Two birthdays and our anniversary

Hi everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of August, which means that soon school halls around China will be filled with the pitter patter of little feet as students return to tackle the intricacies of learning English.

We started out the month in the US, celebrating my birthday with my family by going wine tasting in Napa Valley. The weather and wineries were perfect, and we even got some free champagne.

For Ben’s birthday, we went on a hike near Baiyun Mountain, which is a large park area in Guangzhou. At the end of the hike, we swam in an old rock quarry before heading to a Chinese heavy metal concert at an alternate venue.

The concert was great – it was my first heavy metal concert and first time seeing people getting really into head banging, crowd surfing, and mosh pitting. I had been concerned about what to wear, so I wore a black dress and Ben wore a black Batman t-shirt, so we fit in just fine.

Also appropriate would have been converse sneakers, other heavy metal band t-shirts, and dreadlocks.

For our anniversary, we spent the weekend in Dongguan, which is about an hour east of Guangzhou. It’s affectionately called the sin city of China, and there were definitely lots of bars and clubs we passed. In recent years, however, there’s been a crack down on sex work that was going on, especially at KTVs around the city.

We spent the weekend eating awesome Mexican food and drinking delicious fancy cocktails. We also enjoyed visiting some city parks and an ancient Ming and Qing Dynasty village outside of town.

Ben had to come back to Guangzhou on Sunday for training all week before the fall term started today. I don’t start teaching at my university until next week, and my other job (writing blog posts of US-based law firms) is flexible, so I took a couple more days off and went down to Shenzhen for some fun.

I spent Monday (our actual anniversary) at the beach, where I made some friends with college students who know some Chinese. We had fun swimming together and they shared some snacks and fruit with me, so I bought us coconuts to drink.

On Tuesday, I wandered around some shopping and art districts and found some really great craft breweries, along with a local meet up for home brewers in the Shenzhen area – awesome!

Wednesday morning, I wandered around the Shenzhen museum before eating lunch at a delicious pizza restaurant, which happened to be next to an Auntie Anne’s, so of course I got a delicious and large pretzel.

Stay tuned for more of my trip around Henan Province!

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