Also I've been reading books. I just completed my last one last night, it's a travel memoir called "Don Quijote in China". I found it very entertaining although the author does have an annoying Asian-Woman fetish, but I tolerated this as he also has an MA in Asian studies and speaks fluent Mandarin. From this book I learned a lot of train travel tips. 1) DO NOT get the bottom bunk on a hard sleeper. 2) See tip No. 1 Also I learned that when Chinese speak about themselves they don't point to their chests as we do. They point to their noses. I cannot WAIT to see someone does this in China. I love to read about things and then see them in action. Until then, I think I might start using this particular gesture just to weird people out.
I learned from my Chinese culture experts (Justina/Alanna) that 8 is a very lucky number in Chinese culture. That's why the Olympics are scheduled to start on 8-8-08. Well, 2008 seems to be turning out quite lucky for Arnold and I as well. We(+Debi) are going to China this summer. I KNOW! I can't believe it either. CHINA! It seems so far away as to be unreachable. Our friend Emily has lived in China for the past 4 years so we are going to meet her in Lanzhou and travel the silk road. Then we'll head back to Beijing by way of Xian. We'll be coming back two weeks before the Olympics start but by the time we are in Beijing many of the athletes and delegates will be in town. I can't wait it's going to be so exciting. To prepare I've been trying to learn a little bit about China's history and culture. The tricky thing is that China is a freaking old country so I'm contenting myself by learning little things, like the aforementioned Lucky No. 8 tidbit and some rudimentary Mandarin.