I now have a VPN!!! And the internet is amazing!!! Lana got it for me as an early birthday present, and it’s fantastic. I was able to skype with video, and I’m listening to Pandora, and I might even move this blog back to blogger where it originally was so that people can comment and stuff.
Almost as exciting: we found nice bathrooms!!! They flush!!! And they have a (short) door!!! And they’re not horribly far away. And they’re still squat, but it’s great. There is a constant stream of foreign fellows going into this one building to use the bathroom. That’s the only reason any of us are ever in this building, so you walk up the stairs, see about 5+ people (especially if it’s at a popular time) and give the head nod or other acknowledgement that you’re really excited by how your situation has just dramatically improved.
Speaking of bathrooms, (which I seem to do a lot) I went to go to the little boys room right before bed, and there were about 10 middle school/high school kids in this bathroom (and more in the entrance) smoking away. Everyone hid their cigs when I went into the restroom, but it was clear that they were just standing around the walls for the express purpose of smoking. I definitely smelled of smoke after my short sojourn, and I was coughing when I was leaving. It just made me laugh.
Following that adventure, I decided to take a Chinese style shower. Basically, on every floor there is a room full of faucets that is used for brushing teeth, washing faces, and doing laundry. You can also just strip down to your underwear, and dump a basin (which we all have) of water over yourself. Then you lather up (protip—you get to clean your boxers while you’re doing this) and dump more basins of cold water on your head to rinse off. Anyways, I had locked the room when I left (there are problems with theft here) and when I tried to open the door my copied key just snapped. So I was stuck in the hallway of the dorm, wet, and in my boxers. I managed to get a hold of one of my friends, and I got someone else’s key to get back in after about an hour. And, as a result, I got to meet a lot of the kids that we’re sharing the dorms with. So, yay!
I also just discovered that the guy who is leading the sessions where we learn about teaching theory is an avid climber who brought his rope and stuff, so we’re going to try and make it up to Dali (a bigger more famous city) to go climbing!!