everyday, (what a summery winter).
I have been using the public transport a lot since I've been here, it take hours to get from one part of this metropolis to another. I see why most people drive. It has been invaluable for seeing the locals though. I have overheard some amusing exchanges.
For example, two primary school boys were discussing a girl in school:
"She looked cute today."
"Yeah, yeah she did."
"Oh, you think my girl is fly, do you?"
The other child didn't reply, just looked a bit sheepish and changed the subject to his drawing.
I spent the day in Santa Monica (by the beach) today, handing out my CV, or as I've learnt to say, resume. I'm hoping to work out there for six weeks during January and February.
I have been couch surfing for the past two nights with a couple in the central Culver City. It has been such a blessing financially. It's meant I've had more dosh to spend money on things like an American sim card for my phone, which was US$129 and has eight hours of international calling on it.
I even got to ring my grandparents this morning.